Workout Motivation

There is absolutely no reason I shouldn’t be working out on a regular basis, especially when I think about the many, many benefits regular activity has.  Take the following examples, culled from the the Mayo Clinic website, for starters…

  • Improves mood. According to the Mayo Clinic, “Physical activity stimulates various brain chemicals that may leave you feeling happier and more relaxed than you were before you worked out.”  It also weakens the symptoms of depression and anxiety releasing feel-good brain chemicals (neurotransmitters and endorphins).
  • Controls your weight.
  • Prevents chronic diseases, such as high blood pressure, high cholesterol, type two diabetes, osteoperosis, and some cancers.
  • Gives you more energy by helping your cardiovascular system work more efficiently.
  • Helps you fall into a deeper sleep more quickly.
  • Boosts your sex life. It doesn’t hurt that exercise can jump start your energy and give you a toned look.  In addition, it can also lead to “enhanced arousal for women, and men who exercise regularly are less likely to have problems with erectile dysfunction than are men who don’t exercise,” according to the Mayo Clinic.

Beyond these health reasons, there are also the slightly more shallow reasons.  From Zen to Fitnes and bodybuilder.com come the following reasons to work out:

  • Swimsuit season
  • Feel good when you run into old friends
  • Look good for the opposite sex/make your significant other proud
  • Take care of your body – you’re lucky to have it in working order, so do your best to keep it that way
  • Accomplish goals

All of this should be enough to get me to the gym, right?  Wrong.  Apparently, I need a little extra motivation!  That’s why my husband and I are going to start a system: monetary rewards.  I’ve tried this before, with some success.  My failure, however, was that I came up with too complex of a system, putting x dollars in for cardio and y for weight training, and taking away money for days I didn’t work out… it was too confusing, and I ended up scrapping the whole thing without giving myself a reward at all.  This time, there’s one simple rule:

Earn $1 for every 30 minutes spent exercising.

That’s it.  Simple enough, right?  Exercising includes actually exercising, not waiting around for your turn on a the Wii, or putting on workout clothes, or deciding what machine to go on next.  Stretching, warm-ups, and cool-downs will be included in exercising time.

I’m not sure what I’ll save up for… maybe a Wii Fit Plus?  Or possibly a subscription to a fitness magazine?  We’ll have to see!  I’m going to get started right now!

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