What motivates you to exercise?

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Do you do it to look good, to feel good, for your health, or just for fun? What keeps you motivated? (I'm looking for tips here to stay motivated after my half-marathon is over)...

-- Anonymous, January 17, 2001


guilt! and the fact that i've worked so hard to get where i am now. but mostly, guilt. it comes with being raised catholic.

-- Anonymous, January 17, 2001

I eliminated TV from my life. That gave rise to a lot of time and energy (the two things really needed for exercise). And I have switched my exercise regime from a treadmill at the corporate fitness center to Jazz, modern, ballet and hip hop dance classes at a local dance studio. What a difference.

-- Anonymous, January 17, 2001

You can't be serious. Not even CNN? I mean is your life really any better with the whole dance thing your into?

-- Anonymous, January 17, 2001

Tips to stay motivated.

1) Find a group of like-minded individuals (running club?)

2) Cross train -- find another activity that's fairly leg intensive that you enjoy -- maybe tennis

3) Find another race ahead of the current one to plan for.

4. Drink a (lite) beer and smoke a doobie. (maybe you'll think of something)

-- Anonymous, January 17, 2001

I started running about 10 years ago and I continue to do so. After all this time I -must- run or my body gets restless. If I don't run or lift weights for three days I get feelings simlar to growing pains in my muscles. It's like my body is crying out for exercise.

I do it now for my health most of all. It just feels great to go out into the fresh air after being indoors all day and taking deeeeep breaths. If you have a park to run through the effect is even better.

I was hoping to type something more profound here, but I hope I got something across :)

Oh, what really keeps me motivitated is seeing lots of older people wherever I go, with their pot bellies, smoking, and darn out of shape. I NEVER want to be like that - I want to be in great physical condition. I think the real benefits are seen after age 65 when you can still run at 5K where most people that age have lots of health problems and just sit.

-- Anonymous, January 18, 2001

I really came on your web site to find your e-mail address so I could write to you and thank you for the nice birthday present (thank you!), but while I'm here, I might as well try to help you stay motivated too... So let's see...

- Find another goal race once you've taken a week or two easy - Find cool running partners, that would make all the difference in the world (or make some runner friends, even if you don't run with them) - Just be happy that you can run at all (I'm bitter b/c I'm injured) - Think how much more food you can eat because you're running (I hate to admit it, but one of the reasons I run is I like having muscles and what it does to my body in general) - Don't you notice that you're in a better mood after you exercise? I think that's probably one of the biggest reasons why I run - Work on improving your times - PRs are big motivators for me - Try running some new places (are there any trails near you?)

You might find that the race inspires you to continue to train (or not) - it's kind of nice to go out there and realize that there are a lot of other people doing the same thing that you are (and that you can beat a lot of them).

I think that if you keep at it long enough, you'll start actually enjoying the physical act of running so much (it does get easier and easier) that you won't need motivation to get out there and do it.

On the days that I am dragging a bit (bad weather, feeling tired, etc.) I always remind myself that I rarely do a run and then regret that I did it -- you'll almost always be glad that you made the decision to get out there and do it.

Sorry for switching into "inspirational mode" there, I promise I won't do it again.

-- Anonymous, January 18, 2001

I exercise because it's fun, healthy, and keeps your body feeling good. You must enjoy it... if that means periodically or seasonally changing sports/activities, then do it. If it's not fun, change. There are lots of activities most people have never given a chance... try tennis, golf, hiking, swimming, skating, rowing or the indoor ergonometer-style, basketball... I sometimes wonder how many great Olympic athletes never were, simply because they were never exposed to a sport early in their lives...something that's not likely to happen in baseball or basketball.

I used to run in HS and for some years later. It got to be boring and not fun anymore; plus the competition of HS wasn't there, which effected my psychological state. I discovered cycling (road, not Mt.), and it was perfect for me. All the competiveness of running, but more fun. It added the ability to pull back and relax after maxing out hard (200bpm), something that's not really possible running (unless you want to stop). Having other people around can be good if your motivation slackens, but you have to have people of an equal fitness, or it won't work (unless it's golf). As for cycling, it's important to get good advice about equipment and fitting... I hear lots of people who try it and immediately drop it....obviously never properly set up. The only negative of cycling is the crazy battle with auto's. I've been in emergency rooms too many times, once coming within centimeters of the great unknown (otherwise known as a 4-ton truck's grillwork at 60mph). I consider myself a defensive driver, and a skilled cyclist... but your room for error is a lot less than when you have 2 tons of steel protecting you. The increase in drivers on the roads is noticeable, even when you keep to the backroads.

-- Anonymous, February 01, 2001

I think it is fear...I am afraid that if I stop running and working out, that one day I will wake up a lonely fat, old lady w/ no lungs and a bad heart. Did you run cross country for school ever? I run in college right now. Well good luck on your marathon and keep running!:)

-- Anonymous, February 18, 2002

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