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A reason to keep moving

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by Alysa Bajenaru

Alysa is a freelance writer and dietitian who lives in Phoenix, Arizona, with her husband and two kids - unless, of course, it's baseball season; then, they could be anywhere. You can follow her on Twitter and at her blog Inspired RD.

Exercise used to be something that just happened for me. A side-effect of joining various sports teams and growing more competitive at each level. I didn’t have to think about going to the gym, I was just part of the team.

And as a team, we practiced. We pushed each other. We worked our butts off to get better.

It just so happens a strong and healthy body was part of the package.

Then college happened. And so did parties. And pizza. And 15+ pounds.

All of a sudden exercise wasn’t accidentally on the schedule anymore, and I was paying for it.

After my first semester I realized I had a decision to make: Continue in my self-destructive ways, or walk 20 feet across the street to the campus gym. I made the choice to exercise. I started going to the gym and joined intramural sports.

That was a long time ago, and life has changed many times since my freshman year of college. With every season, I have had a fresh choice to make. Would I continue to take care of my body, or would I settle into a sedentary lifestyle?

I’ll be honest, I haven’t always made the right choice. I’ve had more than one sedentary season. And the only thing to rouse me out of it was finding a good enough reason to get moving again.

Sometimes my reason was vanity (I wanted to look better in a bathing suit.) Sometimes my reason was a goal I had set for myself (I wanted to run a 5k race.) Sometimes I was just tired of being tired.

Whatever the reason, it had to be worthy enough to keep me from quitting. Because if I didn’t really care about why I was exercising, I knew I would never stick with it.

These days, I exercise for a few good reasons:

  • To keep up with my kids.
  • To be able to pick them up when they are hurt (without hurting myself).
  • To set a good example for them.

And let’s be honest, I still want to look better in a bathing suit.

Maybe you’re in a rut right now. Could it be that all you need is a new reason to get moving?

Seasons change and reasons change. No matter what season of life you find yourself in, find a good enough reason to exercise, then put your heart into it.

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Comments

  1. Such a timely admonition! It struck me yesterday that my need to exercise and my need to spend one-on-one time with each of my four children should converge. I am going to start a habit of after dinner walks and bike rides with them!

  2. It’s amazing how easy it can be to fall off the exercise wagon. Even the smallest life changes can upset the balance for me, regardless of how much I enjoy my chosen physical activity. We moved across the country just over a month ago, and I’ve been floundering a bit. It was rather serendipitous that I read this article today, while the subject has been on my mind. I think, second to liking what you choose to do to exercise your body, routine is incredibly important. Having set days and/or times is crucial to my consistency.

  3. I read your post and went straight out for the bike ride I’d been putting off! 45 minutes later I’m back feeling refreshed and stronger than I was when I was lazing on the sofa before. Thanks for the encouragement to be intentional about exercising!

  4. This was a great read, this summer with my two kids at home we made a conscious choice to not put them in organized activities – the only thing we did was enrol them in a one day tri-atholon event to try for the first time – the result? Almost every day, my husband and I have gone out with the kids, bike riding, swimming or running…its been amazing! I have never felt better and really enjoy doing these activities with my kids without a “schedule” or just ‘watching’ from the sidelines – simple stuff for simpler times..thank you for a wonderful article.

  5. avatar
    Linda Sand says:

    Back in the day I walked a lot–first during school years then at jobs that required walking. What I need now is to live someplace where I can walk to the grocery store and library. Walking without a destination doesn’t seem to work for me.

  6. I love this! As a personal trainer, I find that motivation is key. Unfortunately, people seem to view wellness as a destination not a lifestyle. This article beautifully points out the need to keep updating your view of wellness to keep it fresh and flow with the seasons of life! Thank you!

  7. Just what I needed to hear right now. Have been in a rut for some time now. I realized my old reasons were silly. Now I just want to keep up with my little girl.

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