Motivation to Exercise

For several weeks my schedule has gotten the best of me and all efforts at working out have fallen by the wayside.  So, I decided to think about fitness, motivation and the “MED” (minimum exercise dose) to maintain fitness.  Here’s what I came up with:

1. Consistency, not quantity is essential.

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2. Planning helps.

 

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3. Having a goal works better than not having a goal.

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4. At some point you just have to decide it’s important.

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Motivation

I worry that trainees who read this blog might think I’ve somehow figured all this out and they never will.  Nothing could be farther from the truth!   What I have figured out, though, is that working on wellness is a journey and not a destination.  The same holds true for anything that needs some motivation (studying for the inservice exams, etc).  No one does this perfectly – we all have times we do better on the journey, and times we don’t.  What’s important is not letting the momentum of a crazy schedule drag you away from taking care of yourself.  Getting off track is expected.  Getting back on is the key.  Last week, for example, I really wanted to work out every day (and thought I actually might have time).  I knew ahead of time that setting that goal might mean working out 3 or 4 times.  But the reality is that I only made it to the gym once.  Some of it was setting expectations too high for a predictably busy week.  Some of it was not having a back up plan with some lighter or smaller workout when “Plan A” fell through.  And most of it (which I know you can relate to) was fatigue that made being motivated difficult.

Which got me thinking about motivation in general and what I might be able to learn from last week.  Here’s what I found….

“Viewing motivation as the ability to resist the lure of “bad” foods or overcome the appeal of lying on the couch will only lead to frustration and self-blame. Things go much better when you see motivation as the ability to give yourself the chance to make conscious decisions and take responsibility for these choices. Therefore, the main “enemy” of motivation is the tendency to see yourself as the hapless victim of forces (or urges) over which you have no control.”

http://www.sparkpeople.com/resource/motivation_articles.asp?id=630

“Being healthy isn’t a decision you make once — it’s one you make every day. Recommitting to your goals is necessary to keep yourself on track.”

http://exercise.about.com/od/plateausmotivation/a/motivation_2.htm

You have to find ways to find motivation when it lags like “avoiding the feeling of yuck” (one of my favorites on this list)

http://zenhabits.net/2007/10/31-ways-to-motivate-yourself-to-exercise/