I was not blessed with a love for exercise. I would pretty much rather do anything else. I struggled for a long time with finding motivation to exercise. I know the health benefits, but that wasn’t enough. I made excuses and avoided it, no matter how much it might benefit my body. I finally discovered that I needed to reward myself in some way.
I believe that a reward system of some sort can be a powerful motivation to exercise. It doesn’t have to be anything huge or even cost any money. One of my early rewards was a trip to the library while my husband watched the kids. After being in the house all week with the kids, an hour or two sitting at the library reading was such a treat. Small short-term rewards worked best when I was just starting out.
Now I tend to reward myself with larger things that take awhile to earn. My husband and I currently put $1 into an envelope for every mile we walk together. It encourages us to take a walk together in the evening and we save for something we want in the process. Right now we are using our exercise money to save for a new bed. It’s not a necessity, but I have been wanting to redecorate our bedroom for ages.
We use the trip computer on our Garmin GPS to track mileage. I just let it run all week long to calculate our mileage and then zero it out at the start of a new week.
So here is how our week went:
Sunday: Walked 1.21 miles at Cox Arboretum
Monday: Walked 3 miles on the bike path after dinner
Tuesday: Walked 3.5 miles on the bike path after dinner
Wednesday: Walked 1 mile round trip from the parking area to fireworks viewing area
Thursday: Walked 3.5 miles on the bike path after dinner
So that’s 12.21 miles and $12.21 more in our bed fund. Every little bit adds up!
So tell me… Do you have problems with finding motivation to exercise? What motivates you to exercise?