The fine folks in our Team Fitness for Life Facebook Challenge Group struck up a conversation the other regarding motivation and what drives us all to keep working out and leading a healthy lifestyle. The responses, in my opinion, were amazing, and really shows not only the diversity of where people are coming from, but also the dedication and the "spark" that so many of us have to work towards our goals - even if those goals are continually changing.
Our group is full of some inspiring people who are staying active and leading healthy lifestyles, and then reaching out to help others in the group with problems or questions they may have, every single day. Join our team today!
*Note* Our Facebook group is closed so only members of the group can see what you post.
The original question posted:
Question for the group, Ive been working out for about a year and a half now doing programs 90% of that time but some days now Its kinda hard to find motivation to workout. SOME DAYS, I just end up not working out because I stall and put it off, but most of the time is fine. My question is for people who have been working out for 1 year plus. How do you stay committed to workout every day and does your workout stay very strict even after this long?
The responses (some quotes are slightly modified to protect identities):
Honestly like you and everyone else I go through waves of motivation. However, without the workouts my core would grow weaker and my back pain would be unbearable. So for me, I workout to move and have freedom without surgery. A battle I seem to be loosing lately, but I will put it off for as long as I can. This group helps a lot to be honest. Many times I come home from work and I don't want to workout, but I see how many do hit their workouts and I push through it. Also my friends on teambeachbody help too.
For me its easy. My life depends upon it. Let that sink in for minute. I let myself go, tired and bored with fitness and for my lack of effort ended up with type 2 diabetes. Its a family tradition. I worked my ass and gut off. Blood sugar is a lot easier this way and I'm on minimum of meds. I found it harder to take time away from training, despite needing it. I have minor complications because it it. Motivation isn't hard for me.
I have periods of losing a little momentum too, most recently, seeing the consequences in the mirror is what got me back on track. I have to change up my routine from time to time to stay focused. I did P90X over a year ago, then went back to running regularly, then when X3 came out, I got into that. This may sound cheesy but sometimes when I'm not feeling the workout I'll go to Pinterest or Tumblr and read motivational quotes, there's usually one quote that triggers inspiration for me.
Like others here, one of the key reasons why I stay motivated is because of a back injury (and subsequent surgery) I had almost 10 years ago now. I constantly remind myself about the pain and anguish I went through by not being fit and when I was injured, I made a promise to myself that once I had my surgery and got better, that I would never let myself get back to a point like that ever again!
Obviously not everyone has had an injury/illness to initially spark their motivation, and I certainly wouldn't recommend it, but you need to find that "spark" inside of you that turns healthy living into a part of your life rather than just something to do with your free time.
You eat, shower, brush your teeth, drive, go to school/work, walk the dog, watch tv, etc. every day because they are part of your day. Schedule in your time to do something to improve yourself every day too. Sure, mostly all of us here use and enjoy Beachbody programs, but ultimately, if you can't stay motivated with them, then find something that you DO like and do it instead. If you don't have a lot of motivation at the time, still keep that time dedicated to improving yourself. Maybe all you do is some stretching, or a long walk, or meditate, but keep your dedicated time to improve yourself.
I used to work with a long-term care pharmacy, so we supplied medical needs to nursing and assisted living homes. I spent quite a bit of time in homes and have seen the unfortunate circumstances many of the residents were in. Sure, many of them were in their 80's and 90's so illness and disease had simply caught up with them, but so many of them were feeble and unable to care for themselves.
I exercise because I don't want to reach a point in my life when I am feeble, sitting in a wheelchair, unable to run/walk/jump and regret not using my most valuable tool (my body) when I had the chance. You are young, don't take your health for granted because it is not going to be there forever!
I just bag the excuses and do what it takes to push play! Some days I don't feel like doing it, but I remind myself that I'll feel better after and I ALWAYS do without fail. Trust me, if it's important enough to you, you WILL find time in your day to do it.
Great topic, & some great reasons above... I have been exercising my whole life... If I don't, I feel terrible !!!!! I'm fat cause I eat too much / simple maths... (But I'm fit & that surprises some people with what I can do) age 41
Find your WHY ?
To put it simply, what motivates me the most is that I don't want to be responsible for my early death. I do not want to be laying on my death bed someday knowing I could have lived a longer, more productive life if I'd only took the time to exercise and eat right. The things that adversely affect my motivation are boredom and unrealistic expectations. I have gone up and down in my weight for most of my life. Either I would try to eat well or exercise, but rarely both at the same time. As a result, I lived in a cycle of weight loss and weight gain, which usually included bursts of exercise that I either got bored of doing or my efforts ended in injury because I didn't know how to exercise properly.
On January 3, 2010, I weighed 260 lbs. I had sleep apnea, gastroesophageal reflux disease, I had very few clothes left to wear (my waist was 46"), and my kids reminded me daily that I was fat. Also, on this day, I read the obituaries in the Sunday paper. There were five men, all about the same age as me (plus or minus a couple years), all with big heads like me, and all of them with families like me. And, of course, they were all dead. This was the tipping point for me. It was on this day that I decided to exercise and eat well.
