Mainely Running
Join me as I train in Maine and race all over the world in pursuit of my goal to run a marathon on all 7 continents

Monday, November 5, 2012

What motivates you to exercise?

At the gym this morning I was reading an article about exercise motivation in Fitness that got me thinking. The article started with a quiz to help you identify what motivates you most. There were 5 questions each with 4 possible answers. When I tallied my answers I had one A, one B, one C, and 2 D's.

If you had mostly A's you motivation is health; mostly B's your motivation is making friends; mostly C's your motivation is your swimsuit (your appearance); and finally mostly D's your motivation is the mental rush you get.

So what about me who is all over the map? The more I thought about it, the more my results made sense. When I first started to run and be diligent about exercise I was trying to lose the weight I'd gained after quitting gymnastics and studying abroad. It was all about the calories. I became obsessed with burning more and eating less.

about 30 pounds lighter, but not any happier

But when I got to college, running and fitness turned into a social activity. Some of my best friends developed out of running club and kickboxing class.

Having fun together. Even in the rain.
After college when I got my first real stressful desk job running became my release. It was a mental break where I could let everything else go and just move.

And now I guess I exercise for all these reasons. My Dad was diagnosed with diabetes and then cancer in the same year. I exercise to avoid that fate. I work at home and spend a lot of time on the computer, so I need exercise both for the social interaction and mental break. I really like to eat, but I also want my pants to fit. A lot of days, the calorie burn is the biggest reason I get out the door. But, once I am out there, I have realized that I love it. I love the rush at the start of a race, when you are surrounded by thousands of other runners and huge crowd. I love quiet runs alone of crisp fall days. I love punching and kicking as hard as I can while pop music blasts in kickboxing class. I love setting goals and then accomplishing them. I love feeling myself get stronger.

What is your motivation?


  1. My motivation is like yours, all over the map. I really got into lifting and bodybuilding in my early twenties because I was tired of being super skinny. After I gained a bit of muscle, working out shifted more towards stress relief as my desk job is painfully stationary. Since much of my life revolved around exercising, its only natural that you start to pick up friends with the same interest. And finally for A, I like how I feel when I've kept to my healthy diet and exercise plan
    I think that covers everything lol

  2. I love reading your evolution of "why" you do it! :) I am similar - started to lose weight. That doesn't work anymore (I eat too much, ha!) so now it's just the habit/fun of it :) I do feel like I would not know who I was if I did not work out!