The thing that finally got you to start exercising?

The thing that finally got me to start exercising was my discovery of rock climbing. I’ve been doing it now for about five months. I’m not a very naturally muscular guy, but I’ve made improvements in strength and gotten better at the sport. Before this, I’d tried to get myself to exercise regularly but couldn’t do it.


Depression. Heard that running could help, so did c25k then carried on. Began cycling every day too and then added power vinyasa yoga twice a week. Not only do I enjoy the challenge and the burn - not to mention the endorphins - of physical exertion, but I now feel greasy and unpleasant if I don’t do one or two highly energetic things every day.

Depression, or the lack thereof.

The entire reason I became lazy and fat was due to severe depression. I was using my lack of exercise and weight gain as a form of passive suicide. Now that I’m over it, I’m getting back into shape, as I used to love being able to do things like dead lift 150lbs, or bench 180lbs, or do 100 push ups in a row.

I made a reservation, a year in advance, to hike across the Grand Canyon. Did a lot of biking the summer before to build up some endurance and lose weight. I still barely made it.

After a slow start this summer, I’ve picked up the habit again. Been trying to do twenty miles a day, lost about ten pounds so far.

Nothing yet, but I’m hoping.

When I was younger I was pretty active, ate fairly well, and worked out on a regular basis. I was pretty fit and had a good physique.

Fast-forward 10 years. I had an all consuming job and had no time to exercise, sleep properly, or eat properly. I had developed chronic heartburn, put on 40 lbs, and my GI tract was going nuts.

I went to the doctor and he said quite matter-of-factly that I was well on the road to “middle-aged fat guy”.

I was thinking, “What? Me? Middle-Aged Fat Guy? WHAT?” I thought about it for a moment and then I realized, “Holy Crap! I am! I’m turning into THAT GUY!!! ARRRGGHH!!”

So I freaked out and got a new, realistic, job, bought a mountain bike, rode the tires off of it, started eating properly and started living a more balanced life.

I’ve lost a lot of weight, the health problems are fading, and I’m getting my old form back.

For me, now, my health and personal well-being are far more important than money, social status, secondary achievements, etc. It’s the only way to go and I wouldn’t trade it for anything.

When I’m 70 or 80 I want to be able to actually, you know, do stuff.

Dragon boating. I’ve never done anything remotely athletic in my life, but I’m hooked on paddling sports now. My brother likes to tease me about having finally found a sport I can do sitting down, but he refuses to take me up on a challenge to paddle against each other in outrigger canoes!

Yeah, the key seems to be to find something you enjoy enough to make getting to do it the motivation rather than just getting exercise or to set a goal you really want to accomplish that involves physical training.

For me, it started out being desperate to improve my health enough to have a life and became dancing.

Coronary. Worked like a charm. Went through rehab and found I liked walking and working out.

A diabetes scare. One day I took my BG and saw it was 160. Abnormal, yes, and I noticed I was drinking 4-5 Mountain Dew Throwbacks a day. Up until that point, I had convinced myself that the only thing wrong with me was that I was overweight. Our daughter has type 1 diabetes, my husband has type 2, and I had gestational, which dramatically increases my risk of type 2. I didn’t want 3 out of four people in my family to have diabetes.


My third day in Iraq, I got put on the night shift. So I spent all afternoon sitting around. I realized the gym was right across the street and figured “I’m not going to come all this way without something to take home.” So I worked out every day and got really buff. I think I put on, like, 15 pounds of muscle.

Things that have gotten me to start exercising: Signed up for a road race. Hired a personal trainer.

Obviously, I didn’t continue, or I wouldn’t have needed a second thing, ever.

Headaches. When I started working in a small space instead of walking all over a hilly campus all day, I started getting horrible headaches. Turns out I need regular exercise or my body objects kind of loudly.

Simply seeing the number “160” on the bathroom scale (I’m 5’8") did it for me. I’ve spent most of my adult life in the mid-140’s and that looked like a huge number to me.

Health, mostly. I’ve been unhappy with my looks for a long time, but the combination of sleep apnea and joint paint have done a number on my quality of life, not to mention the high risk of diabetes. I’m fed up with feeling lousy all of the time. I’m only 25 and feel like I’m 70 sometimes. It’s ridiculous.

Two things really. The first was my mother-in-law coming to live with us. She has a ton of “deferred maintenance” health issues: high blood pressure, high cholesterol, high blood sugar, high BMI, and so on. Most of her problems were either caused or exacerbated by not taking care of herself by getting and following medical advice and in eating whatever she wants and not exercising at all.

My MIL is 20 years older than me, and although her health habits were worse than mine, they weren’t THAT much worse, so this was a real wakeup call for me. At the same time I was becoming frustrated that I couldn’t lose some excess weight by just walking, so I started running. I started slowly and gradually built up my fitness over 3 years so that I can easily run 4 miles at 6mph. I also started watching my diet a lot more and eating better food. Nothing big - I still eat stuff I shouldn’t, but at least I’m eating more of the stuff I should eat.

Once I started running I noticed such a huge improvement in pretty much everything: not only did I lose the 12 pounds I was trying to shed, but everything I do, from getting out of the car in a tight parking space to going up stairs, was significantly easier. I’m even more graceful, for pete’s sake - I dance better!

So now I’m so sold on the immediate benefits of regular exercise that I get really cranky if anything prevents me from going on my run.

My back hurt.

I somehow randomly hurt my back last October, out of the blue, to the point where I couldn’t sit, stand or walk properly for a couple days and then it took about a month to get back to normal.

Recently, my back has been achy when I wake up and after a day of sitting in the chair.

My SIL and my cousin’s wife both keep complaining about back pain and going to doctors, and when the doctors tell them to do exercise they just scoff and make more appointments with more doctors.

Anyway, I don’t want to be like them and I also don’t want a replay of last October, so I decided to go to the gym and work out my back. But I wanted to do it right so I got a trainer to make a good routine for me. And I figure while I’m there I might as well do some cardio too.

Now, I could stand to lose like 150 lbs and should just go to the gym because I’m fat, but I think of it as working on my back. And oh yeah, I am losing weight too.

Never exercised much in my life. I’ve been 40 pounds over weight for years and it never bothered me much… then I turned 40.

The second I turned 40 my shit just fell apart: prostate problems, lots of aches and pains, knee surgery, just generally feeling tired and shitty.

Apparently, living on Mountain Dew and Skittles and only getting 5 hours of sleep and never exercising might be bad for you but apparently you can get away with it if you are under 40. :slight_smile:

So last year, I cut down the caffeine to one diet drink in the morning. This results in me getting sleepy in the evening and I now get close to 8 hours sleep.

Also, realizing that I’m not a morning person and hitting the gym in the afternoon has allowed me to continue going to the gym for months now.

This year I’m working on my eating. I’m not a big fan of vegetables but I’m eating a ton of fruit.

I got better at it. Usually, when I start an exercise regimen, my body hurts and I give up. However, if I can get over that hump, my body responds well and I start kicking butt. My legs were hurting the past couple of months when I was walking my dog. However, I kept at it, now I’m doing a good 1-2 miles every day.