Why Give a Damn:

If you ask a room of one hundred people if exercise is good for you, one hundred people will say yes. If you ask how many people in the room exercise regularly only twenty people will raise their hands. Sitting may be fabulous, but it will kill you. Here’s help.

The author of this post, Ann Garvin is an author, speaker and professor of health, stress management, research methods and media literacy.

Hi, my name is Ann Garvin and I’m an exercise physiologist who would like to sit more. All reply; “Hi Ann, me too.”

I look in the mirror naked-
(have antidepressants handy).

If you ask a room of one hundred people if exercise is good for you, one hundred people will say yes. If you ask how many people in the room exercise for thirty-minutes three days a week only twenty people or less will raise their hands. I’m not alone in my desire to sit more. Sitting still is kind of fabulous. You can do anything you want while sitting; watch TV, eat, drive, make love, sort the laundry. It’s amazing the sitting. But, it will also kill you. Slowly, over time and just when life is getting good; the kids are growing, your business is flourishing, your house is paid off, you know who you are.

I just read my list.
I sound like a lunatic.

I have been regularly exercising for thirty-six years but I bet I have a lot in common with those who struggle with fitting exercise into the lives. My dad was a reader not a thrower. He didn’t watch sports, never threw the ball for us growing up, and did not encourage us to join basketball. When we moved from the east coast to the midwest, we entered a town consumed by athletics and I came to exercise through the admiration of athletes. My God, their bodies! Such beautiful sinew and grace, I wanted to be them. And, I’ve been mimicking, studying, teaching athletes, real athletes for thirty-six years.

When you’re not a natural athlete, when exercise isn’t your food, when you’re a reader, educator, writer, scientist, you have to join the other non-athletes of the population and try to fit exercise into your life. Every. Single. Day. How do I do it? I cheat. I’m a cheater. I’m a sneak. Spoiler Alert-some of these suggestions you will roll your eyes at and say, “I’m not doing that.” I get it.

I’m not alone in my desire to sit more.

Ready? I make it non-negotiable, I do it when I have the most energy (in the morning, after coffee, before my only shower of the day). I go to bed at night with my exercise clothes on. I call vacuuming exercise and I fired my cleaning person. I have a treadmill desk, a podium desk, and I never, ever sit when I’m teaching. I make my friends, kids, students walk with me in between other activities. I got a dog. I got another dog. I put a treadmill and weight machine in my basement. I volunteer at a fitness club so that I get in free. I wear a Fitbit pedometer that acts like a naggy toddler reminding me that I haven’t walked enough. I look in the mirror naked (have antidepressants handy). I get paid to teach others exercise. I bought a house with a lot of stairs. I watch Breaking Bad on my cell phone when I’m walking my dog. I did triathlons with my brother when I was younger and now realize you don’t have to be that fit, now when he does the Tough Mudder I rake the leaves, run on the treadmill and do pushups during commercials (no I don’t-not really but it’s a good idea). I rent or stream a movie and do not allow myself to watch it unless I am on the treadmill.

How do I do it? I cheat. I’m a cheater.

I just read my list. I sound like a lunatic. But I will say this one last thing. I don’t want to exercise every day any more than you do, but as an exercise physiologist I know this; it will save your life and it will save your mood. It has no negative side effects and if you want to hold your children’s children, continue to save the world, be all that you can be, there isn’t anything better. So get a good, comfortable bra, go to bed and tomorrow cheat your way to a life of less sitting.

About the author

Ann Garvin

Ann Garvin

Ann is an author, speaker and educator. As professor of health, stress management, research methods and media literacy at University of Wisconsin Whitewater, she has worked extensively in psychometrics, statistics and psychology. Ann is the author of On Maggie’s Watch & The Dog Year (Berkley Penguin, 2014).

  • Ann Wertz Garvin

    What do you do that helps you stay motivated to exercise?

  • I take all my meetings (literally, about 90% of them) while walking my dog – anywhere from 2 – 10 miles of walking a day. I stretch when I brush my teeth (weird, I know). I don’t watch TV (makes it easier =), And I do push to get at least 30 minutes of hard exercise in a day (no matter what).

  • awatwa

    Totally, there should be no excuse when it comes to make our lives healthier, stronger, and a little bit longer. We should take every chance we get to do exercise, just like we could always find a chance to sit.

  • TallPaul14

    I recently have started trying to do what you do Anne, exercising more throughout the week, and finding little activities that I can do instead of sitting. Running and walking on a treadmill thirty minutes a day isn’t as hard when I’m reading or watching a movie, or doing something I enjoy whilst doing exercise. I think my biggest motivator is listening to new music albums while running or walking, because then I won’t let myself stop until the album is finished.

  • Ann Wertz Garvin

    I love hearing what others do so I don’t feel so obsessed about my own behaviors! I floss in my car (not exercise but still health behavior 🙂

  • Ann Wertz Garvin

    Perfect. I think it has to built in, don’t you?

  • Michelle Spruch

    Thanks for the post, Ann! I totally agree and have been “cheating” for a while – it’s easy to count running errands as exercise when you don’t have access to a car on campus.

  • thangha

    I do not exercise regularly or I do not see exercise is part of my life. I have a lot of free time, however, I do not how to spend them correctly. That is why I did not have time for exercising. This is just hard to spend one hour a day to do exercise. After the article, I realize we can combine exercising with something else. We should create any possible chance to exercise and doing something else together at the same time. Thanks Ann about the helpful article.

  • kabbasuf

    I have exercised on and off for the past 12 years. It has been mostly off to tell you the truth. Half the battle is going to the gym, and once I get their I get destructed often times, and then it becomes boring. So I go to the steam room, sweat and drink lots of fluids and justify it as being tantamount to exercising. Last time I was at the gym was 9 months ago. However, I do try to stay active as much as I can. For example instead of catching a bus from Seattle downtown to Seattle University, I just walk up the hill with a back pack heavy with textbooks. I can feel myself get in better shape as each day goes by. The problem is during breaks, this routine is broken. And then I have to start all over again when the quarter begins (I detest that part). Exercising sounds good, but it is definitely not that easy with so many other things going on.

  • Shih Chi Tseng

    I do not think it is cheating. You just change the ways of doing thing. It is good when we use different way to look at one thing. This is because we may get used to it and like it.

  • cynthiapryor

    I teach and take yoga regularly. Having another encourage me throughout a workout helps a lot. Also, I love that I can constantly feel progress in my body during every session. I mix up my classes and teachers so I always get something different. This way I never get bored.

  • milburnkatie

    I used to do pilates every day, I even have my pilates calendar as the background picture on my computer. Along with that, I had a Pitbull/Great Dane that almost needed more exercise than I did every day. Since I stopped doing pilates and my ex took the dog, I feel groggy and tired every day. My mood is never high and I am always tired. I have noticed first hand the difference exercise can make in my life and this is why I am so motivated to get going again.

  • susantok

    Walking is the best exercise for me. I used to live in Singapore for 3 years where most of the people travel with public transportation. We walk from each bus stop to another and from each train station to another train station. At first, it is very tiring, but when you get used to it, it would be just a part of your life.

  • Stephen Chandra Owen

    I like to play many form of sports such as basketball and soccer. I feel that we need to exercise regularly and after every time I exercise, I always feel fresher. I always imagine that the stress and toxic from my body flows out together with my sweat.

  • hem1

    Ann, I can definitely relate to this article. We all know that exercise is very important and beneficial to our lives but the hardest part is not exercising itself, but its to make the first step to BEGIN exercising(well, for me personally). I am going to try more ways to kind of force myself to get up and take those steps. Great read!

  • omholtj

    The greatest take away from this article is that it’s not just in a gym that you can get exercise in. Activity of all sorts counts and it’s important not to get down on yourself for not making it to the gym every day. As long as you’re up and moving around, you are doing a heck of a lot better than the people sitting on the couch. Now that I have given myself and all of you this little pep talk, it’s off to the gym I go..

  • Cassie135

    Ann, great post! I think it is very important to regularly exercise and I definitely notice a difference in my mood when I have been exercising. Your list of suggestions did not sound crazy at all to me, I have done a lot of them and will probably end up trying most of them eventually. The one that works for me is finding a tv show that you love and only allowing yourself to watch it if you on the treadmill running. Also, getting my workout out of the way in the morning definitely helps! I don’t have nearly enough energy in the evening.

  • ohtanim

    I too try implement little spurs of physical activity in my busy day since I don’t have the time anymore to go for daily runs. Whether it is going for a walk with my director for our one on ones, standing in meetings versus sitting, or even the silliest of things such as running in place or doing ab workouts with my roommate as we catch up on our busy lives. The little things add up

  • Sammaritano

    Ann, your method of practical exercise seems great! Smart call fitting exercise into your daily life, but don’t you feel as though you’re not getting a “real” workout by not actually committing a chunk of your day towards cardio, stretching, weightlifting, etc.? Sure you’re busy, but like you said, exercise is a life-saver; so wouldn’t you want to work on the quality of your workout?

  • tayler_schroeder

    I love this and find it so true and helpful even at a younger age. I’m only 21 and I notice differences in myself from when I exercise daily to when I don’t exercise for a few weeks. What keeps me motivated is a few simple rules a soccer coach made for my team during an off season: 1. Never go 3 days without exercise. 2. Exercise atleast 3 times a week. 3. Never miss a Monday. And 4. Sweat atleast once a day. Overall, I think it’s important to create a lifestyle that you can live with.

  • Jazmine Williams

    After reading this article I felt as if I too needed to ” cheat” more often! This article proves that there really is no excuse not to exercise on a daily or even every other day basis. Although exercise is being promoted far more than it was in the past I still believe people still don’t understand how simple it can truly be( like all the activities’ Ann listed)….thank you for making that more apparent!

  • greatelk

    I feel like I need to do some of the things mentioned haha. I always tell myself that I’ll do some sort of exercise “tomorrow” of that I’ll start being healthier, but it never really happens. Thanks for the burst of motivation, Ann!

  • Alexanderia Horton

    And I’m sitting here writing this comment. I love how you phrase this. Exercise is ANY time you get up and go. Many people think that is is too hard to start exercising but it’s simple when you frame it like this. I think I will be starting to take a walk while watching my shows on Netflix. Great idea!

  • Hanna Boyd

    The biggest motivation for me is seeing how much occurs progress occurs within my own life when I successfully weave exercise throughout it. I feel so much more present when doing anything from being with friends/family to working. For me, blocking out the hour in my day to sweat means I am able to accomplish more in all of the others.

  • hanj5

    Thinking about going to the gym is the worst but I simply remind myself how good it feels once I start to sweat at the gym. I just got back from the gym and I feels absolutely amazing. I recently started to work out 5 times a week and have noticed that I am in much better mood. I feel more energized mentally after working out. I also find it a great way to relieve stress.

  • I am a firm believer in proper nutrition and exercise! Obesity is a huge problem in the US that really should not exist. I am from Hawaii and would usually get in my exercise through dawn patrol (early morning surf). It’s great to watch the sunrise in the ocean or just swim through calm waves. Being in Seattle is a huge change, I don’t have a temperature appropriate body of water to jump into. So I’ve been snowboarding on the weekends and recently picked up boxing! I stay motivated to exercise by my friends. If my roommate was not by my side escorting me to the gym almost every day I probably wouldn’t go as often as I do.

  • Brian Tanudjaja

    Nice article! Thanks for reminding us the importance of exercise. During my years on Junior High until Senior High School, I used to be very active and plays a lot of sport. I have joined my school’s basketball team, go to the gym at least 3 times a week, and go swimming three times a week. However, after I came to the States to continue my education, I have become a very non-athletic person. I only come to the gym once or twice a month and can’t stand the boredom of running in the treadmill machine. The only exercise that I get everyday was walking from the school’s parking lot to my class. However, recently I find out that I really like hiking and I try to go hiking twice a month. I think that it is a very good exercise and I really enjoy doing it. I guess that’s kind of my kind of my cheating method. Thanks again for the great article and the tips!

  • Liemd

    I see this as more like “move your body whenever you can”. I do not like exercising, but i move alot. I walk and clean up my house often. After reading your article, I am considering to find more ways where I can move more in between my activities everyday! Thanks.

  • SamanthaSesnon

    It is nice to hear about an exercise professional who is not totally fanatical about the activity and does not make others feel terrible if they are having trouble. I think this idea of incorperating exercise into daily activities is awesome. I always try to park at the far end of parking lots so I can walk a few more steps a day, or take the stairs instead of the elevator. Definitely some great tips in here.

  • mcniffm

    I was an athlete all growing up, played soccer and softball since I was 5 and until I graduated high school. It was just a part of my life to exercise but I do need to make more of an effort and it’s hard at times to get motivated. I want to workout more and I always feel better after. Interesting to have a treadmill at the desk that’s committed! Plus dogs always help you to get outside.

  • Ann Wertz Garvin

    I did Olympic distance triathlons for years and I can still do mostly what I did then, If you work smart you don’t need a huge chunk. I run hard when I run, I lift hard when I life. Wanna race?

