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What made you start *and stick to* doing exercise?

(50 Posts)
ThisShitIsBananas Sat 14-May-16 15:35:56

If you used to be a couch potato then please encourage me with tales and tips of how you started to incorporate regular exercise into your day or week. I'm desperate for some motivation! How did you wake up one day and that was the day that made you get up off the sofa and start, - and continue most importantly - exercising?

lightcola Sat 14-May-16 15:38:17

Watching with a lot of interest

JustLostTheGame Sat 14-May-16 15:40:08


I really need to find something i can stick at.

JemimaMuddledUp Sat 14-May-16 15:41:46

Finding the thing I really enjoyed. It took a lot of trying different things and hating them to get to this point though! Hated running, aerobics, zumba, spinning, tennis and the gym. Love swimming. In fact I love swimming enough to get up at 6am at weekends to go and do it. Job done!

PurpleWithRed Sat 14-May-16 15:44:13

Looking in the mirror made me start running (and stop eating so much), and I liked the idea of c25k - gentle start but a real sense of something to achieve, plus a gadget (iPhone app) - I am a sucker for a gadget. What kept me going was a wall chart - I was going to have rewards on it but I found that just getting to the next bit of C25K was enough of a reward. Once I could run 5k I felt heroic and smug and that's what keeps me going. Smugness. Not pretty, but it works for me.

ivykaty44 Sat 14-May-16 15:44:55

I don't want to be old and decrepit
I don't want to be diabetic
I don't want to have amputations
Go blind
I don't want CHD and all that goes with it

Being heathly by exercise will help prevent s lot of old age diseases that I don't want

quirkychick Sat 14-May-16 15:52:12

What Jemima said, find something you love to do. Try lots of different things and it might take a while to really enjoy something new. Is there something you've done in the past that you've enjoyed? Running, swimming, hiking, dancing...

Do it often enough so it becomes a habit, so you want to do it and don't over think it/talk yourself out of it. As Nike say, Just do it. To start with you have to deliberately choose to exercise, but once it's a habit it doesn't involve the same brainpower, so it just becomes something you do.

Find someone to do it with. I started the Yoga Camp on Jan 1st with lots of people on mn, so there was lots of online support and motivation. I am still doing yoga most mornings and am really loving it.

Exercise can be activity rather than "exercise" iyswim, so walking through the park etc.

ThisShitIsBananas Sat 14-May-16 16:39:26

To be perfectly honest I don't think I enjoy any of it. It all seems to take up a lot of faff and time. And I know that could just be an excuse that disappears once 'I'm in a routine' but I am a great one for starting but not sticking to things. I also expect instant results hmm then get disheartened when I don't see them!

FinalGirl Sat 14-May-16 17:00:42

For me the key to sticking with exercise was finding something that made me proud of what my body could do, rather than how it looked.

I used to go in cycles of attending the gym regularly for six months because I'd put on a bit of weight, hating it, losing the weight, stopping going, repeat. On one of those cycles I started spending more and more of my time running on the treadmill, then outside, then I entered a 5km...And six years on I haven't looked back. Running is part of my life now and it has completely changed how I feel about myself - before my attempts at exercise were always motivated by disliking how I looked, now wanting to keep pushing myself motivates me to stick at it. It's much more sustainable to be kind to yourself!

JemimaMuddledUp Sat 14-May-16 17:12:45

Ah, but you often don't love it when you start. It takes a few weeks of persevering to realise you do love it, unless you are very lucky. And your likes do change - I hated swimming as a child and teen and just avoided it in my 20s. In my 30s I fell in love with it. So don't write anything off.

mercifulTehlu Sat 14-May-16 17:34:10

Being diagnosed with dangerously high blood pressure after having dc2. It was pregnancy that kicked off the raised bp but I might never have had it if I hadn't been so overweight and unfit before and between my dc. I improved my diet, took up running and lost about 3 stone. Bp is pretty much normal these days, I've stuck at running for 7 years now and am fitter and healthier than I've ever been as an adult and slimmer than I'd been since university (I'm 44). I still don't always love running, and I have lapses where I do very little for a month or two, but I never quit altogether and always build back up to running more frequently. The hardest bit is getting myself out of the door. Once I'm out there, although there are bits where I think "Oof this is hard. Why am I doing this", I never ever regret going out for a run and always feel great afterwards (and often even during grin).

mercifulTehlu Sat 14-May-16 17:36:45

Oh and I'm mostly shit at sticking to things. Signing up for the Race For Life and then a few 10k races and doing Parkrun really kept me at it. I'm still kind of amazed I've stuck at it though!

Runningupthathill82 Sat 14-May-16 17:42:54

Signed up to a 10k race and started a beginners 10k training plan. I was so unfit that I was dizzy and sick after running for only two minutes blush
By the time of the race, I was hooked. That was almost 10 years ago. Now I've run half and full marathons, and train at least four times a week.
I was back running within a few days of having my second baby and did my first postnatal race when she was 10 weeks old. It really is part of my life now...whereas when I was 25 I literally could not run for a bus without gasping for breath.

whensitmyturn Sat 14-May-16 17:43:15

It was when I found Taekwondo for me.

I'd tried the gym, fitness classes, couch to 5k, Zumba, swimming. Some of which I enjoyed but I just never stuck to.

