By Tina Haupert
At the beginning of a new year, my motivation to exercise is at its peak. I'm ready to shape up and tackle my fitness goals for the year. But as the weeks pass and the winter begins to wear on me, my desire to exercise lessens.
When my drive to break a sweat is at an all-time low, I use a simple trick to motivate myself: I remind myself how I feel after a workout. And to further motivate myself, I remind myself how I feel when I skip a workout. Sometimes it's that second reminder that really lights a fire!
In a perfect world, I would exercise regularly simply because I like it. OK, I really do like to exercise—I mean, the "runner's high" alone keeps me coming back for more—but there are days (even weeks) that the thought of exerting extra energy to exercise is totally unappealing.
Motivation is personal for everyone. Each of us has a different reason for exercising. For me, it's maintaining a healthy body, which includes staying at my Feel Great Weight. Training for an event (like my first marathon) also helps me stick to a regular workout schedule. I like to think of myself as an athlete in training!
When it comes down to it, finding what I really enjoy is what keeps me motivated on the fitness front. Over the years I've tried many different forms of exercise, from spinning to kettlebells to Bikram yoga to power walking. If I spend my workout hours doing what I enjoy, I'm more likely to stick to my sweat session, no matter what.
I've found that Body Pump classes are easy to stick to because I really enjoy them. I wasn’t great about strength-training on my own (I found it really boring), so the camaraderie and support of a class setting helped me stick with my fitness goals. Taking regular classes has totally changed my outlook, and now I strength-train all the time! Actually liking my workouts makes it that much easier to stick to it.
What's your motivation to exercise?