  • Ann Wertz Garvin

    A little builds like pennies in the bank. So many think you have to kill yourself to get fit. I always say, you don’t have to be super fit, just healthy fit. It’s saves your joints too.

  • Ann Wertz Garvin

    I’m glad this spoke to you.

  • Ann Wertz Garvin

    These comments are awesome! Remember I’m not saying a little movement is enough, what I’m really saying is don’t sit!! 🙂

  • IndartoEpriladinata

    I agree that health is important. I will try to spare my time to exercise at
    least for thirty-minutes three days a week. Indeed, I used to exercise a lot
    when I was in my country such as swimming, play tennis and soccer. However,
    since I have been studying abroad I become less active in sports.

  • cordierm

    This was really insightful. It makes a lot of sense to make the most of your time by including at least some type of physical activity into regular activities. I have found that moving around or standing during the work day not only counts as physical activity but also helps my focus

  • jrmsmlbg

    Great article on reminding readers that exercise doesn’t always require weightlifting and ellipticals. I know in the past I’ve also had the problem of fitting exercise into my busy life balance, but with the importance of a balanced healthy life, I have wanted to turn that around. All it took was focus, and finding different ways (healthier ways) to do my everyday tasks. Examples include: Parking farther away at the mall rather than driving around aimlessly looking for front row parking., Taking the stairs everywhere I go rather than using escalators and elevators, and Standing rather than sitting at work. This is clearly when cheating is accepted!

  • chrinsmas

    I’ve always felt guilty not being at gym. I tried crossfit, yoga and regular gym, but all of them were boring or needed to commit so much time I don’t have for. Now, I realized I have been exercising daily. every. single. day. I have two dogs that walk them 2 or 3 times a day. They have so much energy to burn that I had to walk for 20 minutes at least. I was a cheater. and I will contiuniously be a cheater for exercise!

  • anp042

    Good to know people are staying fit. I’ve always enjoyed physical activities and have been an athlete for the majority of my life. On behalf of my experience, I always feel good after exercise. Sometimes, getting the motivation to actually get up and go is tough, but I’ve never regretted exercise after the fact. I can’t say the same about the other way around.

  • Sammaritano

    Oh ok, gotcha! And depends on this distance 😉

  • Ann Wertz Garvin

    I was kidding about the race…you’d kick my butt, I bet.

  • nguyenb7

    to me, making self-commitments constantly is always a priority because I am just so lazy. However, all the efforts I spent regulating my habits and routines are usually not working as supposed to. But I found out that no matter what you do, the ultimate method to make yourself more engaged is to find a partner. In your case, I believe having 2 dogs and volunteering at the fitness center play the similar role. Thanks for the article.

  • codename3891

    Your post is definitely helpful, and I like the way you “cheat”. It usually needs many kinds of equipment for doing workout at home or going to the gym, and you just show us the CHEAPEST, the most CONVENIENT way to exercise either you’re at work or at home. I go to the gym quite regularly, usually 2 days per week and I realize that exercise also refreshes my mind. It’s really helpful because while I get stuck with homework, all I need to do is just taking a walk.

  • layj

    This inspired me to somehow “cheat” too. The hardest part about exercising is getting off your chair and walk to the gym, but once you started, you just can’t get enough. I always feel like if I go to the gym and don’t sweat, then I’m just wasting my time. However, I often lack motivation. Getting off the couch isn’t easy. Walking to the gym is even harder. That’s why after reading this article, I just realized that there are just so many things that I could do to burn some calories without visiting the gym! Go multitaskers!

  • ignatius epriladinata

    This article is a great reminder for all of us to do
    an exercise routinely at least thirty minutes three days a week. I believe everyone
    of us can make a thousand reasons for not doing the exercise regularly;
    however, deep inside our heart we know that we still have time to do an
    exercise. The only thing that makes us different from those of them who do it
    regularly is that they have desire to do the exercise; while, we don’t. We can
    actually get up more early in the morning to do the exercise, but we choose not
    to do it because of many reasons.

  • bmdillon

    This article has made me feel a lot better about my exercise routine. I don’t have the time to get to the gym every day, but that doesn’t make me an inactive person. I am walking, playing soccer, dancing, and chasing little kids around. I do need to get to the gym more, but activity at its base is great!

  • Sara Sanchez

    I like the connotation of “cheating” in reference of
    physical health. I use to think that physical health was meant to be done in a
    gym. However, by simply always moving and not sitting, it cheats me to think that
    I am not “working out”. For that reason, I “cheat” myself in exercising by
    doing fun activities: playing soccer or tennis, and walking to class every day.
    The fun activities distract me that I am working out. This is a great message
    to send to people that do not necessarily want to go to the gym because it is
    boring, and would rather do something more fun and social.

  • jsuuu

    This article really reminds me to keep exercising. I broke my ankle last summer, and it has become my excuse to stay lazy, even though I have fully recovered.

  • nornesa

    “I make it non-negotiable” was the statement that
    resonated with me the most because I’ve struggled my entire life to find a
    healthy balance between good eating and regular exercise. I’ve let too many excuses get in the
    way. If I make it non-negotiable almost
    in the same way that breathing is non-negotiable, then it should become
    second-nature where thought and analysis do not enter into it—it’s just a matter
    of DO, so get moving.

  • goanthony

    I believe that everyone should have their own goals and vision. However, their vision will be succeed if only they act on it. If there are no actions to anything planned, their vision will not be happening

  • nguye107

    This article is just perfect for me since I alway struggle to fit exercises into my busy daily schedule. Thanks to your idea of “cheating exercise”, I can feel less guilty not going to the gym regularly. I realize that I do actually exercise every day by walking around campus, doing chores, and taking my dogs for a walk.

  • Jane Park

    I like to eat my bowl of cereal/ sandwich/ a-meal-that-doesn’t require-a-fork-and-knife while standing up and putting things away/ cleaning. It’s a really simple thing, but I like to think that I am being doubly productive by accomplishing a small task instead of simply sitting down and eating! 🙂

  • byrnesbk24

    I don’t think that these things are necessarily “cheating”, its more like being innovative or efficient with exercise and looking at exercise in different ways. I hope that people don’t think they need to get to a “gym” to exercise. If I wake up from a night out dancing, and my legs are swore, hey I consider that exercise. (even though I may also have a headache and smell bad, but oh well). If I work up a sweat from vacuuming, sweeping or moping then I’ve killed two birds with one stone. I’m not saying that I don’t get to the gym because I sure do my fair share of “constantly varied, high intensity, functional movement” (look up Crossfit for more info) but I also consider sports, walking my dog and my love of dancing to keep to be exercise and you should to. Its helpful to know that their are other ways to get your exercise in!!!

  • duongh1

    Those are very interesting methods to make ourselves exercise everyday. I cheat myself to exercise too. I’m always talking to myself before each exercise that I’m just going to exercise for 5 minutes. Then after 5 minutes, my body feels better and I’d continue exercising for another 15 minutes.

  • Keiichi

    I think it depends on how individual consider that going to a gym is cheating or not. some of people can be satisfied with their lifestyle, and some of them are not. It becomes one of the message how you motivate with your life.

  • benbl

    I do exercise a lot, at least 4 times a week. What keep me going is going to the gym with my friends. I have a hard training alone. I like to be surrounded by other people that are doing the same things, it motivates me and they are always pushing me to get better. Also the routine, it is hard to start training your body is soar for days and you don’t feel like to go, but if you start getting to it everyday it become normal to go just like drinking your coffee every morning.

  • WolfgramKA06

    I loved this article because it reminds me of how I motivate myself to workout, and we do have some things in common. Whenever I feel like watching a movie or t.v. show, I make sure to jump rope in the basement while watching. I also believe that walking while multitasking is the best way to sneak it exercise. I have convinced my parents that walking and jogging together let’s us spend good quality time together while getting in a workout. My question to you is, do most companies allow you to stand at a podium or tall desk at work? I wish they did, but I would feel very silly being the only one standing in an office. It’s sad that most offices do not have that option.

  • Zach Perkins

    There are some really good ideas in here! There is no doubt that the general population can benefit from being as active as possible in a realistic manner. The funny thing is, I actually try to sit as often as possible. However, I am a competitive olympic weightlifter and typically train 6 days a week, typically 2 hours/day. Between this and coaching, my legs are in use a whole lot, and I need as much rest as possible. So, in my downtime I try to sit as much as I can and relax (which is hard given because I feel like I’m ADHD) to recover my legs for my next workout. BUT, I realize that most of us don’t compete in the sport of weightlifting. I totally agree that most of us are simply lazy and need to stand up and move more!

  • weidmankl15

    I created a motivation board that I look at every day. It consists of strong-bodied women, health tips, healthy foods, and so many other things that remind me to live a healthy life every day. Does it work when I am tempted to eat a whole row of Oreos? No. But it does help in some areas, like when I am having a bad day and I need a pick-me-up, I look at my board and remind myself that “I am beautiful” or whichever quote fits the mood. When it comes to staying active, I am proud to say that I do workout a lot, but I also lose the motivation pretty fast. My freshman year in college, I got a job at the University Fitness Center. Watching others workout made me want to workout! Sure enough, after 1 whole semester, my motivation was at an all time high and I was in really good shape. The next semester I got a job on the PR team that helped motivate others to stay healthy and fit on campus. That also helped me keep health and fitness in my mind at all times. Lastly, I recently got a job as a Group Fitness Instructor and that really has forced me to stay motivated. I mean, think about it, you don’t want to have an out-of-shape fitness instructor. The moral of the story is, I didn’t buy a dog and I don’t wear a “naggy toddle” on my hip but I purposely applied and received positions of employment that would keep me motivated. The best part about it is that I get paid!

  • GrycowskAJ17

    I know that for many people that are not natural athletes it is a lot harder for them to exercise. I have always been involved in sports so I feel much more confident to exercise. I enjoy doing it but still don’t get to exercise everyday. I couldn’t imagine never wanting to and being required to find a way. I would say the most important thing I got out if this message was to find a way to enjoy being healthy and exercise. It will show a greater benefit.

  • Anthony Urbanski

    This article is full of great ideas. It think most of them are practical and can be done by everyone. For me exercise is all about habit. Everyone tries to get into working out, they get really excited and motivated for about two weeks. But to stick with it you must make it a routine something you can do everyday. Don’t pick an unreachable goal just do the little things mentioned in the article.

  • kristinwagner32

    I LOVE your enthusiasm and straight truth about not exercising and what it will do to your body. After reading this article it gives me such motivation to do even MORE than I already do. I do exercise regularly and go to the gym but there is more I can do; if for instance the gym is too full. One of my favorite ideas of yours was the push ups during commercials and the running during one of your favorite TV shows. I do have a question for you however; when you are working out do you always increase the amount of time you exercise; for example instead of running 20 minutes you run 30? I cannot wait to see my life improve and improve since I am starting at such a young age! Like you said in class today…one change a year!

  • Frank_Stanek

    Mainly I find making myself look in the mirror when I am about to shower to be the most helpful. On the one hand it shows me the progress I have already made and on the other it shows me a “no excuses” look at what I still have to work towards. That being said I still find it hard to workout as hard as I should. I made the financial compromise of buying my own workout equipment because I kept on not going to the gym because I couldn’t force my lazy butt out the door. Unfortunately NOW I find my problem to sometimes be that the stairs to freedom are so tantalizingly close when I am working out that it’s hard to maintain focus and I find myself thinking about how it would be easier to workout in a more public setting. Oh well, the grass shall always be greener on that other side.

  • Ann Wertz Garvin

    “the stairs to freedom are so tantalizingly close” So funny. Isn’t that true. One day they are just stairs and the next they are freedom from sweat. Such is the life of an exerciser.

  • Ann Wertz Garvin

    This is a great strategy and one I used for years. You can’t get around it if its a job!

  • Ann Wertz Garvin

    I exercise before I lecture and I find I’m much better at my job!

  • amykahl8

    This makes me think of my mom and how I am afraid that her bad habits will come back to bite her one day. I want her to be there when I have kids of my own and I want to influence her to make even little changes that can help her. I agree that some people can do things like walking the dog and raking the leaves for exercise but some people need to do more and it can be a lot harder because it’s more time consuming. What are other suggestions that can be more entertaining than just running for an hour but still is harder than chores?

  • Kendra Larson

    Well this definitely hit home for me. Lately I have been feeling like I have been sitting too much. Since it’s winter, It makes me feel more lazy and I hate being lazy! It is true, that working out in the summer is way easier. However, I do try to manage time everyday to do something that makes me sweat. Whether its running on the treadmill (which I would much rather run outside) or looking up YouTube workout videos, or just doing my own workout plans, I still try to get some type of exercise in. I do admit though, I spend a little too much time watching Greys Anatomy on Netflix, which is beginning to have an affect on my body for sure. I am sitting a lot more than I used to and while reading your article it has woken me up! I need to start moving a little more and sitting a little less. Although I workout everyday, sitting down for long periods of time isn’t doing me any good. I wanted to ask you where you managed to find a Treadmill desk? I honestly have never heard of one before and that would be something I could invest my money in! ha ha. I want to thank you for sharing these words of wisdom. I am motivated to make the change in my life!

