Getting Motivated

Mrs. Seymour writes: Food Fit ( is a very resourceful site for all things fitness. I log on often to search for healthy recipes. You can narrow your searches according to your dietary interests or needs. For instance, you can browse recipes according to the following categories: nutrition (i.e. low in carbs, low in sodium, low in sugar, rich in protein...), main ingredient, course/meal, special considerations (i.e. 5 ingredients or less, grilled, kid-friendly, quick/easy, vegitarian), cuisine, and special occassion. Although I use this site mostly for recipe searches, there is a wealth of information to be found at For tips on healthy eating, healthy cooking, and general fitness- I highly recommend you log on and register, it's FREE. Under the "Fitness" tab of the site, I found an excellent article regarding ways to break out of an exercise slump. Below are 11 ways to get motivated:

1) Embarrass Yourself
Make a mark on your calendar every time you make it to the gym or park. Seeing your motivation, (or lack thereof) in black and white helps keep you going. Suzanne Schlosberg and Liz Neporent, authors of Fitness for Dummies, Second Edition (IDG Books Worldwide, Inc., 2000) suggest "whether you write your goals on the side of your shoe or in your training diary, glancing at them on a daily basis will help keep you focused and motivated. Some people tape their goals to their bathroom mirror or refrigerators." Do whatever works to make you remember what you promised yourself.

2) Join a Plan That Wouldn't Have You for a Member
So you're not Steffi Graf. That doesn't mean you can't join a tennis team. Richard Cotton, chief exercise physiologist for, says "joining a club, team, or finding an exercise partner…provides a support system and someone to simply share the experience with. Often times just knowing someone will be asking you 'How's it going?' can be the difference between exercise success and failure."

3) Love Thy Neighbor and Love Thyself
You can't leave a neighbor standing on the corner checking her watch. She knows where you live. Miriam Nelson, Director of the Center for Physical Fitness at Tufts University, and the author of Strong Women Stay Young and Strong Women Stay Slim (Bantam Doubleday Dell, 1999) says, "When I make a date with a neighbor to go for a run I keep it, and we have a great time." She also plans a regular appointment with her neighbors. "Saturday mornings several of my neighbors come over and we lift weights together; it's a great way to start the weekend," she says.

4) Challenge Yourself
Working towards an event — like a 5K walk or run, or an overnight bike trip to a faraway bed and breakfast — keeps you on track. Every time you exercise you'll be closer to meeting your goal. "The minute you mail in your entry fee, you'll have a whole new sense of purpose. And the feeling of accomplishment you get from completing your event is like nothing else," say Schlosberg and Neporent.

5) Dance, Dance, Dance
"Music is a fantastic motivator," says Michael Olajide, Jr., a former professional boxer and inventor of Aerobox workout routines. "It can push you to do more and to exercise longer, even longer than you planned." Who doesn't get a surge of energy every time they hear their favorite tune? Plus, it's the perfect excuse to get that new CD.

6) Don't Count the Miles
"Do not workout to burn calories or lose weight," says Emme, plus-size model, author, and columnist. "There are more important things than burning calories taking place during your workout. Newfound self esteem and stress reduction are just two positive aspects of many that come to mind." If you're always focusing on burning off your morning doughnut, of course exercise seems like a chore. Try exercising for the sake of your health, not your body.

7) Find the Fun

Forget about the "no pain, no gain" attitude. "The mind, body and soul connection is very important here, don't forget to have fun," says Emme. Pick an activity you've always loved, like biking or walking outdoors. The more enjoyable it is, the more likely you'll stick with it.

8) Make It a Family Affair
"When I go for a run I entice one of my kids to go with me — he or she goes on their bike and I run. It's a great way to be together with my kids," says Miriam Nelson. Who better to egg you on than the ones who love you best.

9) Learn to Love Lycra
"Buying snazzy new workout shorts or comfy new cross-trainers can really get you fired up to work out, " say Schlosberg and Neporent. Once you realize how much better the right equipment makes a workout, you'll be loving your sports bra as much as soccer star Brandi Chastain.

10) Dive for Dollars
Money is the ultimate motivator. Put a dollar in a jar every time you make it to the gym. At the end of a month, treat yourself to a massage. You'll be at the gym more often than the trainers.

11) It's About Time
"My mood motivates me to work out, so timing is everything," says Kathy Kaehler, personal trainer and author. If you aren't up for a workout don't feel guilty about postponing. On the other hand, exercise has been known to improve a bad mood. Work out your aggressions in the gym instead of at home or work.