A Little Help?
I know I’m probably alone here. I realize that I have a problem unique unto myself, but I’m going to put myself out there on the off-chance that there is someone out there that suffers from the same affliction that I do. So here goes. I understand my need for exercise. I am aware of the benefits of said exercise on both my physical and mental well-being. But when it comes to actually exercising, I’m…well…unmotivated. There, I said it. I lack the motivation to do that which will only benefit me in the long run. (Did you see what I did there?…”long run”)
I know normal people (people not like me) all have the self-discipline necessary to set up a daily exercise routine and perform it with as much ease as I go to bed at night. I would say with as much ease as I get up in the morning, but that is a whole different story. They do their workouts with the same tenacity that they brush and floss their teeth. They would be more likely to not wear deodorant than to not run twelve miles.
This post is more of a give and take between me and that random person out there who might also suffer from exercise-lack-of-motivationitis. I’ll share a couple of ideas that have helped me stay somewhat consistent for short periods of time. I just need a couple more and I might be able to string them together into something that resembles an exercise regimen.
These work well for me. I enjoy running when I’m distracted from the fact that I’m running. But, it has to be the right distraction. I can’t watch TV on the “dreadmill.” I still am fully aware of the fact that I’m going nowhere. Too results oriented for that to work. Music helps when I run outside, but only slightly better. But when I run on a trail through the woods, my mind becomes occupied by the sights and sounds around me. I become absorbed in the rise and fall of the landscape and the navigation of the trail. Just like that, the exercise has become more about the experience than achieving a certain exercise goal. That’s why we hike—because just walking is boring.
I’m competitive by nature. If I involve myself in a game, my competitive nature takes over and I do way more in the way of cardiovascular exercise than I ever would if I simply set out to get some exercise. Whether it’s playing ultimate frisbee or my son saying, “I bet you can’t do twenty push-ups,” I’ll give it my best shot or die trying.
For me, this has resulted in some of my best consistency. When I have a short-term goal that I’m working toward, I am able to focus better on preparing to meet that goal. Be it a local 5K or an upcoming trip, these have done the best to keep me motivated in the short term.
Anyway, those are a few ways I have found to trick myself into generating physical activity. If you struggle with motivation as well, I’d love to hear from you about ideas that work for you. If you exercise with greater regularity than you shower, keep it to yourself. I’m just kidding—ok, not really.
Get outside and be active,