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Motivated to Move: Exercise to Feel Alive

By , SparkPeople Blogger
Whether you're new to fitness or you've been working out consistently for years, we share a common truth: Working out is hard. Some people give up or quit in the face of that kind of adversity, while others say, "Bring it on!" Me? I've always been up for a challenge. It isn't because I long to punish myself or actually enjoy pain (far from it).

In fact, I don't love exercising any more than the next guy or girl. It's hard and uncomfortable, and anyone who says otherwise is lying! There are a lot of things I'd prefer do than work out each day. I would much rather sleep in or relax on the couch with a bowl of ice cream. But the reason I stick with it is because I love how it makes me feel. I may not like the process, but I love the results. Exercise makes me feel alive!

Do you feel alive?

Those are the lyrics to one of my favorite workout songs, "Feel Alive" by Benassi Bros. Besides having a great beat, those words motivate me during a tough workout. They remind me that although I feel tired or uncomfortable, the workout that is taunting me to quit is a reminder that I'm alive and kicking—that I'm strong and thriving, not just going through the motions. Instead of running away from the discomfort, I embrace it. The breathlessness, the burning in my muscles and lungs, the mental and physical fatigue—it all helps me appreciate the body that I have, one that's capable of so many amazing things!

Just as we feel a wide range positive and negative emotions throughout our lives, our bodies also experience ups, downs, challenges, and triumphs.

When you go through a hard time in your life, you come out on the other side wiser and stronger. When you work out, your muscles and bones build strength and power, and your body becomes wiser in its own way. I believe that only by facing difficulty can we ever truly appreciate all the good in life, or in other words, "the sweet is never as sweet without the sour." If you could never feel emotional pain, would you be able to appreciate the greatest joys of your life? And if you never experienced physical challenge, would you recognize the joy of moving your body with ease or the feeling of accomplishment you get from conquering a new fitness goal?

Exercise is far from easy. But when you face that challenge, don't run away from it. Don't ignore it either. Feel it. Use it as a reminder that as difficult as that moment in time may be, it isn't the hardest thing you'll ever do. In fact, it will make all the harder times that much easier, and the good times even better.

Does exercise make you feel alive? Have you learned to embrace the challenge of working out or are you still dreading it?

