Someone recently asked me to questions:
1. How do you stay motivated?
2. Why on earth would someone want to actually exercise on a regular basis?
1. Motivation is a funny thing. Some days you really have it and some days it seems to hide under a rock until you coax it out. I think, for me, exercise has become such a habit that I don’t think about it too much. It is just something I do, and, fortunately for me, I like to exercise. I also know how much better I will feel afterwards, so that’s pretty good motivation when my head just doesn’t want to play the game. I also know that if I force myself to get moving, even if I don’t feel like it, within 10 minutes I’ll be glad I did.
My main goals for exercise and keeping up a workout routine is to be strong and healthy. I’m sure I used to just want to be “skinny” or look good in a bathing suit. These days, as I get older, and try to fight off the poor genes I’ve inherited it is much more about keeping fit and healthy inside and out. I think if those are the main motivations the rest of it will take care of itself.
The other side of the equation on motivation is what I call the “outside” motivators. For me it is all about the music. Nothing gets me going and keeps me energized more than a really good playlist on my IPod or teaching a class. I also like to download books to my IPod – that will keep me walkingor on the elliptical longer than I might in silence. I know some people like the silence of a run or walk with no music. I swam laps yesterday and the silence of the pool was a really nice change and opportunity for some good quiet. Some people like to wear fun clothes for exercise and have that as a little motivation.
Often other people are what motivate me. This happens all the time and in a lot of different ways. In a competitive way, if someone is beside me on the treadmill it will make me step up my game to meet their pace or pass it. If someone tells me they swam so many meters in the pool, you can bet I’ll swim at least that many on my next swim. I know this is probably a character flaw of mine, but I am admitting it!
People also just motivate me in general. The fact that they make the effort to come to one of my classes makes me work harder. They make me put in more effort to make sure they get something out of their hour. Even when I am taking a class, the other participants motivate me. Seeing someone running, walking, biking or simply being active, motivates me. The key is to get out, away from the TV, and off the couch! I like to see other people motivate me as well.
Whatever it is, I think it is key to find what gets you moving and stick with it. Sometimes you just have to fight through the humps to find the motivation, but it’s there and you’ll be much more energized and more motivated next time you are looking under those rocks for your motivation.
2. I think we all know why I exercise. But why am I an instructor? Besides, the fact that I love it, it’s so much fun and is my passion, this question made me think of someone I met about a year and a half ago. A new person came to one of the bootcamp classes I teach. She hadn’t been exercising since having children but wanted to try it out since her children were now in preschool. Well, I loved having her and I watched her progress over the next few months from walking to running, using no weights to lifting dumbells, barely completing a push up to tackling them on her toes. She was a regular at every class! She then came to another gym I am at and after a little encouragement she was participating in spin classes, body sculpt and other classes. It’s not all about physical transformation, but her toned arms and legs are fabulous and she has this bright beautiful smile and just glows with confidence. What a difference 18 months, a new habit, sweat and motivation can make!
That is a prime example of why I do what I do! I love the people, what they bring to the table, learning from them and being inspired.
On a completely different note, another thing I LOVE to do is read. I am constantly looking for a new book to read. This is what I am reading now . . . and am looking for suggestions for beach reading.