  • Brittney Glende

    I am huge into exercising myself, I love to be fit and healthy and I enjoy helping out my mom and grandma and giving them tips on different ways they can incorporate exercise into their daily lives. Everyone is busy we all have jobs and or attend school full time, so yes it can be a heavy load but all it takes is a half hour to get a little cardio in. I love when you said that your way of exercising was getting a dog, and then another one and even vaccuming. Because you are right walking the dogs outside is a great way to get your cardio in, or even doing household chores is another exercise that you would never think help you out. I have been getting into Zumba with my grandma and mom and we are loving it. I am loving it mainly because I am helping them out and seeing that they are happier then ever and feeling great.

  • treehugger90

    I believe this information would be helpful for anyone who sits down and watches T.V. a lot because most people just sit down on their butts and do nothing. There are so many people out there that waste their time watching T.V., so they might as well make use of it! I completely agree that people should always find some way to move no matter what they are doing. I have a weighted hula hoop, and I use it when I am watching T.V.

  • Mcgrailkk30


    Your “cheating” ways to stay healthy and include exercise in your daily routine is a fantastic way to prioritize “being healthy” in your life. Being an athlete my whole life I have always been active. In college I am lucky because exercise is “programmed” into my day for practice. In my free time i choose going to the gym over going out with friends. Needless to say it is easier for me to be motivated to work out. There are other very important people in my life who are not so easily persuaded. I am very concerned for their well being and am wondering how I can get them to make some changes? The strategies you provided will be great examples to share with them, but what are some ways to really motivate them? What have you found to be successful in your experiences?

  • Ann Wertz Garvin

    Sometimes I increase the time. Sometimes the intensity (grade). Sometimes I decide to do interval training during my cardio. Sometimes I ride, run, and lift. I mix it up to keep me working hard.

  • Ann Wertz Garvin

    Why do we pick these unreachable goals I wonder? Maybe so we can fail and stop. Habit is definitely the way to go.

  • Ann Wertz Garvin


  • Ann Wertz Garvin

    I think it’s coming. I really do!

  • Ann Wertz Garvin

    I definitely agree.

  • katie bartlein

    These are all wonderful ways to get active. I agree that these are simple ways to ‘cheat’ and get some exercise. It would be important for people with a sedentary lifestyle to incorporate these activities into their lifes. Those suggestions, of course, are better then nothing. However, being a pretty active person myself, I sometimes feel like vacuuming or raking isn’t enough, at least for me. In the end, these suggestions are a great way to keep moving and a great way to keep yourself from indulging in a bag of chips!

  • Rebecca Kahler

    I completely agree that exercise can be one of the best ways to improve your mood and outlook. I think the best way to be motivated is just to find an exercise method that is right for you and doesn’t feel like a chore.

  • Amanda Laatsch ?

    This article is a great “cheat sheet” for helping people get active. For many people, especially those people who aren’t in a health major, they find it extremely hard to fit exercise into their daily lifestyle. For most people with a health major it is just programmed into our daily lives. But you have provided a great way for people to fit exercise into their every day schedule, because we all know how busy and hectic our schedules can get. This article goes to show how you can exercise without even realizing it. I think for most people it is the starting out of exercising that is the most difficult. You say you have been exercising for 36 years, and props to you, but how did you start? You mentioned that you admired other athletes and that’s how you started, but what exactly do can you do to start? I think that is the biggest question for most beginners, and it is also the scariest part about exercising. Nobody wants to look like a fool.

  • Tyler Steinmetz

    This article is brilliant!! As a population, we do so many things sitting down or laying down when we could be physically active doing it. Stand up while you are playing video games, do push ups when commercials are on, carry a weight around the house, read a book while on the stair stepper. Physical activity can be incorporated into the smallest things of our everyday life and we can “cheat” our 30 minutes of activity a day. I don’t think it’s considered cheating though, it’s passing. If the whole population is being graded on their physical activity, you might not be getting the best grade in the class, but you aren’t failing like most of the population.

  • AmandaBrom

    When I first started
    college, I knew I wanted to do something health related with my life. I wanted
    to help make a difference in someone’s life. I enjoy watching people reach
    their goals and make a better life for themselves. This article is very helpful
    to me in the fact that these are tips that everyone can use. I also have two
    dogs that are high energy dogs. It encourages me to go outside and run around
    with them or maybe take them on a run so they will settle down for the night.
    What age were you when you moved? How did your parents feel about you getting
    into exercise? I hope that after I leave college I will be able to go on and
    see the difference I want to see while helping people reach their goals.

  • ghilonipt09

    I agree 100% with this article and Tyler. For example, the wii was invented for a reason to get people moving while playing video games…but do people really stand while playing wii…absolutely not. If every individual were to do something on commercials of TV we would not have an obese society. Going back to the word “motivation”…do people really have self-motivation in our society? If you take 30 minutes out of your 24 hour day to exercise you will be a lot more healthy. I agree with Tyler when he says that 30 minutes of doing something else at home between things is considered “cheating” it’s really not cause your at least doing something…Thanks for this interesting article Ann Garvin!

  • KevinThomson32

    As I came to college I knew nothing about nutrition, but I loved to lift weights and overcome different barriers everyday in the weight room. Once I started this major about health, I quickly realized that nutrition was just as important as exercise was. I came to college weighing about 295 pounds and now I weight about 220. This is what keeps me motivated. I wake up every morning trying to get better and practice what I preach. I know exercise is important and I learn about it everyday. So who would I be if I did not practice what I preach? This is what keeps me motivated everyday because the body is by the far the coolest thing we own.

  • Sam Kuchenreuther

    Great article. I am a student athlete and I still would much rather sit on my ass than go workout. So I can connect completely with this article. The hard part now is going to find parts of the day where I have the most energy. Whether it be before or after class. I noticed that your tips are more for adults. Any other ways to find time to exercise for students?

  • ZakFritz

    I consider myself a healthy person in general. I exercise, I try to eat right, and try to get enough sleep at night. I do all of this because I know how good it is for me, and I want to continue to be healthy. I do all of this but sometimes I just get sick of it. I will exercise extremely hard for two months or so, then I will just stop caring. I think ehh… I’m healthy enough and stop doing all of these things. All of the things you do are great ideas to do, but how do I get out the rut I experience at least five times a year?

  • vitalecm03

    I love this article! It is so inspiring! Being more active and exercising daily is what I need. All throughout high school I played soccer during all seasons of the year and I loved it! Then I grew up and had to work to get what i have and now being in college I have to pay my own bills and am independent for most everything. I find it hard to be motivated to go to the gym throughout the day with having class and working and being apart of a sorority. It can be a lot to handle and I always worry that I will fall behind in school if I do too much in the day for other things and less time studying and getting things done to do well in school. I’ve been looking into the group fitness classes at the Williams Center but still have to manage my expenses to be able to afford the classes. Hopefully within the next couple weeks I can get a membership and start with the group fitness because I am motivated better with others than by myself.

  • justin bowers

    Not only do I get to experience Ann is person during class, but I get to experience her on the internet and on paper. I’m a pretty lucky student. I love this article because it’s coming from an exercise physiologist who hates to exercise just as much as everybody else, but because she’s a physiologist, she knows it must be done. And to cheat is the best way. Making yourself walk on the treadmill while you’re watching a movie is a great idea. I can’t afford a treadmill yet, but when I can you bet I’ll be watching a movie and walking. Also, get a dog. Or a cat. You can walk cats nowadays. It’s all about how you incorporate exercise into your daily life. Does it have to be an hour of consistent exercise? Not at all. Spread it out. Just always be moving. One question I have is have you seen Dexter? Because that would be a great show to walk to. You’d be walking for 8 straight seasons.

  • laurenkraft

    This blog is very inspiring to me,thank you for this post. It is nice to know you do some of the same things as me. This is helpful in my life and the lives of others hopefully they realize that its so simple to include exercise in your daily life even if it is as simple as taking your dog on a walk. I am very interested in the fit bit I have been wanting to purchase one but I am not sure if it is worth it. You have one, what do you think? Does it really motivate you? Do you look at it and see a small number and want to see more? Does it make you more conscious about what you are doing health wise?

  • Cory Zaeske

    Justin you make some great points. I also thought this was a great article and as a person who has had exercise my whole life I know the benefits. I know it’s not easy to do it daily but cheating your way is brilliant! Getting a dog is one of the best ways to cheat your way to exercise. Not only does it force you to get out there and walk but it brings joy to your life so it’s a win, win! Well, at least until it poops and then you have to pick it up. I think the biggest thing to take away from this article is just so something! It will save your life. And if you are exercising you will influence others which will save someone else’s life too! I do have one question though, do you actually plan to walk a cat some day? I would pay to see that!

  • Keeli Gilbert

    They say that it takes 21 days to create a habit. How do you stick to that habit? How do you start creating that habit?
    This article is very moving. I thoroughly enjoyed reading this. As a fitness freak myself I have learned over the years (really only like 6) to take the stairs instead of the elevator to work, to my apartment and shopping malls just to push myself that much more. Sure their might be 5 steps, but it’s better then standing, still, in an elevator, with that awkward and annoying elevator music. Who wants to listen to that anyway. My biggest in life is to improve other’s lives by improving mine. Showing them that every little thing will help. Sure, they maybe little things, such as the little steps into my front door, but that is motivation for others. This article really makes me and helps me question if I am doing every little thing that I can to help others get and stay motivated. Thanks for the self questioning!

  • Leija2014

    Thank you for this post professor! (I’m in your Health 360 class this semester) I immediately thought about what you said in class on Wednesday about you having a bias towards those who are overweight or obese because there’s a reason why they got them selves there. I’ll admit that I’ll go months of doing the 3-4 times a week of 45 minutes of exercise and then all of a sudden I just stop. I don’t know why, but I do this literally every year. I sold my elliptical recently to my father’s girlfriend (I needed the money! I got into some trouble with the law 🙁 ) I know there’s no excuse to not exercise. What would you suggest to start making steps toward becoming a healthier me?

  • Leija2014

    Thank you for this post! I’m actually a student of yours this semester in your Health 360 class and while I was reading this, I immediately thought about what you said on Wednesday about having a bias towards those who are overweight or obese because they are the ones who got themselves there. I’ll admit that I’m one of those people who exercises for months, 3-4 times a week for 45 minutes. And for no reason, I’ll just stop. I don’t know why. I just seem to do those streaks of exercise. I recently just sold my elliptical to my father’s girlfriend (I needed the money because I got into some trouble with the law 🙁 ) I know there’s absolutely no excuse to not exercise ever. What steps would you suggest to someone to make exercise a daily routine?

  • Leija2014

    P.S. I commented earlier, but I didn’t see my post. So if there’s two that is why :p

  • Drew Cox

    Ann Garvin you cheater! I always knew it, but really thanks for such great ideas that many of us can use in our everyday lives. I like the mind (crazy) games that you play without your body actually knowing it! Being able to multi-task while exercising is just what many of us Americans, yes i said it Americans, need to realize and accomplish! I Love the push-ups/sit-ups ideas during commercials. This is one that many of us can do. Lets be real who actually likes commercial time? I think its one of the biggest waste of times during the whole program I’m trying to watch. My question to you would be how on gods earth can you concentrate to your Netflix show while walking your dog. I don’t know about you but my dog is no Eye-seeing pup! He would look up and say dad hello this is my walk and I don’t know where to go, FOCUS!! haha Again Thanks for the inspiring article that has opened my eyes in so many ways!

  • lepkowskjj29

    Very nice article Ann. I really appreciate someone talking about different ways you can exercise without actually going to a gym, and mentioning things that are a little easier to do, and less time consuming. I myself have a dog and love using her as an excuse to get out of the house everyday and run/walk with her. I still don’t know if I would consider vacuuming as exercise. What do think is the main reason for having less motivation to workout/exercise as we get older?

  • barczakdm08

    Thanks for the post! For me its a necessity to workout at least 4 times a week, if I don’t I feel likeI haven’t accomplished anything for the day! Exercising is just part of my routine, I know it’s hard for many people to get free time to actually get into a gym but physical activity is key for a healthy lifestyle. The tips you mentioned are great, they’re easy to do and are for everyone. I personally would never do these, simply because I have an accessible gym and plenty of free time after my classes. I stay motivated the same you do, looking at myself in a mirror I can pinpoint the tiny things I don’t like about my image. This is what keeps me going everyday knowing that there is something I can improve about myself.

  • Katie Ackerman

    So motivational! I love that you still allow yourself to do those “sitting” things, but while exercising. I think everyone can certainly learn from this and get motivated! You make a good point that over time, sitting will kill you. It seems as though that train of thought has taken over societies way of thinking. We all need a swift kick in the ass to get in gear. Hopefully for some it will be reading this rather than having their first heart attack. Excellent points made Ann! Excuse me while I get off my computer and exercise….

