Motivated to Move: Exercise to Feel Alive

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By: , SparkPeople Blogger
5/1/2013 12:00 PM   :  80 comments   :  28,487 Views

See More: fitness, motivation,
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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Comments

  • 80
    Yes and when its all over and said and done .. you know you feel so relaxed or in some cases invigorated to do more... - 1/30/2014   6:02:02 PM
  • 79
    I love working out. If I do not work out for a few days I am moody. - 5/4/2013   1:52:28 PM
  • 78
    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. - 5/3/2013   9:46:49 PM
  • 77
    You should hear "Good morning" by Mandisa! That's a good workout song. - 5/2/2013   6:07:57 PM
  • BAMAJAM
    76
    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. - 5/2/2013   11:47:46 AM
  • 75
    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. - 5/2/2013   10:54:08 AM
  • 74
    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.. - 5/2/2013   7:49:11 AM
  • 73
    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. - 5/2/2013   6:21:11 AM
  • 72
    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 - 5/2/2013   1:24:59 AM
  • 71
    Read - 5/2/2013   1:12:36 AM
  • 70
    reminds me of the training and completion of my first half marathon... - 5/2/2013   12:56:25 AM
  • 69
    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.
    - 5/1/2013   9:35:52 PM
  • 68
    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!
    - 5/1/2013   8:26:34 PM
  • 67
    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 - 5/1/2013   7:43:17 PM
  • 66
    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. - 5/1/2013   7:38:43 PM
  • 65
    Amazing, thank you for sharing! - 5/1/2013   6:51:44 PM
  • 64
    I definitely feel better when I am done, so it is worth it.
    - 5/1/2013   6:50:00 PM
  • 63
    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! - 5/1/2013   5:47:43 PM
  • 62
    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 - 5/1/2013   1:58:27 PM
  • 61
    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. - 5/1/2013   1:46:03 PM
  • 60
    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 - 5/1/2013   1:15:42 PM
  • 59
    I sure needed those two last blogs today to keep me motivated and once again on track. Thanks so much! - 8/6/2011   12:47:13 PM
  • 58
    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! - 7/23/2011   12:01:10 PM
  • WISTERIALODGE
    57
    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. - 7/5/2011   4:21:12 AM
  • SUPERBOOTCAMPS
    56
    "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?"

    Cheers,
    George SuperBootCamps - 6/7/2011   7:39:16 AM
  • 55
    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! - 5/31/2011   6:47:30 PM
  • 54
    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. - 5/31/2011   12:43:58 PM
  • 53
    On days when I don't feel "Motivated" to exercise, I have found that once I start moving, my Motivation finds ME!!! - 5/31/2011   11:00:11 AM
  • 52
    I'm beginning to love exercising and feel disorientated when I don't. - 5/31/2011   10:13:10 AM
  • 51
    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! - 5/30/2011   2:26:40 PM
  • 50
    I echo everyone's comments about how great exercise makes me feel. The adrenaline rush gives me a high and I am more energetic afterwards, especially when I really didn't want to exercise before the workout. I like it partly because it is ME time; time to do something I enjoy and am good at. And even though it is physically challenging, it is emotionally relaxing. - 5/29/2011   11:26:58 PM
  • 49
    One part this that impacted me is that "when you are going through a hard time in your life, you come out on the other side wiser and stronger". This fits me as I am dealing with grief of losing my husband. When I received the Death Certificate in the mail, yesterday. I just wished I could sink into a hole, after several minutes and a phone call, with more bad news. I went to my garden, yanked up some weeds and the material, that was suppose to prevent them. I then just used my hand shovel and beat into the dirt, repeatedly to break up the soil and prepare for new plants. I alternated arms, even after I felt a little pain ... I kept going, until my asthma 'said' you have to stop! But I felt so much better when I came back inside. (after washing of the sandy soil) I got a chore accomplished and got some exercise in. - 5/29/2011   9:02:26 PM
  • OKGOATGAL
    48
    While I love to exercise-yes, I truly do love to work up a good solid sweat doing something physical-I allowed myself to become lazy in the years following my first marriage, my children, my back injury in the army. For a long time I did nothing to exercise except walk now and then. Everything hurts. When you live for years in pain, daily pain, exercise can often seem too much, or the fear of increasing that pain can cause laziness. However, a few years back, I became truly sick and tired of being overweight. I know it contributes some to my back issues, but the back pain will always be there. If it hurts as much to sit around and take it easy, then why not get off my rear and be as healthy as I can be. So, I run, I walk, bike, yoga, weights, taebo dvd, BL dvd's, etc. I took a group of students rock climbing a few years ago-it totally got me back into really truly wanting to be in shape! I still take precautions, but I no longer just sit for fear of hurting myself or increasing the pain. Exercise is one of the most beneficial things I do for myself. - 5/29/2011   7:46:33 PM
  • CJOHNSTON2001
    47
    even when I don`t want to,or I don`t feel too good I exercise,or go for a long walk,cause I know I will feel better and sleep great! - 5/29/2011   2:38:26 PM
  • CLAYLADY001
    46
    I exercise in the eve.because it helps me sleep better but need to try harder as my weight is not going the right direction which is down!!! - 5/29/2011   10:19:41 AM
  • VANANDEL
    45
    There is exercise that I do because it is good for me and I also love the results. But there's also a lot of exercise that I love to do and look forward to doing. I'm passionate about cycling. There's nothing like the freedom of getting on my bike and going for tens of miles. I love climbing from my home in Boulder to places like Ward at 9200 feet. Of course, there's that short section of 15% grade that I truthfully wish was flatter, but I wouldn't miss it for the world!