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MRPEABODY 8/20/2019
Thank you Report
KHALIA2 8/8/2019
Great article! Thanks! Report
PATRICIAANN46 4/14/2019
Thank You for a great article. I always feel better after exercising. Report
KHALIA2 3/24/2019
Sometimes I dread it and sometimes I embrace it. Report
KHALIA2 3/24/2019
Thank you for this great info! I exercise on M, W, and F. Report
JIMA681 3/11/2019
I use moving as a way to control food temptations. Report
KHALIA2 11/29/2018
Thank you for this great info! Report
Absolutely great Report
I've come to love working on both cardio and strength training. Never in my life have I liked to exercise before now and I can't turn it off. I have to force myself to take a rest day to prevent injury and for recovery time. I just love it SO much. Report
This looks like great advice. I need to move more. Report
It's amazing all the little ways you can sneak in some exercise. Report
I won't say I love to workout, but I feel motivation from seeing the results. It doesn't always sustain motivation, but helps. Report
We were built to move! Our bodies WANT to be in motion. Report
working at incorporating exercise - walking for sure. I have been rather sedentary for too long. this like a new adventure! Report
I haven't always liked to work out but never really hated it either. Twenty years ago I lost 50 pounds and have kept it off - gained part of it back a few times, but never more than half... Have lost a total of 65 pounds at this point, and still have some to lose, but I walk and circuit train at least 6 days a week. Some days I don't feel like doing it, but always glad I did afterward! As so many experts have said, the key is to do what you can enjoy (or at least not dread!) for the rest of your life! Anytime I consider slacking off, I remember that I had complete blood work done this summer for the first time in 25 years - due to exercise, every single result was normal, including cholesterol (HDL-74) and blood sugar...and with no medication... Report
Now I love to exercise! Not so much when I was younger and saw it as a punishment almost...what I HAD to do to stay in shape.
Now I see it as something I'm lucky to be able to do to stay healthy and feel GREAT. No matter what I leave the gym feeling better than when I went in. Report
I thoroughly enjoyed this article. Since I started using Sparkpeople resources to help me through my process of starting back to get healthy and exercise, I have completely embraced exercising. Report
I need to remember this when I feel the burn and want to quit Report
I am not lying. I love to exercise. I am currently recovering from an injury and guess what ? I hate missing ex days for recovery. Oh yes, I still do prescribed routines daily as part of my rehab but I feel awful about not being as active as before.
When I took classes years ago , they were dance based and fun. When I myself began to teach classes I learned a lot about the group dynamic . What better than looking out from the platform to see smiling faces. True enough that I needed to keep up with trends and certifications and was not perfect.
But i mentored a slew of new instructors and never met one who didn't start out as a person who lived to work out. I wish I could go back to Zumba or any of the other classes offered at my gym.
What I don't particularly find enjoyable is being restricted to a range of movement ...that is really no fun. Solitary exercise is a challenge. Treadmills are not a blast ! While it it wintry here I have to workout indoors. Yesterday my husband and I walked outdoors at a frozen beach ( literally ) and both of us were elated. We only stopped after 1 hr and 8 minutes because my feet were freezing.
No lie ! I grew up in a household that walked a lot, exercised with my Mum every chance I could. My Dad built a swing set at our summer place with a trapeze. We walked on the fence rail around the property with the buzz of the insects in the wild grass outside our compound.
I loved it !
Still love it.
Put on some music and move it long enough, persist long enough and you will get a sense of what dancers experience , Report
Yes and when its all over and said and done .. you know you feel so relaxed or in some cases invigorated to do more... Report
I love working out. If I do not work out for a few days I am moody. Report
I don't love it and I don't hate it. I just do it. I go through periods where I do it a lot and some periods where I do it a little. I also go through some times when I just don't do it at all. Some days I have to drag myself and some days I am racing to be able to do it! It just depends on the day and how things are going in my life. But I don't hate it. Report
You should hear "Good morning" by Mandisa! That's a good workout song. Report
There are people who do love to exercise, and the comments here prove it--!
But I hate it-- I hate it-- I really really hate it! I want to sit on the sofa and eat a big BBQ sandwich with fried onion rings... My enemy is me. Report
I do not love to exercise, but I love the feeling and sense of accomplishment I get once I have completed my walks, stationary bike ride or my strength training. I have learned to fit my exercise into my everyday life: walk at work during my breaks, ride the bike or life weights while I watch my favorite programs and this works for me. The first time I receive a 1000 fitness minute award, I was blown away. Last year this time, the only exercise I got was walking back and forth to the refrigerator to get something to eat. Boy, what a difference a year makes. Report
Good article, I got to know the discomfort to exercise will and is going to give me a hot body, happy thought, and all the effort to exercise gets a positive boost!! thank you Nicole.. Report
Sorry. I LOVE to work out. I love exercise. I don't always feel "in the mood" to quit what I'm already doing and go work out or go to the gym but I always enjoy exercise. I do dislike sports. I am probably the only girl who ever preferred the jumping Jacks and lunges to the tennis or basketball game. torture. But the body movement. Love it love it love it. Report
Coach Nicole,
Very well said. I have been working out since I was 18, I'm 52 now and the only way you can feel good and accomplish your goals is to stay focused and exercise. I always take on-line classes to keep my mind sharp too.
Thank you for this web-site. I love the articles and the new exercise generator. keep up the good work Spark people.
God Bless everyone working out and eating right.
DJ Humphrey Report
reminds me of the training and completion of my first half marathon... Report
a body in motion stays in motion! so true. when I don't exercise I feel like a giant blob of nothing...after I exercise I feel alive and happy.
I love to exercise! I always feel lucky that I CAN exercise because there are so many people who can't because of physical or mental limits. I do it for myself, as well as for them. Making exercise FUN will keep you coming back for more! I do Line Dancing, Land Zumba, Aqua Zumba, Light Aerobics w/stretching & weights, Water Aerobics, Water Pilates, Water Volleyball, Cardio Circuit, Tai Chi and Stretch Yoga. Even the Land Zumba classes are different to keep me interested: One of them is a combination of Zumba and Line Dancing and the other one is a combination of Zumba and Belly Dancing. It's all FUN!
Hi Coach Nicole, I actually just got through my workout and I really was pressing to stay with it and then it was over and I drank some water and I felt very refreshed and revived. I do like the results, you are right it is hard though. Thanks for the lift Report
I hate exercise. I dread doing it but once I get started I'm happy I did. Once you do it you feel much better about yourself. Like they say the only workout you regret is the one you don't do. Report
Amazing, thank you for sharing! Report
I definitely feel better when I am done, so it is worth it.
Wow, Coach Nichole, you don't know how good reading this blog made me feel!!! You being the resident Sparkpeople exercise guru, I was just sure you loved loved loved to work out!! It helps to know that you are right there with me! If I could get in shape any other way, by golly I would do it! I DO NOT like to work out at all, any way, at any time! I do it because it's what I have to do to be healthy, and like you, I do love the way I feel when I'm done!

