It’s spring! Let’s talk about motivation. What gets you motivated to workout? And what do you like to do? Gym? Group classes? Strictly outdoor? A mix?

Two weeks ago, I ran/walked approximately 3 miles around a nearby lake. A few hours after, my whole body ached. Ankles, hamstrings, knees, arms, shoulder, neck. My whole body ached! I didn’t think I was that out of shape.

About two years ago, I joined the Y. Watching that $44 come out of my bank account each month was enough to keep me motivated to go. I liked to break it down in my mind to how much I was spending per visit. I visit = $44 each. 2 visits = $22 each, etc. etc. I averaged 10-12 times per month ($3.66 to $4.40). I’ve heard other people credit cable TV and magazines at the gym for keeping them going. I’ve noticed some people like to post their progress on their Facebook pages, so their friends all know.

When I moved back in October, I left my gym behind. I wanted to adapt to my new expenses and budget before committing to another gym membership. I also wanted to find a good gym between work and home. I did buy a 20-time pass to a yoga studio, which I’ve loved. The yoga studio is a 10-minute walk from my apartment, which added a small amount of cardio to my sessions. In addition, my walkable neighborhood gave me plenty of motivation to get off my booty – even on the rainiest of days. Going to the office every day made snacking less convenient. Additionally, I’ve come to really appreciate my midday walks.

All that meant I actually lost weight by quitting my gym membership! Who would have thought?

But back to running the lake. I was told my body aches were likely the result of bad shoes. Quite possible since my shoes are about 6 years old and I picked them up off the clearance rack at Famous Footwear. So, I went to a fantastic shoe store and got some advice for shoes perfect for my foot time and gait. Guess what? I’m four runs in and no soreness! Once again, the financial investment was the best kick in the pants to get me out there. I also downloaded the runkeeper pro app to keep track of my progress and give myself a goal, right now it’s just to run a faster mile than I did the last time. I haven’t said I want to run a half-marathon in a year or lose 10 pounds by July. My goal is to be healthy.

Additional motivators
– Workouts lower your risk of breast cancer, colon cancer, depression, heart disease and hip fractures, according to Shape magazine.
– Exercise improves your sleep by helping you fall asleep faster and stay asleep, according to the Mayo Clinic.
– Exercise releases endorphins, which make you feel good. I remember a doctor saying if he could bottle the way your brain feels after exercise, he could make millions by curing depression and anxiety.
– 30 minutes of exercise 3 or 4 days per week has been shown to increase fertility in women. Overexerting yourself, however, can negatively affect exercise, so don’t go overboard if you hope to be a mama.

Any thoughts? How about playlist suggestions?

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