    I'm a true believer in finding exercise that you love because you'll stick with it. Not all exercise is painful - even when you're breathing hard it doesn't have to hurt. If you enjoy what you're doing, then you won't notice how uncomfortable your breathing gets. Find your active passion! - 5/29/2011   9:56:52 AM
  • 44
    I have a positive ammendment to my comment of yesterday: I met with a personal trainer yesterday morning. She adjusted several machines/exercises that I'd been given when I rejoined the gym. She specializes in 'older members' and asked a lot of very good questions. She watched me walk and talked about how my foot should be striking the treadmill, for example. These things made a big difference in how I felt WHILE I was exercising and AFTER I was through. I was very tired but very satisfied that I'd made the effort. Maybe it will start a new feeling about exercising overall! Thanks again for this topic. - 5/29/2011   9:19:05 AM
  • 43
    Thanks for this inspiration. It rings of the truth! - 5/29/2011   8:52:26 AM
  • RAMARQUARDT13
    42
    Exercise, especially cardio and weights, has really helped me with my under active thyroid. Running helps keep the mental fog cleared and I sleep so much better. I push myself becuse I can't wait to see the real me lurking behind the extra weight I have always carried around. - 5/29/2011   6:56:44 AM
  • 41
    I exercise 6 days a week, 2 to 3 hours a day.
    I wrote a blog about the fact that some believe I live to exercise.
    No, I exercise to live.
    I am 69 years old, have lost 174 pounds, this past 15 months.
    I am more healthy and fit than I was 20 years ago.
    I start every day with exercise and some days end with a Zumba class
    Only on Sunday do I limit myself to some yoga and pilates.
    After spending the prior 15 years obese and hardly able to move, I am so grateful to have the mobility I have.
    I want to continue to workout everyday for as long as my body will let me.
    - 5/29/2011   4:15:34 AM
  • 40
    At first, I dreaded exercise. Now I look forward to it. Exercise is a reward in itself because it makes my body feel so much healthier, stronger; and my self esteem increases because I have the discipline to continue to exercise daily. - 5/28/2011   9:58:52 PM
  • 39
    Exercise makes me feel great and surely improves my mood, as well, as my body. - 5/28/2011   6:04:43 PM
  • RUNESHADOW
    38
    I don't feel alive, exhilarated or such after exercise, but perhaps that will come with time. I feel positive, relief that I am finished, and responsible, that is, I am taking responsiblility for doing what I can to deal with physical problems, and taking steps to manage my pain. I can't reverse the damage/conditions in my body, but I am doing what I can to retain as much mobility as possible and possibly increase it as I drop weight. With SP I am adding more cardio and strength-training. I rarely miss a day, because I start with my physical therapy exercises and go on to see what more I can add. I am also increasing my walking in small increments. I find it too easy to overdo it (I have messed-up signals and discomfort doesn't usually register until it is sharp pain), and pay for it with excruciating pain, limited mobility, and sleeping problems. I preferred Nicole's blog on listening to your body, because that is more in line with what I need to learn. We are not all meant to be athletes, but we can take steps to improve our health. - 5/28/2011   3:45:17 PM
  • 37