  • Kait Harman

    Like you said without exercise we will die eventually. Exercise keeps us healthy, happy and alive! Not everyone exercises and can not find the motivation everyday to but living a sedentary lifestyle will lead you to your deathbed eventually and thats why it is important to read this. Its amazing to see someone with such motivation for exercise. My question for you would be if you are exercising to be healthy and happy why do you make yourself look in the mirror naked? To me if your exercising the right amount and eating right why does it matter what you look like? You should feel good about how you look either way because you are doing all the right things.

  • tjbaumeister08

    Thank you for sharing this information, I found this to be very helpful to me. I wouldn’t consider myself to be a natural athlete, and I don’t regularly exercise. It’snot because I don’t want to, but because I just don’t seem to have the energy or motivation to do it. I try to do little workouts in the morningwhen I wake up but majority of the time I end up not doing them because I’m tootired. I should start doing what you do though and make it non-negotiable. If I feel too tired I should tell myself to just do it anyways because it’s helping me in the long run. Like Kait stated in her comment, I don’t understand why you said you look at yourself “in the mirror naked (have antidepressants handy).” You should be confident and proud of the way you look because you’re exercising regularly and being healthy.

  • Janna Bartels

    I love this article! So many people think that working out has to hurt or be this really intense thing, but it doesn’t! Exercise can be anything that gets you up and moving! The part of exercise that I struggle with is starting! As soon as I’m doing my workout, I feel great, but it’s the getting out and doing it that I struggle with. So, this semester of college I’ve started parking across campus from the building that my class is in. It forces me to walk more! I’ve also learned that having a partner to workout with is really helpful. Ann, you have a treadmill desk… how does that work?

  • Hairong Zheng

    It is a problem for me to leave my bed and sofa because it is so cozy to stay in them. I totally understand the feeling of how hard it is to get out of them. I really want to leave these things but I just can’t. I sometimes feel hopeless when I swear to get up earlier at night but fail next morning. I really do not know what to do…

  • turbo_frey

    Great article Ann. I agree that sometimes it takes the little things, oftentimes the things overlooked as “cheating”, to better influence ourselves to work towards a better you. To me, however, I don’t process it as “cheating”, I think of it as critically thinking. Not everyone lives the life of a professional athlete or lives in a warm demographic year round, so “cheating” is oftentimes necessary in order to accomplish the same results. My cheating consists of parking further away from my destination or going to the mall to speed walk while looking in the storefronts. Everyone has their own unique ways of cheating, but if it works for them, so be it! However, cheating your way towards a better you not only pertains to exercise, but also to nutrition, and I don’t believe there is away to cheat around eating healthy…or is there?

  • masterdan55

    Awesome article Ann! I used to exercise regularly until college and then it all stopped for some reason. Maybe i was making excuses. This article made me realize that the future is important too. If you don’t take care of your body now it will hurt you in the long run. I don’t want to have my kids or wife in the future see me suffer from heart disease or obesity all because i didn’t take care of my body. I am going to use this for my motivation to start working out regularly.

  • Kyle Schiedemeyer

    Being a student athlete, I know what it is like to not be able to sit all day. Some days my day starts with 6 AM conditioning and I am not able to sit down for a second after that because I have class at 8 AM until 5 PM. I do agree with your comment about “Sitting will kill you.” Since high school I have always either been in a sport after school, or in the off season worked a job after school. And nothing would make me more mad than hearing the kids who did nothing after school but play video games, and sleep, come to school the next day complaining about how tired they were, or how their homework wasn’t done! I am one of those people who loves to be up and doing something all day, I feel so productive. If I could ask Ann Garvin a question, it would have to be, since your dad didn’t push you to play sports, do you try to get your kids to be involved in a sport?

  • Connor Driscoll

    This blog is useful to anyone who wants to live. So, unless you are severely depressed to the point of suicidal thoughts (which in this case I hope you are receiving help), that would be everyone! I know that I want to be able to hold my children’s children someday and be around for as much of their lives as I can. That being said, I know too many people that have passed away all too early as a result of sitting around, drinking, and smoking. If I could ask Ann Garvin one question, I would ask do you think that people desire to sit more or do you think that people desire to move more but simply lack the motivation to do so?

  • Palecekb

    Ann, this was a great article and I could not agree more with
    your outlook of how it is non-negotiable. Health is who you are and if you do
    not take care of it, it will not take care of you. I really like how you included
    “it has no negative side effects and if you want to hold your children’s
    children,” I think a lot of parents can relate to this outlook and
    really think about the choices they are making and what kind of an impact it
    could have on their children. I know I have used this example on my stepmother
    in hopes to get her to stop smoking so she would be able to attend
    her grandchildren’s graduations and weddings. What I find difficult
    is that these outlooks have not yet made any visible impacts. What would
    you suggest someone to try on those who still after provided the
    information on reasons to start exercising still are stubborn and refuse to
    make it a priority in their lives?

  • Caitlin Snyder

    Thanks for the great article, Ann! I completely agree with you; we all know exercise is good for you, but do we all pursue that idea? I was raised to be very active and I’ve kept that flame lit by becoming a student-athlete here. 6am workouts aren’t the greatest, but they keep me moving and motivated towards a common goal. Honestly I do not know where I would be without sports in my life. My question for you is because you weren’t raised to be an athlete, will you push your kids into playing sports? Once again, thank you!

  • jkailing

    I think this blog helps people realize how easily exercise
    can be included into any of your daily routines, and that you don’t really have
    to be in marathon shape to be healthy. I think that even more than going
    everyday and continue to go, getting started and into a routine is the hardest
    thing about exercising. I think there are too many easy excuses to put it such
    as not enough time; I don’t have energy, or ill do it tomorrow. I think these
    cheats on exercising will keep people motivated to workout knowing they can
    buildup slowly and get to where they want to be. One question that I would have
    to ask is why do you think that everyone knows its good to exercise but only
    20% of people do it?

  • Max Rude

    In the light of things cheating is not bad. I believe the point of exercise that many of us don’t understand and that this blog is helping with is, it is not that hard… We all make the idea of working out a huge deal. When this article shows us it is as simple as vacuuming.

  • Jessica Walker

    This article is so relatable to so many people, because no, we don’t want to exercise everyday because well just about anything else sounds more appetizing. However; its something we all know we have to do and should do to live a better life. Coming to the realization that you don’t necessarily have to go spend hours at the gym is key. Exercise can easily be squeezed into anyones schedule, if you take the effort and have the right mindset to do so. What was your easiest method to start exercising regularly?

  • Austin Dorman

    First off, this really hit home for me. I am someone who loves to sit around and do nothing. But I understand that exercise is much more important than an extra hour of lounging around a day. I work at the weight room on campus so I try to motivate myself to work out either before work or after work to save time. My biggest motivation to work out is simply to look good. I know I should care more about my health, but the mirror for me plays a larger role in motivation.

  • Caitlin Donohue

    I love this article! That is a VERY good idea to go to bed with your exercise clothes on. I need to do that. Unlike other articles about exercise, you acknowledge that exercising all the time sucks. It’s hard, it takes up time and you don’t always want to do it. It is smart to make it nonnegotiable. Then you don’t even have to waste time thinking “should I work out today?” For someone who’s 23 years old would you recommend exercising three times a week? More? Less?

  • Ann Wertz Garvin

    I love the second & third line is this post, Austin. This weather is killing motivation isn’t it.

  • Leahrebout

    Thank god I am not the only one who has to literally force myself to exercise (self pep talks are a daily occurrence), thanks for sharing this! I have such a hard time getting motivated and it seems like as soon as I’m able to get there something comes up and causes a distraction and I lose it. I always thought I had to go for a hardcore workout and would get so exhausted it took me days to recover and get the energy for another round. I need to learn to make it non-negotiable for everyday and get in a routine of little things I can do during regular daily activities to get some exercise in and make myself healthier. What are some good exercises to do at a home if you live in a tiny little college apartment and can’t fit a treadmill to stay active on? I have no idea what exercises to do if I’m not in a gym with all of the equipment laid out in front of me..

  • Jessica Mendoza


    What a lovely post. This is very relevant to my life right now! I have always been involved with sports, and I would consider that my work out. Until about five years ago, I started working out on a regular basis on my own. My biggest motivation to workout is how it makes me feel. I feel so much more energized and awake when I work out, and eat healthy. Though I have been sticking to my work out routine, it has been hard to stay motivated with such cold winter weather. Going out into the cold weather to go to the gym is such a drag (lord knows I will not do any type of work outs outside in this cold weather). I just have to always thing to myself the benefits of working out, and it helps me to do it. I want to be healthy and grow old, and want to be able to hold my grandchildren’s children. These are the things that keeps me motivated. I also love all your ideas about “cheating” your way to a better you. I will try and use some of the tactics you have mentioned. Do you think it is always better to try and get to the gym, or do workouts at home? Thank you for this wonderful post!

    -Jessica Mendoza

  • strakaJA01

    I LOVE this article! Like yourself, I am not a naturally motivated exerciser! I am currently taking your nutrition and stress management classes and I love it! Every MWF you make my day with your enthusiastic and “real” attitude about life. Your bluntness is exactly what I need, and it helps me learn more! Your “cheating” methods are great because they make me evaluate my own life. This article is about the little things in life, you don’t have to make one HUGE change in your life to be healthier. You can change little things here and there. Like I realize that I can get more sleep at night and wake up earlier to exercise in order to jump start my day. A question I would ask you if I could meet you in person (which I can, yay!) would be what motivates you to be healthier? (Besides the fact that you want to live longer etc.)

  • Ryan Repta

    This was a wonderful read. For those who claim they don’t have time to exercise, or have some other excuse, some of these habits mentioned are great examples of ways to exercise without even realizing you’re doing it. As of now, I think I’m a pretty active individual. However, if ever there comes a time where I lose motivation, I would definitely incorporate some of these habits, along with some of my own. Plus, if my professor is this motivated to exercise at age Ann Garvin, then I surely can find the motivation at age 21. If I ever had the pleasure of meeting you in person, I would ask you if you’re ex-cleaning person ever found employment.

  • Kobajr18

    Motivation to exercise is always tough. As a working college student I struggle to find the time to make it to the fitness center on campus. I’ve come to find that there is only one thing that works for me. Supplements. I take a pre-work out drink before every work out. I know that it may not be exactly healthy for me but either is sitting at home playing xbox all day. Compile that with working at a bar and eating bar food constantly I would be in the fast line toward heart disease and diabetes. I don’t truly enjoy working out everyday but I do it to be healthy and be in a better mood. I’ve also noticed a correlation between my success in the classroom and weight room alike. When I work out regularly I study regularly. It’s a win win really.

  • Jessica Andrew

    Ann, great article and thanks for sharing! I have been into exercising ever since I can remember. I have been involved in sports starting in elementary school and going up to high school. Now that I am in college, I have to find time to workout.
    Between homework, clubs, work, and social life, it is hard to find time every day to workout. Somehow, I manage to workout at least four times a week if not more.
    It is my goal to stay active and lose weight. When you have a busy schedule like mine, it is hard to get motivation to go to the gym. This article can relate to everyone. There are times where just sitting and doing nothing sounds great! We know that it is not healthy to do all the time. What would you recommend for someone who wants to workout but always claims they are too busy?

  • PKroening

    I am definitely someone who would rather sit around and do nothing than go work out. However, I know that sitting around is not going to make me feel any better. I love the feeling that comes after a work out. It makes me feel 10 times better about my day as well. Working out is great for making me feel satisfied that my day wasn’t a waste. I would just want to know if you know a good way to start exercising regularly.

  • Trevor Boyle

    As an athlete its very easy for me to fit exercise in my daily activities. I feel that most people don’t understand that just by walking they are exercising. People today tend to think they have to a gym in order to exercise. This information is beneficial to the common person, because it allows them to see how to incorporate exercise into daily activities. My only question is that being an athlete my whole life I do have a fear that my passion for football is slowly disappearing. Would say that this is do to over training or the fact that the repition of training for the same sport for last 8 years of my life is making me demotivated?

  • Jake Eckhardt

    To stay motivated I think about how great I feel after exercise. There’s no better feeling than finishing your run and having that post-workout food and hitting the shower. You feel accomplished and your mood is ALWAYS better on a day you exercised vs. a day you didn’t exercise. To me, not exercising is like me saying “I don’t want to be happier today.”

    Then you get the physical benefits on top of it. Your face just looks more “alive” as your face gets less bloated and those persistent bags under your eyes start to disappear. Your body starts to look better and better week by week, month by month. Seeing that new image of yourself being reflected back to you from the mirror is one of the greatest feelings ever. It’s true that when you look better, you feel better.

  • Jake Eckhardt

    “If I ever had the pleasure of meeting you in person, I would ask you if you’re ex-cleaning person ever found employment.”

