Welcome back for the sixth installment in our series on examining motivational quotes for fitness! For those new to the series, we are taking some time to look at different quotes because so many people use them to get pumped up for working out.
This can be either helpful or harmful depending on the quote. Some quotes can have both good or bad aspects to them. That’s why I think it is worth it to take a deeper look at these tools people are using to fuel their motivation.
If you want to check out the previous posts in this series, click on any of the links below:
- Part 1: Progress Or Perfection?
- Part 2: What Are Your Limits?
- Part 3: Fighting With Food
- Part 4: Action Required
- Part 5: Sore vs. Pain
Our motivational quote for the day come from an anonymous source and reads:
“Exercise is a celebration of what your body can do. Not a punishment for what you ate.”
What Is It Trying To Say?
This quote pretty much speaks for itself, making the case that workout out should be a positive experience and is more of a triumph of the amazing abilities your body has.
It’s about changing your perspective on why you work out in the first place. If you can change your mindset toward the positive and think differently about exercise, you will be more likely to succeed in sticking with it and reaching your goals.
For some, you can list all the health benefits you want, but unless they view exercise positively, it won’t matter. Oh, they may try it for a while, but eventually lose motivation because they feel exercise is a punishment.
Why Do We Feel Exercise Is Punishment?
I think there are a couple of reasons why we get unmotivated to exercise. One of them is that for years, the mantras of fitness have been centered around the negative. How many times have you heard people talk about needing to “lose weight”, “drop a few sizes”, “stop being out of shape”, “stop eating this or that”, etc.?
How many times have you used this language on yourself? How did it make you feel? It may motivate some, but for the vast majority, it probably just brings us down and makes us feel like exercise is a hopeless endeavor.
Look again at the words used: lose, drop, and stop. All of these carry negative connotations. It’s no wonder they don’t motivate people to get into fitness! No wonder exercise feels like punishment. It’s all about what you have to get rid of…what you have to stop.
Dr. Michelle Segar, a behavioral sustainability scientist, goes into this idea in her in-depth book on motivation called “No Sweat”. Check out my full review of the text by clicking the title and consider picking it up if you struggle with motivation.
While I don’t agree with everything she says, she makes some really good points about the importance of our reasons for working out and the language used to describe them.
Changing How We Talk About Exercise
So what do we do with these negative mantras? One possible solution is to flip the language to the positive. Instead of “I need to lose weight!”, flip it to “I’m going to get stronger!”. Instead of “I need to drop a few sizes”, change it to “This is really going to boost my energy!”
It’s time to change our thinking on fitness from what it can do to you to what it can do for you!
Automatically, I feel that changes the mindset from one of a victim being punished for something that’s wrong with them to one of being a conqueror taking control of his or her health.
Suddenly, you have power over your exercise, your exercise does not have power over you. For some, that may be all the motivation they need to hear to flip their mindset.
However, what if that’s not enough? What if your concept of exercise is endless bouts of high intensity, painful, go-until-you’re-about-to-drop-dead sweat sessions?
What Counts As Exercise? Ready To Be Surprised?
High intensity exercise, while it does have some incredible health benefits (Check out these articles from ACE Fitness and Healthline for more information!), isn’t for everyone. At least, not right away. If you are just starting out with fitness, I am a firm believer that you need to start slow. Otherwise, you risk booking yourself a one-way ticket to Quitsville.
You hear so much about these intense programs like “Insanity” or “P90X” getting people shredded in 60-90 days. Is it possible? Yes. Is it probable that someone with low motivation to exercise to begin with is going to stick with it that long? Most likely not!
One way to get started is to find a program that is good for beginners. This way, the exercises will be challenging, but not so intense that you feel it impossible to continue. The best program is the one that you will stick with!
I recently went through a great starter program called “Baseline” from a website called Darebee. It is a wonderful beginner program and might work for you. Check out my review by clicking the link. The best news? It’s totally free!
The other way, which Dr. Segar covers in her book mentioned above, is choosing physical activities you enjoy. Yes, fitness doesn’t always have to be an hour of doing something you hate! Doing something you like will increase your chances of staying active because it doesn’t feel like a punishment.
It may take some re-thinking on what counts as exercise, though. Simply put, if it gets you moving, it can count. Activities such as gardening, washing the car, or walking the dog all burn calories!
Start with what you like doing. You may discover that it leads to a desire to try other forms of physical activity that are considered more formal exercise as you gain confidence!
Start Flipping The Switch Today!
This is a great quote. Exercise can absolutely be a celebration instead of a punishment. However, if we are ever going to see it that way, it’s going to take a change in how we talk about exercise and our perception of what it looks like.
I hope you have enjoyed taking a look this installment in our series on motivational quotes for fitness and will consider reading the other parts, as well as looking into some of the resources provided.
Now, it’s your turn! What are your thoughts about this particular quote? Where are you when it comes to your perspective on exercise? Is it celebration or punishment?
Have you tried any of the really intense programs listed? How did you fair?
Let me know in the comments below! If you have any questions, always feel free to ask.
Additionally, if you are looking for more ways to help with your motivation, feel free to check out some of my other posts:
- Fitness Motivators – Overcome Your Best Excuse Part 1
- How To Start Exercising For Beginners – Setting SMART Goals
- Why A Support System Is Important – Staying On Track
- New Year Fitness Plan – Revamping Our Resolution Mistakes
- Live Faith Not Fear – How Prayer Showed Us Emmanuel
- The Importance Of Rest For Recovery – When Life Happens
- No Sweat by Michelle Segar – Reviewing The Book On Motivation
One more thing. I am always on the lookout for other ways to help you succeed, mainly in the areas of making and saving money. If you are interested in either of those things, check out these posts on the subject:
If you haven’t had great success with some of the higher intensity programs I talked about and want training that meets your personality, I highly recommend the Find Your Trainer service for affordable and local or virtual personal training! All it takes is a short quiz and you will be matched with a personal trainer specific to your needs!
Lastly, one of the things that motivates me the most is music! I bet you didn’t know that I write and sing my own! Click this link to hear some of it and my story!
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That’s all for now!
As always, God bless and happy workouts!