Getting Motivated to Exercise

Maybe it is old age setting in or the daily grind of life, but even for me, is is getting harder and harder to stay consistent with my exercise routine.  I can still remember, with a glimpse of my memory, what life was like many years ago when my entire day revolved around my exercise routine.  Exercising every day gave me purpose.  It gave me the feeling that I was working towards a goal and I was truly enjoying the journey, not just the destination.

I miss the feeling of my whole life revolving around my daily workout. When I was in college, I would workout at night after classes.  After college, I would go to the gym every morning before work. It was the highlight of my day and I stayed as long as my schedule allowed.  When I was at work during the day, I only thought of how great I felt from my morning workout and how much I looked forward to the next workout.  

I went to this real "dive" gym, but I loved it.  It was a an old factory building converted into a gym.  It was clean, but old and basic.  White paint over brick and cement walls (with blue strips), cement floors covered with indoor/outdoor carpet (that was full of stains), chalk on the floors and plenty of weight machines.  It was a real "man"ly kind of gym.  But for some reason, as un-pretty and "man"ly as it was, I always felt great when I was there.  In fact, I have spent the last 10 years of my life trying to get back the feeling that somehow has been lost along the road of life.    Ironically it has been replaced with "do I really have to exercise today?"  

Yet somehow, I still do it.  I still get myself on the treadmill, outside for a jog or in the living room for aerobics.  I do it more out of obligation than passion, these days, but I keep going.  Maybe it is like inertia and once you get started you just keep going out of habit.  Or maybe there is still a pilot light on somewhere deep within and I am foolish enough to believe that someday it may ignite once again.  

I was asked by someone recently, what keeps me going everyday.  My response was that I feel I have not yet accomplished what I need to accomplish in life and that feeling is what keeps me going.  Maybe this is the same reason I still get out and run; because I am still searching for that sense of accomplishment .  And although I am not as passionate as I once was, I still feel like I accomplished something after a good run. In fact, my whole outlook on life is better when I exercise regularly.  I feel better about my life, and better about who I am.

So my advice for those who can not seem to get motivated to exercise is to just do it once..tell yourself you are only going to do it once….and afterwards, think about whether or not you feel you accomplished something.  Then take that feeling to the next level and ask yourself if you want to feel that sense of accomplishment everyday.  Let that feeling of accomplishment be your spark and keep you motivated so that you can make exercise a regular part of your life.  

About Kimberly Dawson, M.S.

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