Motivation to Exercise (Here’s the Secret Ingredient)

by Annie on August 13, 2010 · 6 comments

in Exercise & Injuries,Healthy Living

During our annual camping trip with a group of friends, one family brought a projector, projector screen, and laptop.  So every night while making smores, we watched a movie under the sky.  One night we watched Kung Fu Panda.  I don’t like Jack Black too much so I never felt the desire to watch Kung Fu Panda.

One of the themes of the movie is about the secret ingredient in the noodle soup that Po’s dad sells at the family restaurant.  Throughout the beginning of Kung Fu Panda, his father, Mr. Ping, keeps hinting that Po’s is “almost ready to be entrusted with the secret ingredient of my secret ingredient soup.”

Finally during the scene when the villagers started evacuating the valley, Mr. Ping revealed the secret to Po:

Mr. Ping:  The secret ingredient is… nothing!
Po:  Huh?
Mr. Ping:  You heard me. Nothing! There is no secret ingredient.
Po:  Wait, wait… it’s just plain old noodle soup? You don’t add some kind of special sauce or something?
Mr. Ping:  Don’t have to. To make something special you just have to believe it’s special.
Po:  There is no secret ingredient…

If you followed my rambling so far, you must be wondering what does Kung Fu Panda has to do with the motivation to exercise.  My grasshoppers, the secret to finding motivation to exercise is all within you.  There is no secret.  If you truly believe in the benefits of exercise, you will find all the motivation you need to exercise within you.  There is no mystical secret ingredient.

My motivation to exercise

I have to admit that in my 20s, my motivation to exercise is for weight loss.  Let me tell you, I probably would have lost weight faster from cutting out my junk food than from just exercising alone.  If you want to lose weight quickly, then fix your diet first.

My motivation to exercise now has more to do with my quality of life than being able to wear a certain size pants.  I truly believe that regular exercise conditions my body to handle stress symptoms better, manage residual pain from my car accident, and improve my mood.  As I get older, these exercise benefits become more important to me than fitting into the pants I wore in college.  Besides, those college pants are probably out of style by now.  :D

Whatever motivation you need to start exercising regularly is within you.  There is no secret ingredient.  No one can tell you how to continue to exercise.  You just need to listen to your body.  And I can guarantee that if you exercise regularly for a while and then stop, your body will notice the different.

As for Kung Fu Panda, it is pretty entertaining.  Actually I was entertaining to the other adults.  Apparently I still laugh a little too loudly in a crowd.  I seriously thought I’ve outgrown that.

Until next time and thanks for stopping by Small Steps to Health.

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{ 6 comments… read them below or add one }

Dr. J August 16, 2010 at 8:45 am

My current column is about motivation. Funny how common threads run through these blogs.

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asithi August 16, 2010 at 9:57 am

Dr J – maybe we are both tapping to the same source for writing inspiration. I have been meaning to write this post since last month after our annual camping trip. It just took me this long thinking about it before finally putting words to paper.

Reply

julie August 20, 2010 at 6:44 am

I started exercising for weight loss, stick with it for mental health benefits mostly, but also for flexibility and strength and resilience. Weight loss is better achieved by dietary changes, but it makes me happier to not have to be so strict with food. If I didn’t exercise, I”d likely have to be one of those 1200 cals/day people, and that would be no way to live. Not to mention depressed and neurotic….

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asithi August 23, 2010 at 5:06 pm

Julie – I seek the same benefits for exercise. With regular exercise there is more wiggle room in my diet for treats without feeling guilty about the calories. Thanks for the comment

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Lertno December 3, 2010 at 12:17 am

You can always find something to motivate you. The trick is to just change your motivation when it starts to get stale. Just like changing or updating your goals as you go along in life.

Reply

asithi December 5, 2010 at 2:28 pm

@Lertno – Well said. Motivation is like the lapping ocean along a beach. It just depends what is going on in your life at the moment whether or not you have the strength to accomplish your goals. Thanks for taking the time to leave a comment.

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