General Question

Hawaii_Jake's avatar

What motivates you to exercise?

Asked by Hawaii_Jake (34380points) May 18th, 2012

I knew a person who bought an expensive piece of clothing in a small size and exercised and dieted until it fit.

I knew a bride who bought a tiny but not unreasonably small dress and used that for inspiration.

I know people who use their bathroom scales.

I know plenty of people who join gyms and use the monthly fees as motivation to go and use the equipment.

I’m using the fear of my next cholesterol check and the fact I have a new love interest in my life.

What works for you?

Why do you exercise?

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40 Answers

marinelife's avatar

My dogs. Their enthusiasm for walking and need to be taken out are my primary motivators. Followed by beaches when I am near them.

Sunny2's avatar

Not much. I need to exercise more, but I can talk myself out of it very easily.

Neizvestnaya's avatar

Being able to wear racy swim suits and not make people want to scratch their own eyes out. I also like to use a scale daily, I swear, I swear, I swear the weight keeps in check better that way. Exercising in front of a full length mirror is sad at first but as you see results then you get an attitude of “never going back”.

BTW- particular medications blow people up, it’s not 100% your foods fault.

JLeslie's avatar

I love to dance, and zumba is close enough. This is the biggest reason I exercise.

Also, I hope it keeps my muscles stronger than they would be without exercise.

And, comradery, I meet up with neighbors and walk and talk.

Below are reasons I exercise, but even moreso they are reasons I eat better at some times during the year:

My husband likes me thinner. I do too, but his extra bit helps me want to stay trim and healthy.

If I am going to see my mom I get better a couple weeks before about exercising and eating.

Also, an event where I want to fit into a dress, either because I like it, or don’t want to spend money on a new one.

chyna's avatar

My mirror.

Blackberry's avatar

I like how my body looks and want it to stay that way.

Charles's avatar

The fun I have exercising. I play a lot of pick up basketball at lunch time. It is very fun. I am playing mostly with guys in their 40s so it isn’t like I am playing with the Lakers or anything.
I swim about 2000 meters three times a week, or 6000 meters a week. It is fun because I swim with a SWIMP3 player and listen to upbeat music, like new wave or rock. Makes swimming fun and not boring.
Cycling. Today a easy quick 10 mile bike ride at lunch on the bike paths in Irvine, CA. Because they are bike paths it is safe for me to wear an MP3 player.

So, bottom line it is fun and I know it is healthy and it is almost free.

wildpotato's avatar

Love of the feel of my body in motion – there are few things more fun than: swimming long distances listening to music, cycling with my dog running next to me, hiking around on a mountain chucking frisbees and then searching for them (aka disc golf), skiing, and kayaing.

Love of nature – I find it hard to exercise indoors.

The adrenaline rush – part of the reason I began exercising in earnest was that I stopped using coke, and discovered that I could replicate the feeling almost exactly with the cardio high.

Desire to overcome depression without using pharmaceuticals – humans are big animals, and much like dogs, we require a lot of activity in order to feel mentally healthy. It’s hard to drag myself out, but when I do, exercising makes me want to participate more in the world.

Rarebear's avatar

Fear of death.

gailcalled's avatar

I too like to walk with a friend for the camaraderie but that means talking. So I often choose to exercise alone in order not to have to chatter.

I also do my stretches and strengthening exercises faithfully to avoid lower back pain. That is a strong motivator.

Dutchess_III's avatar

Shit needs to get done.

Earthgirl's avatar

I love clothes, so when I can’t wear the clothes I like because they don’t look flattering on me anymore, I get motivated. It’s hard to get started but once I have a little momentum I have pretty good willpower. People have told me it’s discouraging to weigh yourself every day but that really works for me and keeps me motivated. There’s no rationalizing when you see the number go up and not down! I have done that thing your friend does of buying the dress or pants a size smaller. It doesn’t usually work. I need to be filled with determination. Until that happens telling myself that I “should” lose weight is pointless.

citizenearth's avatar

When you start to get news of health problem like high chloresterol, high blood pressure, obesity, etc. that may be caused by lack of exercises or physical activities.

Coloma's avatar

Food, and cute clothes, but even they don’t motivate me sometimes. lol
I don’t do ANYTHING without rewards in mind, whether they are physical, material or sensual. I am highly motivated by rewards, if I were a rat I’d be pushing the lever at warp speed for that rodent treat or the hit of cocaine. lolololol

I’m a hedonist at heart and I need to pay close attention lest I run wild. :-)

Cruiser's avatar

The thought of dying and leaving my kids.

gondwanalon's avatar

I exercise daily because it is a large aspect of what my body needs in order to maintain good health. Daily exercise is not an option. If you want to be healthy then you must do regular and vigorous physical exercise.

What keeps me motivated to get through my daily workouts? Well after exercising consistently since 1979, I guess that exercising is part of my life. My body rewards me with a good feeling after I exercise that I look forward to. Also I work in a hospital laboratory and I often see the effects of lack of exercise on older patients. I see over-fat out of shape bodies who suffer from many health issues much of which could have been avoided through healthy living including of course physical exercise. That is so sad that people can just let themselves go and abuse their bodies the way that they do. I definitely don’t want to go down that road.

Coloma's avatar

@gondwanalon I agree, however…we all have to die of SOMETHING, it’s inevitable regardless of habits.
I have known several health nuts that died prematurely from cancer and you know what? They were really, really ANGRY that they lived clean lives and didn’t indulge more. I think I’d take sliding out sideways wine in one hand and chocolate in the other over living like a monk and still getting cancer.