    This is so well written and so true. About a year ago I joined 2 50 day challenges and a boot camp at the same time, which started me in the habit of moving every day. I also found I love yoga (which I did not even want to try) and I can run. Our challenge at the end of the boot camp was to run 8 k, and I could, no problem. Our bodies can do so much more than we ever realized. - 5/28/2011   2:57:13 PM
  • DEEDENTON
    36
    I've exercized since high school and will do so the rest of my life...it does make me feel alive and younger and more sane...if you don't like regular exercize take the time to find something you like thats different like dancing or boxing - 5/28/2011   2:43:19 PM
  • MARI-125
    35
    I also am one of those who enjoys exercising, for the most part. Of course there are days when I try to create any possible excuse not to exercise, but even on those days, as long as I can make myself don my exercise gear, then I'm on my way. The great thing is the sense of accomplishment and good feelings I get after finishing my daily workouts. - 5/28/2011   2:39:28 PM
  • ACINNOREV
    34
    Have always enjoyed some moderate exercise.Even as a teen needed to stretch and pump up the heart rate,otherwise I lacked flexibility and stamina.However my mind set to weight allowed me to pack on 55 pounds,1 or 2 a year . Even when the doctor said I was heavy it didn't register. Then he said next year you'll be officially obese. Wake up call!! I have cut out after supper eating and bumped up the exercise.I am slowly taking off the pounds and resetting goals.The featured exercises are fun to try and add variety to keep the body moving without boredom. - 5/28/2011   11:12:25 AM
  • ACINNOREV
    33
    Have always enjoyed some moderate exercise.Even as a teen needed to stretch and pump up the heart rate,otherwise I lacked flexibility and stamina.However my mind set to weight allowed me to pack on 55 pounds,1 or 2 a year . Even when the doctor said I was heavy it didn't register. Then he said next year you'll be officially obese. Wake up call!! I have cut out after supper eating and bumped up the exercise.I am slowly taking off the pounds and resetting goals.The featured exercises are fun to try and add variety to keep the body moving without boredom. - 5/28/2011   11:11:47 AM
  • ACINNOREV
    32
    Have always enjoyed some moderate exercise.Even as a teen needed to stretch and pump up the heart rate,otherwise I lacked flexibility and stamina.However my mind set to weight allowed me to pack on 55 pounds,1 or 2 a year . Even when the doctor said I was heavy it didn't register. Then he said next year you'll be officially obese. Wake up call!! I have cut out after supper eating and bumped up the exercise.I am slowly taking off the pounds and resetting goals.The featured exercises are fun to try and add variety to keep the body moving without boredom. - 5/28/2011   11:11:35 AM
  • ACINNOREV
    31
    Have always enjoyed some moderate exercise.Even as a teen needed to stretch and pump up the heart rate,otherwise I lacked flexibility and stamina.However my mind set to weight allowed me to pack on 55 pounds,1 or 2 a year . Even when the doctor said I was heavy it didn't register. Then he said next year you'll be officially obese. Wake up call!! I have cut out after supper eating and bumped up the exercise.I am slowly taking off the pounds and resetting goals.The featured exercises are fun to try and add variety to keep the body moving without boredom. - 5/28/2011   11:11:35 AM

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