Motivation to Exercise


Dogs can be great motivators

My sweet dog Sugar. A great motivator!

Getting motivated to start moving can be a tough thing.    I actually enjoy exercise, it’s just the getting off the couch that is the hardest part.

I often talk about “bribing myself to exercise.”  For example, my treadmill is constantly set up with a mini DVD player in the magazine rack and speakers in the cup holders.  I get my favorite TV shows on DVD from Netflix and I will NOT let myself watch them unless I do so on the treadmill.  If I want to see the next episode of It’s Always Sunny In Philadelphia, I need to watch it while moving.  This usually works out well since TV shows are standard lengths of time and they usually jive with the length of a workout.

I also have favorite podcasts that I will not allow myself to listen to unless I’m walking outside.  I adore Radio Lab and This American Life, both typically 1 hour in length.  I really look forward to my walks because of these fantastic podcasts, the joy of exercising outside, and also quality time with my dog.  I’m burning through my podcasts quickly, so I’ll happily take any of your recommendations for fun podcasts.  I’ve also stumbled upon podcasts with running music that I’m looking forward to using.

I’ve also recently purchase a Wii.  It’s in transit to my house as I type, but I’m hoping this will be one more motivator to move.  I’m looking forward to playing this and hopefully getting to compete with my husband.  I’m sure he’ll LOVE the dancing game I bought for it (not really).

Finally, the BIG BRIBE, which was an idea brought up in one of our classes last week.  One of our participants talked about tracking activity on a calendar and after she met a specific goal at the end of the week or month, she would reward herself.  I love this idea and may have to adopt it.  I think I may make a point of booking a massage monthly if I meet my exercise goals for that month.  Of course over time I could vary the reward, but hopefully I can think of rewards that don’t involve spending too much money….

What motivates you to move?  Do you have any podcast suggestions?  How about suggestions for non-food rewards?

4 responses to “Motivation to Exercise”

  1. Laine says:

    I wonder if you found something you actually liked to do if you’d need to bribe yourself. For me, wild horses couldn’t keep me away from my yoga classes or home practice, and I can barely wait to get out of the house on weekends to hike.

    I save podcasts and TV/movie bribes for when I have to clean the kitchen. : )
    .-= Laine’s last blog post..Lazy Tuesday =-.

  2. Robyn says:

    Laine, don’t get me wrong; I do actually enjoy walking, running, my P90-X workouts…. I just find the bribe is helpful in making me think “hey, I want to do that RIGHT NOW,” versus putting it off until “later.” 🙂

    Yum Yucky – I agree that trying to “beat what I did the last time” motivates me while I’m working out to push forward. Moving on to heavier weights or adding that extra 1/2 mile is an awesome feeling.

    By the way, I did get that Wii in the mail yesterday and I love the dancing game I bought for it! Fun stuff.

  3. Buff Broad says:

    I totally hear you about liking exercise, but finding it rough to get going. Here’s the deal I usually make with myself: if after 10 minutes I’m still having a miserable time, I’ll call it quits. I’ve rarely followed through because once I’m on the treadmill or bike I’m good to go!

  4. Anne V. says:

    I always think about how better I will feel after I exercise. It is also a great time to escape into my head and hash out some stuff that needs hashing out. Lastly, I know I need to keep strong and in shape so I can continue to be active as I age. I am post menopausal and I want to keep moving for as long as I can.
    .-= Anne V.’s last blog post..Twitter Weekly Updates for 2010-05-16 =-.

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