One question I get asked a lot is where my motivation to exercise come from. I get confused by the question because I grew up being very active and continued that lifestyle once I got into college and even after graduation. I am not very tall, nor very coordinated so I chose running as my sport for my middle school and high school (plus, no one gets cut from the Cross Country or Track team🙂 ). It was the perfect sport for me because even though it technically was a team sport, I could still compete against myself each race. I loved running so much that I kept it up all through my 5 years of college, running a few half and full marathons. I figured I would always love running for the rest of my life because it had been my PASSION for so long. But one day I woke up and started to dread my morning runs. I noticed that I didn’t enjoy it as much I had before. But, I kept going, I wanted to stay active and running was the only way I knew how.
I finally tried something new…
After I realized that running was no longer fun or exciting to me I decided to try something new. Though it took me over 6 months to actually try anything. These were a few of my thoughts at this time =
- “I should try doing yoga. No, I’m not very flexible.”
- “Maybe swimming? But I haven’t swam in years, I would need to take lessons (swimming lessons as an adult did not sound fun to me at the time).”
- “Weight lifting? Ha! I had never even been in a gym except to run on the treadmills, plus I didn’t want to get ‘bulky’.”
- “I should buy a bike to ride around town except I’m a poor college student and I can’t afford that right now.”
Little did I know, these were all EXCUSES! I’m still not very flexible but I LOVE yoga because it has helped me be more mindful of my body. I ended up taking swimming lessons – yes, as an adult! It was an awesome experience and not as embarrassing (or difficult) as I thought. I even took up weightlifting (after watching MANY how-to videos). I think I was the only person in the gym that actually used the small 3 lb. weights. And slowly, over time, I noticed improvements! It’s been a slow process but incredible to accomplish things like being able to do a pull up (that took me over 1 year to nail down) or being able to do 20 consecutive push-ups. And no, I never got ‘bulky’ either. I also got to ride a bike! It turned out, the university I was attending offered a FREE bike rental to all students that I never knew about!
Find something you LOVE!
Going back to the topic of motivation, it’s not all about doing something you absolutely hate for 30-60 minutes 3-5 times each week. Find what you ENJOY and start there! I never thought I’d ever go on walks (I was a devout RUNNER only) but now I find that I love going on a short morning walk before I go to work. Motivation to exercise is so much easier to have when you love what you’re doing. Find something you love and go from there. Do you love your kids? You can do playground workouts with them or even exercise with them at home! Do you never have enough time to get everything done? Go on a walk during a conference or work phone call. A lot of gyms or studios allow you to come and try out their facilities sometimes up to a week for free. Take advantage of that! You can see if it’s worth spending money on.
Finding the motivation to exercise is a lot easier when you’re doing an activity you love with people you love. Find what works for you, it’s going to be different for everyone. Try something new today and do it because you LOVE it!
Let’s talk about this Peanut Butter Yogurt Dip. It is an incredibly easy and yummy post-exercising snack. With only 3 ingredients, it’s hard to mess up. It’s a perfect snack for the kids too because they love dipping fruit in it. Try it today!
Peanut Butter Yogurt Dip
- 1 (6 oz.) container plain Greek yogurt
- 3 Tbsp peanut butter (creamy or crunchy)
- 3 tsp honey
- In a small bowl, combine all of the ingredients. Stir until combined and smooth.
- Serve with fruit.
Certified Nutrition Education Assistant