Motivated to Move: Exercise to Feel Alive


By: , SparkPeople Blogger
  :  82 comments   :  39,500 Views

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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    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
    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
  • 30
    "It's hard and uncomfortable, and anyone who says otherwise is lying!"

    I consider this a blanket statement based solely on your personal opinion on exercise and the opinion of those around you who happen to concur.

    Contrary to what you may think, you do not speak for the entire population of Spark. I LOVE to exercise and that is no lie. In fact I resent that you are calling me a liar!

    I love that when I go for a walk I can feel my butt get a good workout on the hills and a good stretch too. I love challenging myself to walk faster or break into a run. During weight training I love to challenge myself by using progressively heavier weights or to go slower with my lifts to maximize my strength training workouts. I love to play Wii sports, or real sports! I love to swim and swim as often as I can. I love the way the water feels on my body and when I turn to swim on my back how the sunshine peeks through the clouds beaming down on all the good I am doing for my mind, body and soul.

    Why in the world would you NOT bring those positive attributes to your blog? Oh right. It's because you hate to exercise.

    - 5/28/2011   9:53:26 AM
  • 29
    I am 62 with lupus. My elderly, obese body is one large mass of painful inflammation, achy joints, and fatigue. Exercising uses up what little energy I have before my day even begins--oh, yeah, and I really hate to exercise. So why do I do it? One reason alone--because I can. And why can a total mess like me still exercise--because I started exercising young. All around me, I see my couch potato contemporaries losing their mobility and sliding toward an early grave--so I celebrate my remaining mobility with everything I can move as far as I can move it, just to experience the simple fact that I still can. Young healthy people never understand how fast the day comes when you just can't, and you will wish you'd have moved everything that was moveable while you still could. - 5/28/2011   9:41:54 AM
  • 28
    This is so true. The hardest part, is simply the motivation to start. Like you said Coach, it has to be beyond just going through the motions. Once I start whatever exercise I set out to do, I realize how blessed I am to even be able to move and I begin to focus on feeling my muscles, my breath, my senses, etc. and it motivates me to keep going. Afterwards, I count my blessings and am invigorated for following through. I always like to put together my music that I know will motivate also. - 5/28/2011   9:28:20 AM
  • 27
    I have to say that I actually enjoy it but I don't enjoy getting started. Once I'm at the Y and workout, I feel so good but I can come up with a million excuses not to go. I found a class this week that was so much fun that I plan to take it twice a week now. You have to find something that you can really enjoy. Many of my younger friends have become addicted to Zumba even their husbands. - 5/28/2011   9:19:15 AM
  • 26
    Sad to say, I don't enjoy exercise! I am always tired afterwards and have never felt a rush---except a rush to get out of my soaked clothes, lol! I am trying to get back into doing something positive and I have a personal training session at my new gym today. Maybe one day something will click? - 5/28/2011   8:46:16 AM
  • 25
    This is a very good article and it puts it in perspective. If you never know difficulties will you ever appreciate the easy things? It's a great thing to keep in mind when things seem difficult. - 5/28/2011   8:42:45 AM
    Fantastic article. I'm definitely of the give up avoid variety but feel inspired by your blog. thanks - 5/28/2011   8:17:20 AM
  • 23
    I am one of those odd people, I love to exercise, and I do 6 days a week at least for at least 2 hours, I ride my bike to and from the gym and yes it makes me feel alive! I had a spine injury 18 years ago and wasn't able to exercise. So now that I can move I move as much as possible and as often as possible and as hard as possible. - 5/28/2011   6:31:02 AM
  • 22
    The hardest part of exercise is getting started. - 5/27/2011   10:52:42 PM
    I've never really exercised before, even in school I slacked off. But lately I've been down and out and I just decided to start walking and running. And the more I pushed myself (But at my own pace, if someone else pushed me it discouraged me) the better I felt!!!! And let me tell you, it wasn't easy! - 5/27/2011   6:05:25 PM
  • 20
    Exercise makes me feel very alive. I've definitely learned to embrace the challenge of working out since I've been doing a workout I love: Michael Jackson Experience on the Kinect! - 5/27/2011   3:50:38 PM
    When the going gets tough... I always give up! Thanks for your article. I do need to change the way I look at exercise! - 5/27/2011   2:27:12 PM
  • 18
    This is exactly how I feel about exercising. The hardest
    for me is getting started. And the best part is the awesome level of fitness it brings into my life. I have learned that consistency over time has exceedingly fine benefits.