    Lmao. Then it should be pretty convenient for you considering she’s our professor for the very class you are posting these comments for.

  • DuCharmeDR11

    This article is something everyone and their mother needs to hear. Coming from an active family and having a drive to perform, its never been a complete struggle for me to be in motion. But that is not to say I couldn’t do better. I fully believe actions speak louder than words, and one of my favorite quotes is, “You don’t believe you say what you believe, you believe what you do.” It comes full circle. And being a health promotions minor, I better believe that if I want other people to change their lifestyles, it has to start with me. How can I expect other people to take my advice if I don’t take my own? Change doesn’t have to come in gigantic leaps, it is all the little things that add up to make you that much better. I guess I would like to leave this post with a challenge…How are you going to make yourself 1% better today??

  • kolinjk29

    Thank you for this wonderful article. I was never big into exercising and playing sports when I was growing up. When I got a little older I started to realize how important it really is and considering the history of diabetes that runs in my family. It took a spark and now I am hooked. I love the feeling I get after completing my workouts. It gives me the energy I need to get through my day and improves my overall mood. This article is great in that people think that they need to hit the gym 7 days a week when rather it’s the simple things people can do such as walking to the store rather than driving or taking the stairs over riding the elevator. If we can get people to do the simple things in life I believe it can make a big difference in the health of our community’s. The question that I have is how do you get people to see this same vision? What kind of spark do you need to set in their lives?

  • Luke Drumel

    This article is truly relatable and helpful for its so simple to get exercise in the easiest possible ways. The best part was, when watching a movie you are on the treadmill which is completely genius, its killing two birds with one stone! I will attempt to try and get my work out done when I have the most energy is a great idea. I totally agree with that exercise has no down fall, its a wonderful stress reliever and it makes you healthy whats not to like!

  • Luke Drumel

    I couldn’t agree more, actions do speak louder than words and will continue to do so. It is so true that its all about the little things and how we maintain our value in being healthy and in shape. Taking your own advice will only benefit us because we know what is best for ourselves.

  • Alyssa Borgrud

    This article was a wake up for me. Everyone knows that exercising is healthy for you but so few people do it. You provided many examples that make it easier to incorporate working out into your schedule. Not only would this be classified as working out, but they are just overall more healthy choices. Multitasking such as walking your dog and watching tv, or reading while on the treadmill help people accomplish getting active as well as doing another task which can distract them. One question for you would be when is the best time to plan in physical activities if you have a very busy and structured schedule?

  • Josh Pritchard

    “…continue to save the world, be all that you can be, there isn’t anything better.” Such a great line Ann. Couldn’t have said it better myself. Exercise can change so many lives. Even if it is just running on a treadmill while watching a movie or doing push-ups during commercials. Exercise after a long day can be stress relieving and can make one feel happier with themselves. Exercise makes one look better and they can be happier in their lives. I for one have always loved exercising. I feel great everyday that I workout and I look even better. I can see new gains and every now and then I will set new records for how much weight I can lift.

  • Ann Wertz Garvin

    and visa versa right? This intrinsic motivation is ideal isn’t it? Thanks!

  • Ann Wertz Garvin

    Maybe we should create a motivation Pinterest board that might help people find inspiration!

  • Ann Wertz Garvin

    Both, I think. Plus, you’ve reached a great goal and it’s hard to keep motivated as the years go by. Time off is a must. You have to sharpen your ax.

  • Ann Wertz Garvin

    I always say the best exercise is the one you will do. Home, away from home, whatever works when it works is the best 🙂

  • Ann Wertz Garvin

    It depends on your goals but I would say more days are better 😉

  • Austin Dorman

    It really is! Snow doesn’t motivate me to run. Snow motivates me to nap!

  • LaurenSE

    I love this article! The idea of “cheating” is brilliant and provides zero excuses for people that say they’re too busy. You can find a way if you try! Many people are simply lacking the motivation, I don’t know why, but they are. The only problem I have with this and “cheating” is that working out is like an escape for me. It is a release. I notice on the days I try to combine my studying or work while I am running on the treadmill, I don’t feel as calm and refreshed when I am finished. Other than that though, I love combining/cheating. I always work up a sweat when cleaning, I just turn up the music and get cranking! There are so many ways to fit physical activity into your everyday, people just need to think about it and get motivated.

  • LaurenSE

    I love what you’ve said here! It is so true, when you look better, you feel better, and visa versa. I feel the same way, I don’t like to go a day without an exercise, I honestly can feel my mood change. It gives me energy, gets me going, and I feel great. Why wouldn’t I workout? The physical and mental benefits far out weigh the excuses not to. It’s one way that I can better myself every day.

  • LaurenSE

    I second this! I am a runner and this snow and the freezing temperatures are killing me. I can only handle the treadmill for so much longer. I need the fresh air, the sun, and the smell of fresh cut grass. Those three things are what really get me going in the summer. I cannot skip a day of running when I’ve got those to look forward to.

  • Steven Bichler

    As a former athlete exercise used to be mandatory and just another mundane thing in my day, but since I came to college and it wasn’t required everyday it became that much tougher to workout even with good motivation. I have tried and failed more often then not to work out consistently, but as you have said relapse is part of moving forward and I am progressing to working out consistently again. Hopefully making some of this “non-negotiable” will help.

  • kalscheuar30

    First of all, I totally imagined you saying this while I was reading it. You’re absolutely hilarious 🙂 I really like your ways of cheating. They’re good ways to fit in some exercise, while still doing stuff you’d probably do anyways. It’s very easy to put off exercising and this article is a good reminder to get off my lazy a$$…of course after this snow melts. You’re a cheater, I’m a procrastinator. Anyways, as I guy, should I still go get a comfortable bra? And if so, what color would you suggest?

  • Rebekkah Houda

    This is great! Even being a college athlete I know I exercise 5 days a week at practice and other team workouts but then one Saturday and Sunday the lazy stick hits me and I have zero motivation to get out of my bed or off the couch. I know working out everyday is not a necessity, but it is a good habit to start! So, my question for you is how do I get motivated on though lazy weekends?

  • Trevor Boyle

    The only thing is by being a college athelte there is no time off. Playing football here is like a full time job where there is very seldom a day off. I think the coaches of this program need to understand that in order to keep us healthy they need to give us more rest instead they question why the number of acl tears and pulled hamstrings have been on a rise.

  • Evan Hibbs

    Ann, thank you for the article! I agree that exercise can be a number of things. Walking around campus can be classified as exercise, as well as parking your car a far distance and walking. I think our society doesn’t realize how much exercise we can really get if we take advantage of the resources around us. Is exercise more important than eating healthy in your opinion?

  • Jennifer Lynn

    Now I have Ann Gavin as a nutrition professor, and a stress management professor and I have heard her say many of these things over and over but something about reading them in this article just hit me. We ALL need to get up off the couch and at least walk. Walking to class isn’t enough, walk to the grocery store or just go for a walk and chat with your friends. I know it’s easy for me to listen to what Ann has to say because I am and athlete and am crazy when it comes to body image but it’s very easy. When I was young I hated to exercise, but I wanted to be a college athlete so I found motivation in what others told me about my body or when I looked at how our country was changing. Ann when you are feeling very unmotivated what do you do to get going? Is there a trick?

  • Branden Unger

    I completely agree with this post! Although I enjoy sitting and being inactive with things such as playing video games or watching television, I really liked the idea of “cheating” to exercise. The fact that you are able to fit exercise into your daily life without interrupting the flow of your regular schedule is awesome! This post really made me realize how easily exercise can be fit into a regular schedule with just a little effort put in each day.

  • Joseph

    Before finishing this article I pushed my computer chair away from me and read this while walking around my room. Now my roommate thinks that I’m drunk or something. Hey thats okay. While he sits on the couch watching TV. I am walking around saving my own life. I liked how you explained that you bought a house with a lot of stairs in it. How you have a treadmill desk and just all the little things you do to stay active. When I used to play a lot of video games I would feel guilty that i wasn’t exercising. So in-between my matches there is a 1 minute intermission. I would begin to do pushups or sit-ups in that minute. Yeah, its not the greatest thing to do but that was one little way that I tried to stay active. One way i stay motivated to stay active with my life is that I am always listening to motivational speeches and songs. Whats another way that keeps you motivated to keep going to never stop?

  • Jack Delabar

    The weather is KILLING me right now, but as a Phy Ed. major with a health certification, I understand the importance. Not only doing it for myself, but also learning and being able to convey the importance to my future students. Seasonal depression has set in and I need the water to unfreeze so I can continue my path to being a professional fisherman, but more importantly so that I can find motivation to exercise more! Maybe even walk to class…

  • Collin Smith

    Obviously, being intrinsically motivated is the best form of motivation to complete any task. I believe I am very self-motivated but only due to the years that I was extrinsically pushed by family members and coaches. I think the factors of the Self-DeterminationTheory play a huge role in keeping myself motivated in exercise.

  • sarahbrooks

    Thank you for your article! Could not
    agree more with you. The problem is that people are lazy, and cannot
    find the motivation to exercise. And then once they do find it, it’s
    hard to keep it going! Obesity is a huge problem in the world, and
    people need to stay active to hold their childrens children like you
    stated above. Another thing that I think goes hand in hand with
    keeping up with exercise, is having a good diet! Which I think might
    even be a bigger issue with people. I cant stress enough how
    important it is to fuel your body with the right foods. I always
    loved the quote, “ What you eat in private, is what you wear in
    public!” Is it harder for you to keep up with your exercise, or to
    eat the right foods?

  • TeamGarvin

    I am a man so I don’t think that I am going to get a good comfortable bra, my friends would never life that down. However, I really like this article. I have you as a teacher in my classes and I wanted to check out your articles. You mention this a lot, but I guess I never truly understand until I read it in writing. It’s interesting that you mention to never sit. Including while watching tv. I makes me think how hard can it be to walk on a treadmill while watching tv. I mean it is just walking we do it ever day so why not do it when we are at home. Thank you for the inspiration and good advice. One thing I like is that you repeat and repeat until we finally say hey she knows what she is talking about.

  • Trevor Boyle

    When it comes to exercise its really helpful to have a great support system family, friends,significant other, even a personal trainer. I love exercise and I’m always in the gym cause i love how it helps me deal with stress and how i feel after i just got a killer workout in. There are days where i don’t feel motivated but then i think of my dreams and goals and that playing football here my teammates are counting on me to be healthy strong and ready to compete. I don’t wanna let them down so that really helps me stay motivated.

  • Katie Ackerman

    Way to be proactive! I think any approach at exercise is better than nothing! I would constantly not go to the gym because I didn’t have enough time to get a “good” work out in. My new motivation is anything is better than nothing, especially when you are short on time. Best motivational speech, although old school, “Wear Sunscreen.”

  • Chris Williams

    You are exactly like me! I know I need to work out, be active, and stay healthy but I can’t help but to want to be lazy. I want to be perfectly fit but I know that will never happen. I do exactly what you do but I would not call it cheating, I would call it making exercise apart of my life. I try to make exercise apart of my life by walking my dog, ridding a stationary bike while watching Netflix, and going to the gym after class because I’m already out of the house where I’m away from SITTING! I want to be fit and live a healthy life. I hope if I chose to take the stairs instead of the elevator that will help. If I had a question it would be whats your favorite way to cheat a way to be a better you? Mine would be walking my dog!

  • Alexandra Helena Marie Nicolof

    I decided to read this because of what we spoke about in class today. This relates to what I need to do for my students at the health fair. When you explained to me today that I had to “trick” them into doing a yoga routine, I grasped the concept but didn’t really understand it. After reading this post, I think I get it a little better. They can totally do Reclined Cobbler while playing a Nintendo 3DS, or do standing tree pose while explaining to their parents why they didn’t clean their room. The key to remember is that every little bit counts. It’s not about exercise. It’s about living a whole and healthy lifestyle.

  • Evan Hibbs

    Ann, thank you for the article. I agree that many forms of exercise can be done without a person thinking about exercise. That’s why whenever I go into public I park my car very far. I walk to class, I coach basketball, which is a job where I’m always standing or helping out in drills, and I exercise. I try to stay active everyday and make sure I never take the easy way out. I notice that you stand when you teach, is that deliberate to shed some extra calories or is it part of your teaching style?

  • Tammy Hartmann

    Ann, thank you for sharing your article. It’s funny you mentioned the treadmill desk. Last year, my daughter’s first grade teacher asked parents to send an exercise ball for the children to sit on during class. This helped them focus better, and burn calories while learning. I was envious, because I wish I could bring this to class. My two-spirit is not active or as focused on her well-being like me. I’ve discussed this with her, and I am concerned at her sitting for hours, which can kill her. We’ve discussed whether she should buy a treadmill for her to use while watching movies, which would be a win-win situation. If she bumped into you, she would kiss your feet.
    In class, you discussed how to convince a person to do something that
    actually works for them. I need to get used to the idea of having a treadmill
    in the house, versus my preferred method of walking outside and getting in
    touch with Mother Nature. I tried to encourage my two-spirit to walk outside,
    and be nurtured by Mother Nature…but a treadmill may be the perfect compromise.

