mandy’s top 10 ways to stay “exercisingly” motivated

I just finished a 10 x 10 workout that’s kick butt. My goal this fall/winter is to do more strength training since I feel burnt out on running and the same old triathlon training.

I’ve been working out regularly for 9 years and I’ve only missed a few weeks during that whole time span (due to illness or recovering from childbirth). I’ve come to find that these are the 10 things that keep me motivated to exercise and stay healthy:

  1. Feeling Good – I promise that once you get into an exercise routine, you will feel much better than you do just being a couch potato. It may take a few weeks or even a month to feel better (you may even feel worse to start), but after you get into the HABIT of working out a few times a week, you’ll be addicted. It makes me sleep like a baby at night.
  2. Looking Good – Now, I’m not saying I’m fitness model material, but I’m 5’7″ and a healthy weight of around 150. Having muscle tone makes me see the fruits of my exercise labors. I need to say here that it doesn’t matter what your size is, but you will look better if you break a sweat on a routine basis!
  3. 0911-workout-clothesWorkout Clothes – I like fitted, breathable workout clothes. You don’t have to spend an arm and a leg on expensive brands, either. There’s a good selection of workout clothes at places like Wal-Mart and Target. I’ve had some of my same pieces for nine years! When I’m dressed in something besides and old, baggy t-shirt and shorts that are too big, I just feel more like a real fitness person (and it makes me perform better).
  4. Music – Find the music you like and listen to it while you exercise. I don’t have an iPod, so I just listen to what’s playing at the gym. I do find that when I run outside, though, I don’t listen to music, but the nature sounds instead. When I run or ride on the road, I pay attention to the sounds around me to be more aware (and safe). There are lots of studies that show much music can boost your workout performance.
  5. Variety – I actually enjoy exercise and I vary it so I don’t get bored. For example, I normally swim, bike, or run but yesterday, I felt like taking a brisk walk through the woods…so that’s what I did. You don’t have to run 5 miles to get a good workout. Just chase your kids or dog around in the yard. If you find you’re bored, for Pete’s sake, Google something and find a new workout or sport.
  6. Competition – Yep, I’m a bit competitive and signing up for events helps me have a goal to work toward. For example, 5k or 10k races, sprint triathlons, or fun walks are all good ideas and they are ALL over the place ALL the time. Try for examples of events in your area.
  7. Friends – Hang out with like-minded people or be “friends” with them on social media sites. I have found some really cool workouts on Pinterest (and I don’t even Pin that much). They can help you stay motivated and you can swap ideas.
  8. Kim-Dolan-Leto-Fitness-Magazine-Cover-e1361635784313Media – I have a subscription to Fitness Magazine (cheap, but loaded with exercise ideas and health tips) and I pick up other magazines that folks bring to the gym where I work. It’s amazing the neat stuff you can find in magazines. I rip out the pages and add them to my workout binder.
  9. Family – My son is almost 20 months old and I want to be a fit mom for him. I want to be able to keep up with his constant movement and also be a positive role model to him as he grows. I want him to be proud that I’m his mom. Same goes for my husband – I want him to point me out in a crowd and say “That’s my wife – doesn’t she look good/healthy?”. Maybe that’s vain, but he didn’t marry an unhealthy chick!
  10. acepersonaltrainerProfession – About a year ago, I decided to change jobs, going from an IT/sales professional to a personal trainer. I work at a gym where I can exercise a few times a week on the clock and help people by creating workouts and motivating them. I know this isn’t a luxury for everyone, but if you’re passionate about it, think about making the career change. It’s been a positive change for me. Oh, and hire a personal trainer if you need to – we’re worth the money!
  11. BONUS TIP: Blogging – HA! If I didn’t workout, I wouldn’t have a very interesting blog. Fitness is such a big part of my life now and I want to share all the tips and tricks I can! Maybe that would work for you, too.

My final thought for this fine Friday is something I just read in the July/August 2013 issue of Women’s Health magazine:

Research suggests that extroverted, open-minded people also have a higher aerobic capacity, meaning they can go harder for a longer period of time. It could help explain why these same traits are linked to better health and longer life, note researchers in the journal PLOS ONE. Quiet types have equal potential but may need to focus on their attitude toward exercise, not just the workout itself, say study authors.

I’m fortunate because I’m one of those “extroverted, open-minded people” they mention in the article (if you’ve not yet gathered that).



  1. Interesting — and I totally agree about the necessity of fitness. I wonder, though, about trying to change quiet types into people who extroverted-type workouts. Maybe it would be better to design exercise and workouts that are more appealing to them?

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