Stuck in an Exercise Rut? Find Some Motivation!

If you’re stuck in an exercise rut, its time to find some motivation. So often we make everlasting pledges to ourselves on January 1st that we’re going to work out everyday or walk 10,000 steps, or go to the gym 5 times a week only to find that April and May roll around, life gets crazy, and we get off track with our exercise or fitness routine.

Sound like you? That was me this year. . . I’ll be the first to admit it. I got off to a great start in January and then my business schedule and travel picked up and I got thrown off my routine.

Instead of trying to dig deep and find motivation to continue to work out because its the “healthy” thing to do, I decided to make it fun. I’ve been wanting to participate in a triathlon for the last three years but it just hasn’t happened. This year, I did something novel: I signed up. I found a local sprint distance triathlon, filled out the registration form, and signed up. On May 20th, 2012 I will be competing in the Fort Collins Triathlon (my first triathlon). I’ve never done it before and I’m somewhat terrified of all the logistics with the swim to bike and bike to run transitions and finishing a race running three miles. Keep in mind that the sports I excelled at growing up were gymnastics and diving which required very little endurance. Even a sprint triathlon is a BIG deal for me!

Here’s the thing, I signed up. I quit telling myself that I’m going to do it “someday”. I tried that the last three years and that someday never came.  width=So, here’s the secret. Instead of finding excuses not to exercise, having an event that I’m training for is thrilling and its ultra-motivating. When the alarm went off at 6am this morning, I rolled out of bed, put on my running shoes, and ran three and a half miles in the 38 degree dewy morning air. It feels so good to follow a training plan with an end goal in mind. I visualized the finish line and how good that will feel. Visualizing the finish line and crossing “compete in a triathlon” off my bucket list will be awesome. I can’t wait.

Did you notice the shift? Instead of finding excuses to not exercise, I’m actually looking forward to it because I have something to train for. Now its your turn.

Its race season. There are 5k’s, 10k’s, half and full marathons, charity walks and rides, triathlons, duathlons, and so much more. Find something that you want to do and go for it. Sign up and start training. You’ll notice that exercise will no longer be something you “should do” but instead, it will turn into something you “want to do” because you have a clear goal with a deadline.

Go for it! Leave a comment with what you’re planning to do and when. I’m looking forward to reading your Summer race plans.


Erin Harner

Erin Harner is an Integrative Registered Dietitian Nutritionist (RDN), author, and speaker based in Ithaca, NY. Erin melds functional medicine and culinary nutrition to help her clients uncover their unique diet and confidently cook healthy nourishing meals that meet the needs of their whole family. Learn about Erin's services and connect on Instagram.

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