  • Katie Ackerman

    Typically, I just look in the mirror. Also, when I find brownie crumbs in my bra, I know it’s time to hit the treadmill. All that aside, wanting to live a long and healthy life is motivation enough to lace up my gym shoes and hit the gym.

  • Jessica Mendoza

    Thank you for answering my question! You always give great advice 🙂

  • weidmankl15

    Honestly, if I don’t workout or do some sort of “activity” each day, then I feel like a huge whale! I also try to not buy unhealthy foods because then I feel better about myself and it makes me want to workout also because I feel all “light and healthy.” Weird concept I know.

  • barczakdm08

    For me I am never satisfied. Im always trying to beat my personal best in a certain lift, run a little further the next run. What keeps me motivated is that I know I am working harder than a lot of people out there, with all the hard workout I put into my diet/workout I know my body as a whole is benefiting. I like the way I feel when I practice a healthy lifestyle, so knowing I will feel great and be in a good mood motivates me to keep going.

  • barczakdm08

    Try to make it a habit, yea it will probably suck at first but once you start getting used to it you will addicted. Everyone started where you are now, you just gotta have the willpower to get up and get active! Like you said you love the way you feel after workout, so when your’e sitting on the couch remember what that feeling felt like!

  • Jessica Mendoza

    I think of all of the benefits and the feeling after! Yes, going to the gym and getting your self to exercise can be the biggest struggle sometimes for me. Knowing that I want to live a long healthy life, I know that I need to make exercise apart of my life to do so. And that feeling after exercise is the best! After I work out, I feel so rejuvenated and like I accomplished something. All of these things keep me happy, and that keeps my motivated! 🙂

  • Zach Perkins

    I have always been somewhat of a fitness junkie. For me, I am also a competitive weightlifter. So, if I’m not training on a regular basis, I will lose. I have also chosen the career path of strength and conditioning. I view this as a practice what you preach type of situation. If I’m not fit and in shape, why would my athletes have any reason to listen to me?

  • Kendra Larson

    Just the fact that exercise makes me have a way better day is enough for me to get motivated to actually go do it. I know that if I don’t exercise I will feel better about myself and be in a way better mood. It is the part of my day where I can just focus on myself and just take a break from what is going on in my life. Being a college student can be so stressful sometimes and its nice to go clear my mind, with a nice long run.

  • pinsolera

    Agreed. Almost everyday with me, even if I just go on a walk into the forest, I try to exercise every day. It can be extremely difficult with the course load and social time, but it has to be done, especially for anyone’s mental sanity. And I only do things that I love such as weight lifting and doing any cardio that puts a smile on my face. I think when you don’t exercise, you’re not going to get the full potential out of yourself, mentally and of course, physically.

  • pinsolera

    Makes sense. As a potential strength and conditioning coach, if you’re not fit, your credibility and reputation might take a hit because you’re not practicing what you preach. I want to be a physical education teacher and what you said goes the same way with me too.

  • aulm92

    Thank you for this article! I love to workout and try to workout 5ish days a week, im super motivated most days but even I get lazy from time to time. I always tell myself i’ll regret it in the morning or in a month when I want to see the progression. Also putting myself in a position where working out is a part of my every day schedule always helps as well.

  • ghilonipt09

    I set mY clothes out before I go to bed that forces me to get out of bed at 5:45 am and get my exercise in everyday. I think having a normal sleeping pattern is essential also. When I workout I also have the feeling I need to eat healthy the rest of the day so I don’t kill my workout for that day. Having someone go with you is a must because if your buddy doesn’t show up you can give them a hard time the next time you see them.

  • barczakdm08

    Totally agree with you! Going to the gym is such a stress reliever, I am always super stoked to get a good workout in every day. Nothing to worry about in the gym but yourself and the workout your’e about to do. The best feeling is when you finish a workout, you just feel like a completely new person!

  • treehugger90

    I wear a fit bit that keeps track of my steps and if I do not have my 10,000 steps by a certain part of the day; I work for it. My fit bit has gotten me to keep moving all day. I also hula hoop in front of the tv or I do jumping jacks and run in place.

  • pinsolera

    That’s a really good idea. How much do those cost? I stay motivated by setting goals and trying out new things. Also, I like to look good for the opposite as any human being generally does as well.

  • Jen McKiernan

    I do gymnastics so I normally am forced to work out 4 hours a day but I am currently on my off season so I have a lot more days to do nothing. I always have really great intentions to go work out but then I lay down and watch TV and do not want to move. Then I get bored and go eat and then lay back down and then I wake up the next morning thinking wow I should have worked out yesterday. I found the best way to keep me motivated is to find a workout buddy to keep me liable. When I think about skipping my workout l I get the text saying, come meet me in the weight room so I get my lazy self up and work out and feel so much better. I also found that working out in the morning helps me a lot.

  • pinsolera

    I’ll be honest with you, that 5:45 AM workout sounds incredibly difficult. I won’t lie, I give you props because there are many people that would gladly not get up that early to do that. But the best thing as you know that when you workout early, you feel fantastic, depending how much sleep you get.

  • pinsolera

    It’s not weird, it’s pretty natural. I feel the same way by the way if I don’t do something active everyday. Also, as you know, eating like crap makes me never want to workout so I generally resist eating bad food, although a dessert every now and then feels amazing, so I’m never opposed to that.

  • Tim Rutkowski

    I have a monthly PT test that I have to pass with certain standards. What keeps me going is the money. The Army pays me to work out and train in a field where I get to shoot guns and blow stuff up, what more motivation do you need?

  • Ann Wertz Garvin

    No, that is some good motivation! You probably don’t need much more.

  • Kevin Weber

    I will jam to some music, or workout with friends. Sometimes I won’t allow myself to eat dinner until I have exercised. This may sound weird, but part of the reason I exercise is to have my protein shake after, cause I like it so much.

  • Tyler Pierce

    Ann, these little cheats are a great idea! When I think of exercising, I think of going to the gym and pumping iron and doing cardio, not these very simple, daily tasks like you do with just a little more effort than just sitting. I will defiantly start standing more, while I read, do a couple push ups and sits up during commercials, and take the stairs more. With these little changes, how do you know how much of a workout you are get in a given day? Or do you not concern yourself with your number of times?

  • Jeremy Demos

    I tend to go in fits when it comes to exercise. While deployed I would exercise pretty regularly as that was the only way to stay sane. However, after coming home the appeal of being able to sit comfortably and actually relax has fully seduced me. Now it’s pretty much a cram session of exercise about two months prior to my yearly PT test to stay in the military and chasing my two boys around (which is nearly equal to a triathlon with these two). Add a broken back and completely numb left leg to the mix and I really struggle trying to find a sustainable fitness routine. Recently I picked up scuba diving, which is a wonderful workout with almost no impact on your body – once you’re in the water that is.

  • Nathan Gillette

    I agree with you Ann, I need to do less sitting. I think being a physical Education teacher has aided in that goal of sitting less and with that i feel like i have more energy after school. I know that sounds stupid but true. Obviously i was sore the first couple of days but after that i began to really feel good. Who would have thought that standing more throughout the day can have an impact on how your joints and muscles feel in the weeks to come well it true. For people who sit behind a desk all day, does sitting on a yoga ball benefit you more than a regular chair?

  • Anonymous

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  • Sharmaine A.

    I love this article. Others may view anyone saying this to them as a lunatic because they are the ones who spends lots of money on exercising equipment, Gym membership, athletic name brand things (Nike, under armor, etc) and they are the ones who try to mimic other athletics and pro-athletics. In their mind, that’s is the right way to exercise. They have to make a person who tells them “I call vacuuming exercise… I never, ever sit” feel like a fool because they feel like a fool for putting so much emphasis on something that could be so simple.

  • katrina brown

    I love this article. Its truly the key to a fit life. I know you say it is cheating but honestly its just being smart with your time and health. While reading through your list i fell in love with it all. I want to live a life of alternative exercise methods that are intertwined into my daily schedule, because life is too short and time is too valuable to have to maintain your health inside of a gym.

  • Reece Raethke

    I think that many people who do not exercise regularly don’t really know what it feels like to feel good. They are used to sitting around and not participating in physical activity, and then when they actually do get some exercise they try to do too much and give up. They just need to start small and work their way up, eventually they find yourself feeling better and wonder why they didn’t start exercising a long time ago.

  • kkachel

    I will never look at a vacuum cleaner the same way again. You provide some small, yet meaningful ways to get more exercise while in the home. A treadmill desk is a great idea.
    When I do laundry, I have to go to the basement. I like this, because I have to use the stairs. I enjoy mowing the lawn with a push mower, which has gotten a lot of use this summer with all the rain we received so far. The lawn mowing is a good workout. My other in-home movement needs to be supplemented with biking, walking or hiking to consider it beneficial toward my goal of becoming more physically fit.

  • Kyle moore

    The idea that I am a healthy person, that my life expectancy is going to be longer than someone who isnt as healthy, and that I feel great when im done is more than enough for me. The feeling I get after I am done is nothing that words can describe. I feel that I am on top of the world and am able to conquer anything that day. What motivates me is progress. Progress and continuing to get better, stronger, healthier, etc. Each day is a step in the right direction and knowing that the results show for themselves.

  • hensella

    I track how much I exercise while at practice through my GPS watch. Other coaches are getting the same thing so we can chart as a staff how much we move at a given practice. It’s almost like a competition.

  • Aaron Ackerman

    Something my high school football coach told me in regards to weight lifting: “It takes one day to break a habit and two weeks to get it back.” Meaning the one day that you decide to sleep in and not go to the workout, starting then it takes two full weeks of not missing one day to get back to where you were. This is something that has always stuck with me and something that I use as motivation to hit the gym even when I am dragging a bit.

  • Robert Murdock

    When I worked 3rd shift I had a ritual of taking my gym cloths with me to work so I would go to the gym between my work and house every morning that I got off work, I used MyFitnessPal app for awhile to track what I ate as well so if I knew I hadn’t eaten the healthiest the day before I would workout the next day no matter what. If I had free time, rather than watching tv or playing Madden, I would shoot hoops, go for a run, or go to the gym. I would replace idle times with active movement until it became habit.

  • Eric H

    We should all look at this cheating in a new way like you do! We are consumed with going to the gym for one hour then going home and laying on the couch all day. We need to cheat. We should take away furniture and vehicles and it will make us cheat. We will be so much more healthy if we practiced this cheating all day long. I cheat by purposely parking in the front of my driveway behind my roommates’ cars so I have to walk to class every morning.

  • Kevin Semler

    I believe the “cheating” that is involved here is more of a way to improve your time rather than having to do something extra to “cheat” your way through daily life in order to get fit. I know people, so many people, that think getting fit and staying in shape means that they have to go for a 3 run mile every day or hit the weights every day for at least an hour. The “cheating” lifestyle works all the better, by time management and doing things you usually do but being more active like you state, like not watching a tv show unless your on the treadmill or doing pushups during the boring part of the movie your significant other is making you watch.

  • Justin Shelton

    I strongly agree with you Ann, on the fact that exercise will save your mood. I exercise on a regular basis (6 days a week) and I know that it keeps my mood up. Over this summer I was up north and I didn’t get the chance to workout as regulary as I do. I noticed that my mood was not the same at all. I felt kind of up tight and somewhat irritable. Exercising, I believe helps releive a lot of stress, which I really like. Also I don’t like the feeling of doing nothing, I always like to be doing something.

  • Travis Ricci

    This is great it shows that you dont need to be the natural athlete we all wanted to be but that we just need to take the proper time out of our day the do something that betters our self’s which at the end of the day is who i truly care about and want to keep living on, and knowing that you want to pave the way for others to follow in your footsteps and show its possible with just a little bit of time

  • Sydney Sipos

    I think there was a really good point that was hidden in this article – the fact of just preparing yourself for exercise (or simply standing). I love the idea of wearing your workout clothes to bed. Rarely do I put on workout clothes and then change my mind about exercising – it’s feels like a waste of time if I don’t. Just the preparation stage for making changes like standing more is really important.

  • Ronny

    I played lots of sports when I was younger and as i got older I started playing the ones that i excelled in. when i am in offseason i tend to become the biggest turd on earth. I definitely need to find my niche when my career comes to an end this is a good article.

  • Guest

    I work at a CrossFit gym so most days I do not have a choice if I want to be their or not. I can say that I rarely lack the motivation to work out because it is something that I love to do. CrossFit challenges me everyday and this is what makes me look forward to going back the next day. I understand this is not the case for everybody and some people despise gyms or working out in this fashion. I totally agree with your article about being creative and cheating. I think that could be a great approach for people to just do their normal activities or find new activities they enjoy to keep them moving throughout the day.

