Exercise is vital for achieving optimal health. For some, the gym is the place where it all happens: cardio, strength, yoga classes; you name it. There are endless offerings for folks who want to hit the gym and get their blood pumping. For others, going to the gym might not be such a good fit. For some, other options are more appealing. The world of exercise is a huge one. For some, more expressive forms of movement can be a better fit. Dance is an excellent option for more expressive people who want an emotive way of exercising. Everyone is motivated differently, and we all have different interests and comfort levels when it comes to working out. For folks raised in active homes, exercise can happen more easily. For those of us who don’t have such a long history with routine exercise, there can be challenges. Some of the biggest are making time for keeping yourself in shape and investing financial in proper equipment, gym memberships, sports, leagues, footwear, etc… can add up. The biggest challenge is often the psychological end of getting going.

So, what motivates us to get up and get moving and how is this sustainable? The answer is complex. The most important thing to remember is that motivation is the key. So, treat yourself well before, during, and after your workout or exercise class. Try something and if it’s not a good fit, try something else! We can tend to be hard on ourselves through making comparisons, striving to do better rather than celebrating our successes, or setting unrealistic expectations.

Keep it positive when it comes to keeping it moving. Mindfully exercise, feeling your body as it moves, and find the joy that accompanies movement and strength building. Your body really is releasing endorphins, enjoy the natural high that comes with moving your body. Set small goals and reset them frequently. Make sure you give yourself a little reward. The reward could be anything: a post-workout kombucha, a new pair of sneakers, a manicure, or a trip to the movies. You decide what feels right. It’s a good idea to try to reward yourself with experiences. If you opt to reward yourself with food, try to keep it healthy (at least most of the time)!

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