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5 Mantras For The Unmotivated Exerciser

06/29/2015 03:41 pm ET | Updated Jun 29, 2016

When I was a young girl, into gymnastics, I liked to do back walkovers everywhere -- on the driveway, on the lawn, on the sidewalk, on the balance beam. I could do back walkovers anywhere and because I could, I did. Perhaps to the annoyance of my family. And then a thought occurred to me. I planned to do one back walkover every day for the rest of my life, just so I would never lose the skill. Alas, I'm over 50 now and haven't done a back walkover in about 35 years. I simply don't bend that way anymore.

This leads me to something I can do. Run. I am a runner, a slow and steady runner. I enjoy my runs and typically use my three, four or five miles to think, and as I like to say, "Solve the world's problems." But even though I enjoy my runs, there are times when I just don't feel like doing it. I would rather sleep, watch television, eat junk food or clean a toilet (yup, my lack of motivation has provided my family with a clean bowl or two). When I am in one of those moods, I have five motivational mantras I use to kick my own butt. Feel free to use them when you're feeling unmotivated to run, walk, swim, bike, hike or do what it is that you do:

  1. Do it because you can. Kind of like the back walkovers. There may come a point in time when my body just won't bend that way anymore, so as long as I am able, I owe it to my heart to get out there and run.
  2. No thinking, just doing. This one comes courtesy of my favorite Total Body Workout instructor. Whenever I, or a member of our group, would moan about the exercise put before us, she would shout, "No thinking, just doing." Her words have gotten me out of bed on many a reluctant morning.
  3. Hate it now, love it later. It is likely that I will hate my run when I am not in the mood to do it. Every step will feel like a challenge. But no matter how grueling the workout, one thing for certain, I will feel so much better when it is over.
  4. It will still be there. Whatever excuse I am using to avoid my workout will still be there when the workout is done. Both the good and the bad. There will always be more wash to do, more toilets to scrub, more books to read, and more television to watch, so I can get to them when my run is over.
  5. Clear your head. Sometimes my head gets filled with the worries, challenges and burdens of my family, my job, and the stresses of everyday life. I know a good long run will do wonders to clear my head. I force myself to remember a clear head is like hitting my recharge button. Or even better? Refresh.

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