  • Brady Sexton

    I am a trainer at a CrossFit gym so most days I do not have a choice if I want to be their or not. I can say that I rarely lack the motivation to work out because it is something that I love to do. CrossFit challenges me everyday and this is what makes me look forward to going back the next day. I understand this is not the case for everybody and some people despise gyms or working out in this fashion. I totally agree with your article about being creative and cheating. I think that could be a great approach for people to just do their normal activities or find new activities they enjoy to keep them moving throughout the day.

  • Brooke Gregory

    I said in one of my other comments that I always feel like exercise has to be painful and vigorous, but the more I read your articles the more I realize that is not the case in order to be healthy. I should exercise more often than I do at this point I will admit that, but after reading your list I think of things that I could do everyday that would help. I am a lifeguard and usually we have the option to sit in the guard chair. I usually take that option for whatever reason, laziness, boredom, sleepiness, when I should really just stand for that 20 minutes until the nest rotation. It’s not that much effort and as you say, I will benefit from it in the long run.

  • Ananda Conlon

    I think that a common misconception is that in order to get your workout in for the day, that you need to schedule time in and go to the gym. That works for some people, but not for all. I walk to class everyday. My roommate and I will do lunges or sit ups when we watch our weekly favorite show. I will bring my notes with me to the gym and read them while I work out. For busy people out there, it is key to multitask while working out. I have found that I even learn better and remember it more if I am being active while I study.

  • Ryano313

    Back at home, I would either ride my stationary bike, or run on the treadmill while watching my favorite sports team play for that week. I believe that everyone has some time throughout a day to exercise. Its up to the person though whether they want to make time do stay in shape/get more fit or just blow it off for another day. going to classes everyday and working, I still make time to go exercise or go get a lift in. I usually do it after I’m done with my classes as kind of a break from school work and such.

  • Steffiheuer

    I like how this article put exercise into everyday use. Using vacuuming as an exercise is kind of brilliant. I use to do squats from my bed to my closet and back when I could not do gymnastics. I tried to exercise during the day at home, so I would not have to go to the gym. I feel like as long as you are moving and getting active with your life it does not really matter what kind of exercises you are doing. I know walking can be just as good as running. Thank you for this article. I really enjoy the honesty in all your articles.

  • HelpHealth002

    Thanks for writing this blog Professor Garvin! I find myself sitting a lot throughout the week, whether it’s in college classes or my 2 hour commute everyday, I sit more than I stand. This article made me realize how important exercising really is for me since I’m pretty sedentary during most of the day. In Summer I never have to worry about it because I’m constantly on my feet, but once college classes start up every year, I’m back to sitting in class and spending hours a week in my car. I think this article is great for any college student to read because I believe we all can relate! What do you advise college students do if they feel like they are stuck sitting in class everyday and don’t have the opportunity to move around a lot throughout the day?

  • Hannah Leggett-Hintz

    I feel like it’s almost the cheesiest thing in the world to say that reading things like this literally make you WANT to be motivated. And I get it, that’s the point isn’t it? But sometimes, most of the time, it’s just our laziness and our time too consumed with other things that are what get us…I’m not one to judge because I definitely fall into that category. I WANT to be more motivated and more fit and more exercised all the time. But I keep repeating what Doctor Garvin says ALL the time in class, it’s not enough just to want it. How BAD do you want it??? And when I hear that I remind myself that I truly must not want it enough. I must not want it more than getting my homework done, more than spending time in my faith, and more than ice cream scoops after a terrible day. I need to want it more.

  • Natasha Tynczuk

    I will admit that I don’t exercise as often as I should, but I always find a way to fit at least a little bit of physical activity into my day. Walking back and forth between classes, the library, my room, and meetings all day is a huge part of it, but when I’m at home I try to do sit-ups or lift dumbbells while I’m watching TV at night. I even try to do calf raises or squats while I’m brushing my teeth. Sometimes, it’s the little things that add up.

  • Skowronssj06

    I am one of those people with a busy schedule and who doesn’t work out every day. I go on these “mission’s” where I start working out for like 3 weeks (3 or 4 times a week) then all of a sudden I stop. Whether it’s because I have too much homework, the weather is gloomy or I had a long day and just want to cuddle with my dog and watch netflix. Seeing your “cheats” makes me relaize that I can “work out” by doing simple stuff. I get some exercise now walking to class and at my job where I am on my feet moving around for 5 hours straight. But I need to learn to stick with it- that’s my hardest part.

  • Catey Navarro

    After realizing I was not getting enough exercise in, I started roller blading to class. Although it is not ideal and I am awfully sweaty by the time I get there, I feel better knowing that I didn’t drive to class on a nice day. I also know that when I lay down at night I can think that I got some physical activity today and that tomorrow is a new day to try and fit more in. I live pretty far from campus so it is tough not to rely on my car to transport me places. Weather permitting, I try and either walk or roller blade knowing that as the night rolls around I won’t have the time to do anything.

    I agree with you on the dog part! I have two dogs at home. One is a highly bread hunter who is crazy energetic at all times. She motivates me to run and when we run together, she drags me half the time. But she pushes me to work harder when I don’t want to. Who knew a dog could do so much.

  • Aarynn Bosshart

    I loved your list. Thanks for sharing some creative ideas. These are the ways I cheat: park far away at the grocery store, take the stairs instead of the elevator, clean my apartment (vacuuming with my heaving vacuum is a good workout), plan active date nights with my husband (then it doesn’t feel like exercise because I have a fun person with me!), walk around campus in between classes, etc. Exercise does not necessarily have to entail workout clothes and sweat. My father-in-law decided to take control of his health this past summer. He bought a Fitbit, downloaded MyFitnessPal on his phone to track calories and exercise, and walks. Walks. That’s all he does for exercise. He listens to his favorite podcast each morning and walks before he goes to work. This summer, he lost over twenty pounds. He looks amazing and feels amazing. I think it’s awesome because his story shoes that exercise can be ANYTHING! It doesn’t have to be super hard or intense. It can actually be quite enjoyable – like walking down the winding country roads and listening to your favorite podcast as the sun rises. This is a little off topic, but you like Breaking Bad? I’ve heard so many good things about it… I may have to check it out.

  • hasselbemj31

    As a college student it can be extremely hard for me to fit exercising into my everyday schedule. I will skip days just because I am lazy and don’t want to take another shower and have to get ready again after it. I skip days because I have to much homework to do. I skip exercising even though I know it isn’t good for me. I know this but yet don’t do anything about it some days. Why? I also realized after reading this article how much I actually sit throughout the day. It is actually kind of pathetic to me and embarrassing to even say. I sit all day in classes, come home and sit to do homework, sit while i’m eating breakfast, lunch and dinner, sit while i’m watching TV, lay down while i’m sleeping. This is a lot of sitting throughout the day and if you don’t make time in your day to exercise you are only hurting yourself and your future. I love how you gave different options on how you can easily fit exercising in your schedule and where you can’t make excuses for it. By simply standing throughout the day can help your health. By doing your reading assignments while walking on the treadmill. You can do two things and once and accomplish two goals, completing homework and getting your workout in. Recently, what helps me stay motivated is to have a partner to exercise with. By having someone to workout with they keep your motivated while you keep them motivated. By having someone have a common goal as you, they keep your accountable.

  • Sam Kuchenreuther

    Such an easy way to look at exercise. Thank you, Ann! This school year I decided not to buy a parking pass and I walk to all my classes no matter how far away. I even walk to my 8am class that is all the way in the Williams Center. Not only do I get a little exercise in but it saves a ton of gas. You also said that you get up early in the morning to do your exercise. What if you’re not a morning person and busy in the afternoon with studying?

  • karinaz10

    It’s a fact, Americans now days lead very sedentary lives. We sit at work, we sit at school, and we sit at home. But it doesn’t have to be that way. And although you may not be able to find the time to work out, finding alternative active ways to fulfill everyday tasks is a start. I like to take the long hilly way home from school. The possibilities are endless.Take the stairs instead of the elevator, work out during commercials, or do something active in your free time.

  • Mitch Sween

    Thanks for the post.
    I think saying no one enjoys exercise is like saying no one likes dark chocolate. In both of these cases, some people do. Although it is important to excerse throughout your life it is just as important to try different activities till you find one that you enjoy rather than forcing yourself to do something you hate.

  • Jessica White

    I love the fact that this confirms that I’m not the only one that does this! Movement is movement, period! Granted, am I going to get physically fit by vacuuming every room in my house? No, but it is a whole lot better than sitting on my bum all day long; plus it is productive. Even if I cheat, I still get the satisfaction of knowing that I was moving. I’m to the point now that I have to walk between my classes, otherwise my legs hurt. It might be psychological or it might not be. Either way, it is yet another motivator for me to get up. When I have multiple classes in the same building, I find a place that I can leave my books for a few minutes and walk the stairs. I go up one side of the building and then down the other. I usually take about 2 laps and then I’m ready to work, concentrate and/or sit and listen in lecture. If I don’t move every hour or so, I’m sure I drive people nuts around me. I fidget, squirm and do that annoying leg jumping thing that typically feels like an earth quake for the rest of the class. Though I think I’ve gone off topic slightly, the point is, I may be sitting in class daily but I do what I can to get my blood flowing regularly throughout the day, then come home and take my dogs for a nice long walk. A cold nose on your arm or two crazy dogs are good motivators as well… especially if I want to be productive once again.

  • Alex Prailes

    I definitely find this struggle all the time. I usually get on an exercise kick and go to the gym or fitness classes a couple days in a row and then the one day I wake up sore I just find it is so difficult to go again. It’s something that everyone struggles with and is very hard to stay motivated. I found recently that my roommate and I are good motivators for each other. We push each other to go on the days the other one doesn’t want to go. This has helped me push through my mental struggles of getting myself to get up and go. What is your favorite motivator? Thanks for posting!

  • earose14

    This is a very smart way to think about how much you wouldnt sit if you do your daily activitys standing or walking. Any time I get the chance to sit throughout the day I do. So days during the week when I am in class I am sitting other wise I walk to and from which is some walking but then when I am home I either do my homework on my bed or couch. Even bringing studying material to the weight room and reading and walking is better than nothing. Simply doing your daily activities not as lazy can better your health. Some dont have the opportunity to do things the way you did in the article and only have a choice to do things sitting down. Thanks for sharing!

  • Matthew Manley-Browne

    Thanks for the post!
    I think that this article is really useful for people who dont have the motivation to exercise. What motivates me to exercise is to go to the gym at the same time every day. I disagree with the idea that you have to constantly be exercising as much as possible throughout the day. If you constantly have to think throughout your day about working out, you’ll get stressed easily.

  • knapprl17

    I am on the soccer team which helps me stay motivated. I have 22 other girls that are pushing me to be in the best shape possible to help the team on the field and earn playing time. Even when I do not have practice I want to be active and get some kind of exercise in. I notice that when I do not have a good workout or do not workout at all I am not in a very good mood and have a lower self-esteem.

  • warnlofjc20

    My motivation to exercise is that I pay for a gym membership. Every time I think about blowing off going to the gym I think to myself “You’re paying for this either way, if you’re just gonna sit at home then you’re just throwing money away”. It works surprisingly well.

  • warnlofjc20

    The idea seems counter intuitive, but this article brings up a really good point that if you have something to do while you’re working out then it doesn’t really seem like working out at all. I’ve had days where I forgot to grab my headphones when I work out and its a lot worse because I’m focusing on the stress on my body, but if you have something to do, like listen to music, then you’re focusing on that and not the stress. So working out doesn’t really feel like working out, it just feels like you were at the gym for however long because you had that constant distraction while you were there.

  • Nathan

    Thank you! I really enjoyed when you said that there are no negative side effects to exercising. The side effects of not exercising are endless! People need to start exercising and make it a habit. How do you think we could change a whole society’s habits? Just by cheating their way?

  • CoachDavis24

    Good article, and yes Ann you are insane. You live such a busey life that you don’t have that much time to just “work out” but you find time. I think a lot of people don’t understand what exercise is exactly. They think that in order to exercise they have to do this massive amount of sweating and use a tone of energy in a given amount of time. I am a person that has a hard time to get myself to work out, but enjoy doing it while I’m doing it. I don’t know why It’s so hard for me to do something that I actually enjoy doing. I always, unless I’m running late, park further away and walk to all my classes. Even if it’s really cold out, I still walk to all my classes. If people would just park 10-15 mins away from work, if possible, then they could get some exercise everyday. We live in a hurry up, now world and we are always trying to play catch up.

  • Brad Vogel

    I wish I had the money and space in my house to do this. Sadly, the best I have is parking further away, coaching, refereeing, and line dancing. If I could get more items that allowed me to make it non-negotiable I absolutely would.

  • Trista Radloff

    Yeah I feel the same way!! I love the feeling after I work out, I feel as if I can accomplish anything; like I am on top of the world. However, its getting myself to the gym or for a walk that I struggle with. Being a college student and working 30 hours a week, when I get a day off I do just want to sit and do nothing. I don’t want to exercise. I’d like to learn ways to motivate myself on those days where I don’t feel like going.

