The thing that finally got you to start exercising?

Started enjoying hiking shortly after moving to Arizona. Then started enjoying “bagging peaks.” Just local stuff. First the two tallest peaks in the city, then the tallest peak in the metro area, then the tallest peak in the state, tallest in the eastern part of the state, tallest in the southern part of the state, etc etc. All of them were extremely tough for me because I was out of shape, had wet noodles for legs, and smoked cigarettes.

Finally my wife psyched herself up to do a triathlon, so on a total whim I said “I’ll do it with you” and I was committed. I quit smoking and did it, and realized I really really like cycling. For the last year or so I’ve been trying to convince myself that I like running, too. I’ve always enjoyed lifting weights, but never did it very consistently until the last 2 years or so. Swimming is fun but the only lap pool I have access to anymore costs 5 bucks and everything else I do is free, so . . .

Enlisting. Before that…and heck, even now…I hate exercising. I always feel good after PT, because it is good for me, but I’ve always hated getting up at the ass crack f dawn. And I’ve been doing it for 20 years. (Currently though I’ve been exempt from PT due to an injury.)

Had a midlife crisis at 40. Instead of cars and toyboys, I lost weight, stopped smoking, started exercising, went back to school.

Fast cars and toyboys would have been totally eaiser. I suck at having a midlife crisis! :smiley:

Quite possibly the best advice I ever got on this thread. :smiley:

The first occasion. I was playing Oblivion the RPG, on the Xbox360. This game requires you to ‘train’ your skill to improve them, so on that day I was summoning imps and then punching them to death to improve my stats.

As I kept doing it, I was annoyed by the time I need just to increase my Strength by 1. Then the irony struck me - here I am, putting in so much time, mashing the controller to improve my virtual character’s physical fitness, while I am doing nothing about my real body. So I said “Screw it”, shut down the console and went for a run. And again two days later.

My most recent routine of exercising was started because I needed a way to fight my depression, and to lose some weight. I was also having problems sleeping and anxiety issues.

What first made me think about the exercise + weight combo six years ago was a waitress asking me whether I wanted one or separate checks - when I was dining alone. Started half-heartedly cutting down on food and exercising more.

Some months later my father had a bad spot healthwise and my mother started the decline that was to end in her death four years later. Up to then I had only thought that I’d have to live on until my parents were dead because I couldn’t do that to them - seeing that my parents would not in fact live indefinitely made me take a hard look at my own life and set myself some goals.

Mammahomie came into some money and decided to take all four of us adult kids and our spouses on a Caribbean cruise. We were looking through the various cruise lines’ brochures, and a picture in the Disney brochure caught my eye. It was 4-5 men about my age playing basketball on the deck. I realized that, in my then-present shape, I wouldn’t be able to keep up with them for even a few seconds.

That was 75 pounds ago. :cool:

There’s a scary dog in our neighborhood that chases me around.

A good thing I don’t live in a neighborhood with a dog that’s scary to Giraffes.

Although I stopped exercising after a year, what motivated me to start in the first place was, geek that I am, watching Sasuke/Ninja Warrior on G4. It utterly shamed me to watch guys like Nagano Makoto put themselves through intense physical trials while I sat on my pudgy ass barely able to do a single pull-up.

I still have the desire to exercise and put on muscle, but I’m not at all inclined to return to a gym and my house needs a good deal of renovation and reorganization before I can think about home equipment.

In my case I’m not exactly sure. I think I finally decided that I wanted to change and I was going to work steadily until I did. I’d been unhappy with my weight and appearance for a number of years and during that time I tried dieting and exercise several times. Most were either pretty half-hearted or I wasn’t burning enough calories exercising to make a significant impact and wasn’t successfully watching my diet. For example, I bought an exercise bike that I used steadily for about 30 minutes 4x a week during the winter of 08. I may have lost 5 lbs that whole time.

My most successful attempt was probably when I did Couch to 5k for the first time a couple years ago and I only lost about 10 lbs which I slowly gained back over the next 2 years. I knew I needed to track my calories but I always found it incredibly tedious until I found My Plate at Finally I joined a gym in late Sept 09 and exercised pretty faithfully 4x a week in October. Imagine my surprise when according to my new scale I had gained 3 lbs! I finally got fed up and decided I was going to the gym 5 days a week and was going to faithfully track my calories. I mostly did elliptical work for the first 3 months then started branching out into doing the weight machines. In March I began C25k again and now I’m running 3 miles 3x a week and sometimes longer if it’s not too hot. I did 4.76 miles last Friday and I felt pretty good. I’m about 10 lbs from my goal weight and less than 2 lbs until I am not technically overweight anymore according to BMI. Can’t wait.

My weight ballooned up to 163 (I’m 5’5!) and I always figured I could lose it by eating right and exercising. But I never stayed with either very long until I broke my jaw.

With my jaw wired shut, nothing tasted good anymore. Not even ice cream. On less than 800 calories a day, I lost 30+ pounds in a month and I really, really didn’t want them back so I started slowly at the gym with 20 minutes on a stationary bike 3 times a week. That got boring very quickly, so I started adding in running. Before I lost the weight, running was very painful and 2 miles was all I could do. After, running was much easier and my miles quickly increased. As my endurance grew, so did the intensity of my workouts. I’ve just managed to keep it up since then with a lot of determination and the fear of gaining the weight back.

For me it was Jazzercise. My sister had been doing it for awhile and talked me into giving it a try and it just clicked with me–it was a lot of fun. Been going for over two years now, when I had never stuck to an exercise routine before for more than a few weeks.

The criteria that fit my circumstances? They provide childcare, and my daughter loves going as much as I do. (Son is still too little to care.) I get to interact with other women, of all shapes and sizes and ages, which is very good for my introverted, hide myself in the house tendencies. It’s a very non-judgmental atmosphere. I love dancing, and they use all the latest music hits. It’s variable–they change the routines often.

Look up a book called Never Gymless by Ross Enamait.

Nothing yet, but I’m stubborn. :slight_smile:

I’ll check it out, thanks.

I’ve been exercising on and off for years, never really getting anywhere but satisfying myself that I was exercising, so it must be doing something. Most of the time I wouldn’t even break a sweat. I’d look at myself in the mirror and while I could acknowledge that I was no Adonis, I figured for my age I looked pretty good.

Then one year the whole family (siblings/spouses/kids/grandparents) took a week-long vacation at the beach. After we got back, my brother sent around a bunch of pictures he had taken during the week.

I saw pictures of myself from angles that I never see when standing in front of the mirror, relaxed and not subconsciously sucking in my gut or posing, and I was pretty disgusted with what I saw. Note: if you’re looking for motivation to exercise and get in better shape (literally- the shape of your body/profile), have someone take a picture of yourself when you’re not expecting it, in a bathing suit.

Now, I’ve completely reconfigured my workout routine so that it kicks my ass every time. Whenever I feel like slacking off on my routine, I just keep thinking of myself in that picture.

One of these(in the middle, leaning on the tree). Not that exact one, but similar.