Why Do You Exercise?

I can proudly say that exercise has been a part of my life for a long time. Of course there have been ups and downs, but the important thing is I have stuck with it, and somewhere along the line it became an integral part of who I am.

And I couldn’t be happier!

But how does one keep it going? Where do you get the motivation to give up part of your day, year after year, for 39 years?

Motivation Through The Decades

Teens: Luckily I had a great role model. Mom wasn’t the type to let you lounge around in front of the TV; when she headed out the door to exercise I followed. Twice a week we worked out with the most fascinating woman, a retired fashion model who was the epitome of elegance and grace. She was long and lean but strong like a racehorse, and she made exercise fun.

Twenties: Honestly, at 20 my health was never a motivating factor; it was all about vanity and wanting to look good! Gonna live forever right? I got my first gym membership and promptly signed a lifetime contract. And ya know what? It doesn’t matter. If pride is your motivating factor right now so be it, you’re still getting the health benefits. Frankly, I hope at 20 your biggest worry is how your butt looks and not something else — there will be plenty of time later in life to deal with the big issues.

Thirties: In my thirties it was all about the muscle. My job in the bakery required stamina and strength. Bags of flour weighed 50 pounds and you toted your own. After eight hours on my feet I headed directly to the gym and lifted weights. I was a total badass and I freakin’ loved it.

Forties: My marriage was rocky, life was stressful and my body was starting to change. I like routine and nothing was going the way I had planned. After my divorce everything felt foreign except for my workout. The gym was my port in the storm, and I thank the powers that be that I had it to keep me sane.

Fifties: Now my motivation is travel. There’s a wide, wide world out there and I refuse to see it through the window of a bus! Aside from a bit of wear and tear, my health is great and I’m not about to let an aging body call the shots.

So there you have it, a mixed bag of motivation through the years. Find a reason to move your body today; do whatever it takes to ingrain the habit. You’ll be glad you did later.

Why did you exercise today? —Karen

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  1. Pam says:

    I love this Karen! I have exercised most of my life, just like you. I was thinking the other day how exercise has changed. I remember leg warmers, leotards and Jane Fonda. I am in my fifties and continue to exercise, it is my outlet and I love it. I just started blogging about lifestyle, fitness and health and I have followed your blog for awhile now. Thanks for sharing this today.

  2. Renee says:

    I am currently in a team of five students, coming from all around the world, working on a startup company called commit in Italy. Commit is an application to help you achieve your fitness goals through monetary incentive, so you can finally achieve your New Year’s fitness resolutions. We would greatly appreciate it if you could check out our website and leave your email to help us get started!

  3. Thank for getting me thinking with this blog, Karen. I have exercised off and on throughout my life and consistently for the last 20 years. My relationship with exercise began out of vanity too, and in fact, as crazy as it sounds, I am glad I’m not one of those naturally thin girls, or I probably never would have developed a routine of regular physical activity. Now I exercise for strength, flexibility, and balance–and to maintain my weight. I want to enjoy as much of what this world has to offer as I can for as long as I can. Have a beautiful day!


  4. Laura says:

    Thanks for the interesting post. In my book HABIT is the key. Rather than trying to find reasons to DO exercise … the thought process must be reversed. Why wouldn’t I … must be the question.

  5. Phoebe says:

    I love your post. I always exercise morning in the morning. I usually go with my close friend. We just walk around and talking about things around our life
    Daily exercise helps me to have health and to form good relationships in my life
    I am also an expert in weight loss, gym, health and motivation for others

  6. Melody says:

    Thanks for this post! I am still in my twenties but exercise has been a big part of my life since I was 18. I am looking forward to the different types of motivation I will see as I get older. I really enjoy this blog!

  7. Gifts says:

    I am in my forties, exercising will build up your stamina and help you work through the day especially if you are desk bound.