I tried a ladies only class at first and saw a lady with black belt who must be easily a size 24 and felt so inspired. I love it, our taekwondo training centre has classes every night so u can change your going pattern to fit your life. You also work towards something as you work your way up a belt which keeps me focused and everyone is so encouraging and patient it's been brilliant, I've been going just over a year and have done 3 gradings. I also have competed regionally and come away with silver medals. Can't recommend it enough.

useyourimagination Sat 14-May-16 17:47:53

For me it was finding something that DH and I both enjoy. We joined a gym with a fab pool and we swim together twice a week, sometimes more. I try and go more often but doesn't always happen.

He works hard, long hours so this is a chance for us to spend time together without falling asleep on the sofa.

TrainBridge Sat 14-May-16 17:52:15

Couch to 5k, because I could see the progress. Now I've finished it, Map My Run because (you've guessed it) I can see progress (getting faster, going further). I'm a sucker for some nice data to analyse...

Oh, and there's a class that I keep going to because the guy who runs it is just so nice

LordPeterWimsey Sat 14-May-16 17:53:10

Turning 40 made the difference for me. I hate exercise. I have always hated exercise. But I accept that I need to do some if I'm not going to be a frail old lady. So I grit my teeth and do a Jillian MIchaels DVD every weekday morning before getting ready for work. I hate every fucking minute of it, but feel pleased with myself when I've done it.

BUT it has now become a habit. After the first few weeks, I'd managed to build it into my routine, so I just don't think too hard about it: I crawl out of bed and get on with it. For me, accepting that I'm never going to love it, any more than I love brushing my teeth, was important in enabling me to view it as being just as essential as brushing my teeth.

BIWI Sat 14-May-16 17:56:50

A serious need to lose weight. I'd had a bit of a gym habit but had completely got out of the habit. In the end, as well as committing to a diet properly, I invested in a personal trainer. It was the best thing I ever did. Over three years later I still train with him, twice a week.

wiltingfast Sat 14-May-16 17:58:35

I dislike planned exercise.

I plodded along for a few years with a gym but really.

I don't even like an aimless walk. BUT I don't mind walking to get somewhere.

So, answer was to incorporate a walk to work. 20m morning and night at least 4 times a week. Sorted. smile

You need exercise but I don't think you need massive amounts. A little does wonders.

MrsMook Sat 14-May-16 18:05:34

I don't sleep if I don't exercise. I start getting restless at night.

My dad died of a heart attack at 53. I want to be healthy. I also want to optimise my bone density to reduce the risk of arthritis that several generations of my family have had.

I want to keep to the same clothes size without having a punative diet.

I've done a mix of things over the years. I've stuck with running/ circuits for a few years now. I like the results. I also like the way that running is very flexible and measurable. I normally have an event to aim for.

BIWI Sat 14-May-16 18:12:51

And the other thing was, realising that in my early 50s, I was getting very inflexible. I was finding that if I bent down - to put something in the washing machine, for example - that I was finding it hard to get back up again!

It's about my longer term health now, as well as enjoying the feeling of being fit. I want to be fit and healthy to enjoy my later years.

Bessiebigpants Sat 14-May-16 18:17:27

I started at the gym on cross trainer running machine etc.I set small achievable goals each week until I reached 5 k.Pinterest for motivation and I've joined a ladies running group.This is the best ever we all big each other up but never quit or allow anyone to quit either.Worked for me I've run 11k today with an injury and feel great.

CelticPromise Sat 14-May-16 18:18:48

Just pushing on. I used to play a team sport I loved and started running to keep me fit for it. It took me about two years to love running but now I can't do without it. Also I stopped thinking I might run, and started getting up and putting my kit on. I don't give myself the option and that helps.

kiki22 Sat 14-May-16 18:21:59

I wanted to be fit for my son, I wanted to look good for dp and wanted to feel good for myself.

Find something you love and go unless you are ill or injured commit 100% no days off no next week and before you know it you will need it.

I also have loads of motivational pictures on my phone in going to attach some. I used to be actively inactive avoided exercise like the plague now I cant imagine life without it

DrHarleenFrancesQuinzel Sat 14-May-16 18:22:10

I tried to take up running 3 times. I failed 3 times. Then I was pregnant with DC3 who was due in Sept. It was March at this point and I was walking DC1 to school on a lovely sunny morning. It was the start of spring and I really fancied taking up running again. As I was pregnant I knew that it wasnt a good idea so I made a promise to myself. As she was due in Sept I would get winter out of the way and in March I would have a 4th attempt.

After looking on here I discovered C25K and the threads on here so I joined also by that time we had also moved to a new area and because of that I obviously didnt really know anyone. Saw a notice in the local doctors surgery advertising a running club which was starting a beginners group so I joined that too. Gave up C25K in week 7 and just stuck with the club.

That was 4 years ago. I have another 10K tomorrow. Im looking forward to the great north run in 4 months and get up half 5 twice a week to go for a 4 or 5 mile run before the rest of the family get up.

Im planning on adding weight training to my running too as my next goal is to become strong. I have the stamina, but not the strength which I desire so much. Just saving up for a couple of PT sessions so I know what Im doing. I dont trust myself to hold them right even with youtube videos.

The thing that keeps me going is knowing that if I dont go for that run I will only regret not going I will not regret going. These next few months are going to go by whether I run or not so I might as well do it. Same with the weights. If I start now imagine how much better I can be in 3/6/12 months time.

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