I was at my dentist yesterday and my hygeinist told me the saddest story about a guy she was treating. He is in his 40’s and got salivary gland cancer. Never drank or smoked. They had to remove his salivary glands and part of his soft palate and THEN he got prostrate cancer, and NOW, the salivary gland cancer has spread into his lymph system.

He had no vices and came down with an extremely rare cancer. Had over 20 cavities in just a few months because he has no saliva and the insides of his cheeks are sloughing off. Gah…horrible, horrible.

prasad's avatar

Because I don’t want to stay skinny. And, exercising builds confidence in me.

Hasta la vista, baby
Arnold quotes

LuckyGuy's avatar

The desire to be trim enough to attract and keep a similarly sized partner.

Of course there are the obvious health benefits, feeling of well being, etc.. But, truth be told, it’s the partner part that really does it for me.

JLeslie's avatar

@LuckyGuy That is a very interesting answer. That’s part of the deal with me to in a way. My husband keeps himself trim, and I feel like I need to mirror it. I have been heavier than I want to be for a few years now, and I don’t want to turn into one of those couples with the thin (I use thin as in good shape, not skinny) husband and fat wife. I see that combination a lot, and the women look old compared to their husbands.

gondwanalon's avatar

@Coloma I think that it is a mistake to point at tragic cancer cases as a way to justify not giving your body what it needs to be healthy.

Regular physical exercise may not help you to live longer but it will help you to live stronger and happier. A strong body will get sick less often and recover from illness or injury faster than a weak out of shape body. In the last 35 years, I’ve had to call in sick one time from a slip-fall accident that sent me to the urgent care clinic. Also for a hernia operation the surgeon usually gave 2 weeks off from work only gave me 5 days off (I really only needed on day off).

A healthy life style that includes regular exercise will be a true blessing for those of us who are lucky enough to reach old age. Making it a point to always be physically fit throughout our younger years will help us to be more active and healthy throughout our senior years.

Good health!

Coloma's avatar


I agree, everything in moderation though, including exercise. I don’t think it’s healthy to be obsessed with working out 2–3 hours a day unless someone is in athletic training of some sort. My sharing was not meant to deny the benefits of exercise, only to point out that never enjoying a little self indulgence won’t save us.

I think 30–45 minutes a day is a good compromise for the average person.
My choice is walking/hiking, I can’t get into boring floor routines and gym equipment. For a lot of people just getting 30 minutes a day takes a lot of effort, I think it’s important to not overwhelm those that are not used to exercise, start small and build. :-)

Dutchess_III's avatar

@Coloma Just living on 5 acres that needs tending to will get you lots of exercise! We’re going to be taking a chain saw and a chain to a bunch of trees and brush that need to be cleared.

Coloma's avatar

@Dutchess_III Taaaa-rue! And rescuing snakes the cat brings in that you have to chase all over the house and then hike to the far ends of your property to release is fine exercise.
Not to mention all the cardio from jumping around when the snake poos on you.
That was some bonus exercise for me last night. lol

Dutchess_III's avatar

:) I hate methodically exercising. I just work it when I have the opportunity to.

Coloma's avatar

@Dutchess_III Me too…it’s gotta be spontaneous, I HATE regimes and scheduling. Of course, I’m an admitted commitment phobe. lol

philosopher's avatar

I am motivated by a desirer to remain healthy and look good. I fear being unhealthy and out of shape. After a car against I got back in shape. At that time I got in the best shape of my life. Since I had my son many years ago I work to be fit. I will never be in the awesome shape I once was but I am still in good shape.
I am also motivated by the out of shape people I see and that my father died from Congestive Heart Failure.
Working out has been part of my life since colllege. It is a big part of me and how I relax.

gailcalled's avatar

@philosopher: Do you mean a “car accident”?

Dutchess_III's avatar

No, she means she found her self seriously against a car!! :)

gailcalled's avatar

My large pots of tomatoes, green peppers, dill and cilantro (soon to be joined by basil) are sitting on my deck…I will make endless trips with a heavy watering can. MIlo will not help but will place himself in a position for me to trip over.

Dutchess_III's avatar

He’s giving you balance skills, @gailcalled.

wildpotato's avatar

@gailcalled That’s the cat version of helping. Also, standing between your face and the computer screen and laying on the remote to make the TV do things. Cats are jerks!

gailcalled's avatar

@wildpotato: Ah, yes.


Changing venues to see whether i could outfox him;

And particularly this

wildpotato's avatar

Cute kitty, sort of like a reverse tuxedo in the front. He looks really determined in that fourth photo. Funny how everything I do on the internet eventually ends up with looking at cat pictures.

gailcalled's avatar

^^That;s what we call his “baleful” look; it means, “Don’t touch me unless it’s with a 10 lb. wild Alaskan salmon.”

You should be up here; it is a perfect day. The air smells of newly mown grass and lilacs and the sounds are of birds mating and protecting their first broods.

philosopher's avatar

My husband and I were in a car accident. You understood despite that I have No clue why I typed that word LOL.

Dutchess_III's avatar

I’m assuming that you misspelled it and spell check suggested that and you chose it without really reading it. Happens to all of us.

wildpotato's avatar

@gailcalled Sounds lovely! Now that finals are over, you can bet I’ll be up there as much as possible.

mattbrowne's avatar

I can eat more without gaining weight.

MooCows's avatar

What would motivate me…..a boyfriend!!!!

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