    The feelings of satisfaction and exhilaration afterwards
    are great as well. - 5/27/2011   2:17:16 PM
  • 17
    Just finished working out and this is exactly what I was telling myself the more difficult it got for me to keep going. Glad to know I'm not the only one ;-) - 5/27/2011   2:05:48 PM
  • 16
    So, how strange, I was just talking about this exact subject with a buddy. I love it when I'm doing it, and the results when I'm consistent but getting myself to do it....well, that's another matter altogether. - 5/27/2011   1:31:33 PM
  • 15
    I agree with this. I am not a fan of exercise, but I LOVE how my body feels after I have exercised. Those stiff/sore muscles tell me I've done something good for myself. They are also there when I walk into the kitchen to grab something to eat and remind me of the hard work I put in - don't blow it now by eating stupid! - 5/27/2011   1:29:15 PM
    You're right....You ARE right. I need to keep on when the going gets tough. - 5/27/2011   1:24:35 PM
  • 13
    At first I was going to write, "It wasn't always this way, but I guess I'm a weirdo because exercise is FUN. I love it! I love sweating and breathing hard. I love listening to my music and using my muscles!"... Then I remembered that Strength Training is part of exercising. THAT is hard for me. But, I probably would like the results, just as I do with cardio.

    Thanks for helping me realize what I do consider hard, and keep myself from really doing, and how I might look at it the same way I do cardio, and love the results (at least until I love the action just as much).

    Jocelyn - 5/27/2011   12:35:33 PM
  • 12
    It's just the same as with any endeavor worth doing. I read a quote by a writer years ago "No one likes writing. What they like is having written." The process of working toward our goals is just that - work. The sense of accomplishment from having put in that work is its own reward. - 5/27/2011   11:52:54 AM
  • 11
    Sometimes yes, sometimes no. It depends on the day, time, and how I'm feeling. - 5/27/2011   11:50:15 AM
  • 10
    Exactly. I don't always want to work out, but I always feel so much better when I do. - 5/27/2011   11:41:04 AM
  • 9
    One of my favorite quotes is from Leslie Sansone, "Have you ever worked out and said, 'I wish I hadn't done that?' " - 5/27/2011   11:22:40 AM
  • 8
    Not my kind of music I'm affraid (I don't like Abba either.)
    More pronounced beat "Summer in the city,"some "Guns and Roses"
    But usually I work out to channel 64 on tv "Squak"
    I do however love the feeling after working out. - 5/27/2011   11:16:36 AM
  • 7
    On the mornings I want to stay in bed, I remind myself how good I feel when I'm done exercising. It helps me to shake the cobwebs off and put on my workout gear. It's especially handy when I'm going for a run. About 10 minutes into the run I want to stop, but if I can push past this point, I can run for miles and I feel great afterwards! - 5/27/2011   11:06:57 AM
  • 6
    Usually, I am completely exhausted at the end of my workout and want to die...but the next morning, I feel WONDERFUL. All of that sweat and exhaustion is so worth it (I wouldn't have said this a month ago let me tell you). - 5/27/2011   11:06:51 AM
  • 5
    Strength training makes me feel like Wonder Woman. :) - 5/27/2011   11:02:08 AM
  • 4
    You put it very well. I've always said, that if I could bottle how I feel after exercise, I'd take a whiff of it whenever I feel my motivation waning. - 5/27/2011   10:56:19 AM
  • 3
    Whenever people have asked me do I like running, I've always responded, no I don't, but love what it does for me. You summed it all up in this article. It's very motivational reading and I want to thank you for sharing it w/ us!!! ~ Tobi - 5/27/2011   10:42:45 AM
  • 2
    I love this, Coach Nicole! Sometimes it's really hard to get going with exercise, but to remind myself how much exercise gives me is a great motivation! I DO have so much more energy in my life now. When I do my walk/run with my dog, it's easy to slow down and do more walking than running but you've reminded me that I need to push through the part of my brain that says it's ok to just walk. I hate sweating and breathing hard but in order to get all the benefits of exercise, I really need to fight that old voice that says, "You're moving, it's ok to just go a little slower" when my body really WANTS to move faster! Thanks for the reminder that in order to appreciate the good sometimes we have to get through the tough times! - 5/27/2011   10:28:22 AM
  • 1
    I feel much better, physically and emotionally, when I get up early and exercise before work. - 5/27/2011   10:23:59 AM

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