Thanks for being honest with us and letting us know we're not the only ones here that don't like exercise! Report
Its never the same some days i enjoy going to work others i can talk my self out going very easy those days i go to my spark friends for the push to go thanks to two special sparkers Barb and Chris Report
Very motivating! Thanks coach Nicole! :-) I am at the point where I need to vary and add on 10 minutes to my work out as I think I have plateaued. This motivated me and I am going to get up after writing this and workout! I need to work a little bit harder, and even though I don't like the 'pain' I like the 'gain'! ;-) I feel better after a good workout. Report
The social support at my gym is amazing....if any one of us are absent, we are missed. It is so much easier to get through the exercises with company....we all groan and moan in unison! Our trainer is there to constantly give us encouragement and tweaks to our plans. So yes, it is an effort to get up and get going, but I am always glad I did.
Kathy Report
I sure needed those two last blogs today to keep me motivated and once again on track. Thanks so much! Report
JIBBIE49 says it all: "the hardest part of exercise is getting started". I love the way I feel afterwards. Though I mainly walk as exercise, I love seeing the Canadian geese, the flowering plants, the rock formations. Then there are the sounds and smells! Report
I've always liked the quote from the Princess Bride, "life is pain, anyone who says otherwise is probably selling something". The dead are beyond pain.

I like some discomfort, like sweat, some muscle burn, breathing hard, the impulse to just stop, etc. because I feel like I'm really doing something and I think that this is what the aphorism "no pain, no gain" is supposed to mean.

I've been wanting to get back into jogging, but when I'm at the gym on the treadmill I can only go a minute or two and reading this and the comment makes me realize that it's mostly a mental toughness issue because at Boot Camp during warm up sometimes I run for several minutes without stopping. Now I think I just need to try doing it away from the treadmill more often. Report
"Whether you're new to fitness or you've been working out consistently for years, we share a common truth: Working out is hard."

What do you mean by 'hard'? As in you need to put effort or energy in?
Or that it's struggle and a grind?

If it's the second, then I totally disagree. It isn't for me, and it isn't for those people I work with, people who learn how to love the effort and work of exercise, people who learn that hard work pays off and makes them feel good, not just when they've finished, but also whilst they're doing it.

You can learn how to to this too (find out how via my blog if you want) so that you answer positively to "Have you learned to embrace the challenge of working out or are you still dreading it?"

George SuperBootCamps Report
I am finding the more I do, the more I need to do.
Once I warm up I can just keep going.
I am getting stronger.
I feel Alive! Report
I do not hate exercising. What I hate is doing exercise that I don't like! For example, I dislike running on the treadmill. I would rather walk 4 hours on the treadmill than run on it for 30 minutes, but I will do it if I absolutely must (i.e., the weather is dangerous and I don't have time to walk for 4 hours, lol!). I love walking, hiking, biking, kayaking, and playing tennis. I don't love running or strength training, but I love how I feel AFTER I work out, especially after I run OUTSIDE. Report
On days when I don't feel "Motivated" to exercise, I have found that once I start moving, my Motivation finds ME!!! Report
I'm beginning to love exercising and feel disorientated when I don't. Report
You are so RIGHT! I am new to this love/hate relationship. I am in love with the way I feel AFTER I work out. Thanks for all your help and great tips and video ST programs. It's working for me! Report
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