What Do Exercisers Know That Non-Exercisers Don’t?
Kymberly Williams-Evans, MA
7 Secrets Exercisers Use to Motivate Themselves
You SAY you want to be more fit and active. You really MEAN to work out more. But somehow the days, weeks, months, dare we say “years” slip by and there you are — still intending to finally be more active but not actually doing much about it. Forget guilt, self-beratement, and worrying about having excuses that last longer than your most recent resolution.
What it is that regular exercisers have figured out that keeps them on track? More to the point, what can you learn from those
ratfinks enlightened, fortunate individuals that will get you up and moving?
- Regular, committed exercisers have figured out the “why” behind their activity and linked it to their values. They don’t work out just to work out; they have a bigger purpose or goal driving them.
- Fit people have made movement a habit so they no longer need to exert extreme willpower in order to stay “on track.”
- Many (though certainly not all) movers and shakers do activities they enjoy.
- Exercisers know how they will feel after their activity and are able to remind themselves of the joy and satisfaction they’ll feel post workout.
- Active agers have found ways to account for excuses, such as not having enough time, being uncomfortable, or feeling too tired. Their movement experience confirms that they’ll have more energy, feel less fatigued, feel happier in their bodies, and prioritize workout time BECAUSE they exercise.
- Lifelong exercisers have tuned in and turned on to —— and this is a biggie! —— the benefits exercise brings beyond visual results. Sure, they also want to look great. But they get hooked on the internal, non-visible rewards of an active life. Because those benefits are so pervasive, exercisers are consistently being rewarded even when not in front of a mirror or on a scale.
- Active people surround themselves with others who are active. They seek out people who share their commitment to movement, even if it means tuning out inactive family members, coworkers, and “friends” who might sabotage their efforts.
(Like the chart I made? Please feel free to pin the heck out of it.)
Bonus Story and Quick Quiz Question about taking a magic fitness pill:
If you could take a magic pill (yes, one that tastes good, has no side effect, costs nothing, and is small) that instantly gave you the body measurements you want for the rest of your life, would you swallow it if it meant never being able to exercise again?
Non-exercisers grab for the gusto with a hearty “heck yeah, I’d swig that pill down! And what do you mean when you say ‘able to exercise?’ Don’t you mean ‘HAVE to exercise’?”
Exercisers break into two camps: most say “hmmm, tough choice, but ultimately I’d pass as the other benefits of exercise outweigh simply looking good. No magic pill for me, gracias”
The second camp of exercisers tries to negotiate: “any chance I could take that magic pill AND still work out regularly? Then I’d get the best of all options.”