Over four-and-a-half years later, I continue to do P90X, P90X2, P90X3 and hybrids of those workouts. I incorporate power yoga and stretching several times a week into my workouts along with the resistance routines and do them hard and fast. I am, by far, stronger, more agile, and alert than I have ever been. I think better, feel better, and simply function better when I exercise and eat right.
One other thing, this group touched on this....I find it incredibly rewarding when I "push play" or go ahead with my workout when I least feel like it. Usually the lack of interest beforehand is just on the surface, and a few minutes into the workout, I've rediscovered my focus. Some of my best workouts I started with a lack of interest but finished very strong.
It's so easy to do your daily workout when you're amped up, excited to make improvements in your fitness. But if you can show up on your worst days, when the last thing you want to do is expend that energy, to me that shows commitment. I get a renewed sense of motivation when I can do that.
What keeps me motivated is the great feeling I get after the work outs and being able to share my adventures with everyone here. There are days where I just want to call it quits, but with the support from everyone in this group, it helps to keep me accountable. Plus, I just turned 41 a few weeks ago and I just want to make sure I stay in good health for the long run.
What everyone else has said, "To put it simply, what motivates me the most is that I don't want to be responsible for my early death". I want to be there for my family!!! Another thing that motivates me is pregnancy (I know that sounds funny). Being 7-9 months pregnant and an extra 40 lbs with a sore back, swollen ankles and lack of energy was motivation for me to do something about that when I'm not pregnant. I hated not having the energy to play with my first son the way I wanted to while pregnant with my second, and I hated not feeling "fit". Although the pregnancy was temporary and there are lots of wonderful things about being pregnant, that last trimester was always strong motivation for me to stay active and healthy once it was over.
What a great discussion! I'm 49, and I've been working out solidly for about 15 years. My primary motivation has always been health. I wanted to be healthy for my family's sake, and now that my daughter is older and I'm hoping for grandchildren someday, I want to be able to play with them, be active with them throughout their lives. So many health issues are completely preventable just by working out and eating a healthy diet. And to be perfectly honest, I'm vain! I love food and wine, my favorite hobby is cooking. So if I'm going to be able to cook gourmet meals on the weekends, AND pair them with the right wine, I better be doing something to balance it out, right?! So being dedicated in my workout schedule keeps me at the weight I want to be. So yeah, vanity! Additionally, with this recent injury I realize just how vital my workouts are to not just my physical health, but my mental health. Not having been able to maintain my normal workout schedule, I find that my stress level has gone through the roof. No doubt some of this is related to the injury and the way it's complicating my life. But the bottom line is that my workouts allow me to deal with the stresses of life, and keep them in their proper place. Like many others have pointed out, figure out YOUR why. And remind yourself of this on those days when you just don't feel like doing it.
What motivates me? This group said it best! 3 years ago I was 260 and I was wearing a CPAP machine to bed. Pressing play was the best decision I ever made.....that and saying "I do" to my wife!
About 4 years ago I decided to make a change. I was a pack a day smoker and it had been drinking way too much, way too regularly, for way too long. My wife and I were discussing having a child and my doctor said in my (then) present state I was unable to have children...and had the lungs and liver of a 55 year old (I was 29 at the time). So, I found myself at a crossroads. Continue down the path I was on and end up with diabetes, liver disease, and emphysema. Or lay down my selfish vices and work on creating myself as the type of father I always wanted. I chose life and quit smoking (one of the hardest things I've ever done), got sober (one of the 2nd hardest things I've ever done), and started pressing play in he early morning hours when the rest of the world is still asleep.
Fast forward to the present day...sober and smoke free, lungs and liver healing themselves with each doctor visit...and just celebrated my daughter's 3rd birthday. My motivation cycles like everyone else...but I never let my routines get too far away. I know what happens if they do....I've been down that road and I owe my daughter a better image of what's healthy and "normal" than I got from my father. It keeps my mind calm and happy, my body healthy, keeps me sober, and helps me be a better father, husband, friend, worker, son, brother etc.
Motivation is a hard thing to conquer. When I first started exercising again after a long sabbatical I would tell myself, I have to work out. I was so focused on finishing P90X and proving everyone wrong that I forced myself to Bring It. Every day. After 90 days I said, "I feel great! I am going to do P90X+" and so on. What I know is, 3 1/2 years later when I miss a workout my mind is restless and my body is jittery. And I feel like I didn't accomplish anything that day. There isn't a question of having to workout, I just do it because if I don't, I know I will regret it immensely.
Or to put it simply:
I work out for vanity.
The main motivator for me is that I don't want to go back to how I was 3 years ago. I was extremely out of shape and lazy. Also, my job has certain health and fitness requirements that must be met each year. Yearly medical exam and physical fitness test are a few examples. These things were getting pretty tough for me to pass and were a major stress in my life. I finally had had enough. Life is so much more fulfilling when you're able to be active. Like others said, it's an addiction now. Sometimes, however, I need some extra motivation as it's kind of easy to get bored doing the same routines you've done many times before. Right now, it's running. Something simple that changes up the everyday routine.