  • ReneeBinder

    Finding my motivation to build exercise into my daily routine has been very challenging to me. I do little things like parking at the back end of a parking lot so I have to walk farther into the store, taking the stairs up to my room on 7th floor, and instead of going out to eat to catch up with friends we go for walks. I also have seen my family members suffer from cancer and diabetes which is something I want to prevent as much as possible.

  • Tracy_Werner

    My motivation to exercise is my job! I worked as a fitness supervisor in the Williams Center weight room for 2 years before becoming the student manager and with that comes a free fitness membership. If being in the weight room at least 4 days a week looking at all those fit, motivated, healthy individuals isn’t motivation than I don’t know what is! I bring work out clothes with me to work so that I have no excuse not to work out when I know that I am free for the rest of the night with the exception of doing homework. Another little bit of motivation for myself is buying new athletic clothing… I know it may sound stupid because no one else actually cares what you look like when you’re working out, but I still get excited to wear new workout clothes to the gym right away!

  • Kyree Brooks

    I really agree with the idea of sitting all day because I have all of my tools there. But then again, if i work out i do not get fat or at least stay how I am. Even if you have not been raised in an active lifestyle it will hurt you in the long run. Being a cheater will never be a gain. Thank you

  • sgawinski

    It’s definitely something that is hard to get started on. But with the list of activities mentioned in the above post, it really comes down to one term. Lifestyle change. All of these adjustments such as a treadmill desk, house with more stairs, having more dogs (having to walk them more,) etc. are all little tweaks and adjustments in her lifestyle that really set the tone for her to be more of an exerciser. We may not all go to these measures but if we start making some small adjustments over and time in promoting being more active, we can do better than we currently are!

  • Kent Miehe

    Thank you for sharing! I agree, not everyone has the time, or simply the skill or energy to exercise the same amount and extent that athletes do. It’s just impossible. However, changing little things in your lifestyles like you stated above can make little differences, and those little differences add up. Instead of riding the elevator, take the stairs. Instead of driving to class, make time and walk. What is the best way to keep these habits?

  • danac501

    I will be honest one reason not my main reason is I want to look good! By that I also mean feeling good on the inside! But my main reason is I want to be a physical education teacher. How can I promote healthy lifestyle if I don’t have one myself. I am trying to decrease the obesity rate in young children and one way that can start is by having them get up and just get moving a little in PE class everyday. I know that one automatically decrease it but its a step in the right direction. So the kids are my motivation and a bright healthy future for myself!

  • Glassborow

    My motivation to exercise is generally because I just love to exercise. Throughout my life I have been active, I swam until I was 19, rode horses for 8 years, got a school record in high jump and discus and now I play for Great Britain in Women’s American Football. Compared to what you were saying about your dad being a ‘reader’, my dad was definitely a ‘thrower’, he’s the main reason why I love sport and another reason I exercise is because I want to be just like him when I’m older and make him proud of me. I also see exercising as a bit of a competition, I want to be the best and beat everyone around me, which I think is good but obviously not so much that I am big headed – no one wants to be around that!

  • Theresa Fitzsimmons

    One thing that really motivates me is knowing how I used to look in high school when I did cross country. Unfortunately I have to commute from my mom’s house this year. She still has my senior pictures up. I always think to myself that I want to always feel and look as good as I did when I ran 8 to 10 miles a day when I was in high school. I also have tried to pick up small habits of running up and down stairs in my house, and also doing push ups if I’m not doing anything else. Thanks for sharing your article the list of cheating ways to work out has some wonderful ideas on it!

  • Charles Fischer

    That is a great idea, when I go to the store I wander around the store at a good pace for at least 30 minutes to get some of my walking in. While on campus I get there early and walk around the building when it is cold or raining outside, if it is nice then I walk around campus before my first class.

  • Sam Kuchenreuther

    I agree with you, Collin. The only way someone is going to workout is if they are motivated. If they are not, then they will not workout. And even if they do, they won’t give it 100%. You said you had coaches to motivate you growing up, what sports did you play?

  • Alex Prailes

    I think my main motivation to exercise is my family. My whole family is very active and my parents had us in sports all year round as kids. This kind of shaped my mind to think it was normal to always be active. When I was about 12 my mom found out she had high cholesterol so it really helps motivate me now as an adult to stay active to keep my cholesterol levels down. Keeps me very motivated!

  • I LOVE this article. I love everything it stands for. It doesn’t matter what you do, as long as you do SOMETHING. While I’m at work, I make it my business to do something physical. During commercials, like you stated, I do push-ups, jumping jacks, squats and crunches. I have a nice routine where I burn at least 200 or more calories an hour on my shift. Can you imagine that, 200 calories/hour? Sounds terrible, unless you work 14 shifts like I do. Granted, I don’t watch tv for 14 hours (that would be terrible), but when I do, I “cheat” my way to success too.

  • Hillary12

    This article really puts into perspective how easy it can actually be to exercise 30 minutes everyday, not just 3 days a week. It’s crazy to think how much exercise I would’ve done in my lifetime if I did push-ups during every commercial break I have experienced. I would have a six pack! Well probably not, but that would definitely be a lot of push-ups. There really isn’t any excuse for not making time to exercise.

  • Amanda Wood

    This article is what I want my life to be. I want to be able to go to bed in my workout clothes and start my day off right. I want to make a difference in my life and be healthier (but I should probably just say healthy because I need to start there). The thing is that I need motivation. I know my motivation should be living longer, being healthier, feeling better, etc. but it is not that motivation I need. It is the physical well-being I need to be able to walk 3 miles a day, to walk on a treadmill while typing these posts up. I need to find “my” motivation to start and keep moving.

  • LeiderGM20

    I also do it in the morning when I’m still half unconscious and exercise before I can even realize how much I hate it. Then about halway through I’m awake and figure I might as well finish. Then the rest of the day I feel awesme because I know I did good that morning!

  • Alise Brown

    Finding sneaky ways to get in exercise is the best and most useful way to get people to exercise more. If they can get it in throughout the day or adding it into their daily routines they are more likely to start a healthier lifestyle.

  • Travis Mattice

    I like the fact that you enjoy sitting as much as most people. With you saying that it makes this article that much more relatable to us. Knowing it is not coming from some random person who makes it sound like they never sit and don’t enjoy it. But everything you said makes a lot of sense. It really doesn’t take much to be active. It could be the littlest thing but just as long as you are doing something.

  • d_millyy

    Thank you for that amazing and interesting article! This information is so important to so many People! It shows that everyone can exercise and most of them do it without even knowing. A question for you is what was the hardest change for you? Did it get easier over time or is it still hard to make sure you exercise?

  • Andrew Bliefernicht

    The part that stuck with me in this article was the fact that when you moved to the midwest you learned about athletics through school. Although I did not move to the midwest I learned about them the same way. Neither my parents were actively involved in athletics in school so I learned about them on my own. And I am thankful that I did because it has lead me down the path that I am on with my love for physical activity.

  • Andrew Bliefernicht

    It depends on the activity that I am doing. if it is a run it can become mundane and monotonous so I need to listen to fast upbeat music to keep me going and pushing through the workout.

  • Bangyan Zhang

    I think using the word “cheat” is not the really meaning in this article. Actually, we should learn how to adjust ourselves include mood. How to make us more confident. Everybody has potential when they was born. However, we have nothing when we were born. One thing we are always in finding is finding real self. The process is tough. But, if we can find ourselves finally, I think that is the really amazing and lucky thing in our lives.

  • Kaylie Mae Kuhnke

    love the ideas but how do you stay motivated i see a lot of people asking this. i want so badly to work out but i always do the oh i will do it tomorrow or oh i had an apple for breakfast so pizza for lunch it is. im not consistent and i want to be i want to be motivated but dont know how.

  • Adam

    Progress keeps me motivated. Unfortunately I cannot exactly relate to the audience your are speaking to here. Exercise is my food and water. But what keeps me motivated is sure to keep others motivated as well and that is progress. When you can run faster/farther than you could two weeks ago it feels good. When you squat 100 pounds heavier than you could last year it feels incredible. This progress constantly makes me crave for more.

  • Abbey Stibbs

    The idea of sleeping in exercise clothes is brilliant! I feel like an idiot not thinking of that. I have done all of these things to try to motivate myself to lose weight, and none of them work. I purposely buy healthy food only to make me eat it, I take monthly progress photos of my body to see what I have accomplished, I write inspiring notes to myself and hang them all over my apartment, but somehow, all of these things eventually get ignored. I somehow find a way to get around all of it. I want to get in shape, I want to be healthier, but It is so much easier to not exercise and eat like crap! I hate that so much! I want the willpower to work out every morning. I always make excuses for myself, and then I complain later on how awful my body is and how much I hate it. I keep letting myself down. I think that it is really important to find something that will work best for you. I still think wearing your work out clothes to bed is a brilliant idea! I think I need to do more research than I already have on all this lifestyle changing stuff. Hopefully in the future I will see dramatic changes in my health and in my body, and I will just keep going because it is so natural to me, like knowing when to use the bathroom!

  • thomas kearney

    I totally agree with you. Exercising is very important. I think a lot of people including myself lacks consistency. I will have a period when I’m constantly working out then I will have a period where I’m not working out. I need to find that consistent balance for working out especially since I’m still young and the lack of exercise can have a lot of negative effects if I don t exercise like I should. I know exercising is one of the most important functions that can be over looked in sociert.

  • B Keng

    I used to be one of those people who would procrastinate with exercise. I would put it off the next day or the day after that. I knew that the only way for me to keep exercising was to find some kind of motivation. Everyday exercise would be like homework, i had to force myself to do it even if i didn’t want to. However, I knew that if i didn’t do it, I wouldn’t get a grade or in this case results/progress. Now it actually feels good to exercise. Heck I even need it every night knowing that results aren’t so far out of reach.

  • Leahrebout

    I like to make a new goal each month like cutting down a run time, losing a couple pounds, etc. This is what continues to push me to get my butt going. I feel like i’m competing against myself to complete my goal and it helps me keep going.

  • Leahrebout

    Thank god I am not the only one who has to literally force myself to exercise (self pep talks are a daily occurrence), thanks for sharing this! I have such a hard time getting motivated and it seems like as soon as I’m able to get there something comes up and causes a distraction and I lose it. I always thought I had to go for a hardcore workout and would get so exhausted it took me days to recover and get the energy for another round. I need to learn to make it non-negotiable for everyday and get in a routine of little things I can do during regular daily activities to get some exercise in and make myself healthier.

  • Taylor

    My goals are what keeps me motivated to exercise. I love being able to reach my goals and then being able to set higher goals for myself. Another thing that keeps me motivated are my friends and teammates, when they get better it makes me want to get better with them.

  • shackletka05

    Thank you for sharing! I think this is a more than awesome way of putting exercise in the right perspective. I feel like its not so much the actual exercising that people have a hard time getting through but more of their mentalities towards it. It is almost like people talk themselves out of exercising before actually getting into it because of the word “exercise”. They feel forced to do it rather than making it day to day responsibilities more active just like you had said. The way you make it a point to do things that could be done sitting you choose to be moving instead. This is the mindset that will get you living a healthier lifestyle without even realizing it.

  • Schudakp21

    This was a very motivational post. I hate exercising. I always dread thinking about running around in a circle for 20 minutes. I do enjoy playing sports but its not always easy to get a group together to play. So i have to force myself to exercise and after a couple days i take a break and then cant motivate myself to start up again. So i like the point you make when you say how it can make a big difference it can make by just changing a activity that you normally sit and make it a standing or walking activity.

  • Garrett Nelson

    What a great post Ann, thanks for sharing! First to answer your question, to stay active I usually do many body weight exercises in my house (pushups, sit-ups, crunches, planks, etc.) every other day of the week, and then typically go for a run afterwards (usually 3-4 miles). Sometimes in between commercials I’ll do some quick exercises such as burpies or pushups, just to pass the time, and to NOT be sitting. On top of that, I have a pretty active job that gets me lots of walking, kneeling, squatting and heavy hauling in my daily routine. The examples you listed above may sound lunatic-ish, but so be it if it gets the job done and is effective in your daily life. These are some simple ways to get exercise into your daily life by NOT by going to the weight room and getting jacked, but just through activities that you enjoy on a regular basis which is key to maintaining consistency. A question I have, what do you believe is the most difficult part of getting exercise into your daily life, and maintaining it consistently? Thanks again for the post!

  • Alise Brown

    These are great ways to get yourself up and out of bed! Having a buddy definitely makes me actually show up because you don’t want to let them down if you don’t show up. Having your clothes set out is great too, especially if you have a roommate still sleeping and you’re getting up that early.

  • Alise Brown

    I agree it would be such a struggle for me to get up everyday to workout at that time, and I’d still be half asleep. But it is working for you the more power to ya! I do like working out better in the morning before I start my day because then you really do feel better throughout the day as you had mentioned.

  • Alise Brown

    That is great motivation, and to look at yourself and better your own times or weight is the best way. If you look at other people you may try to overdo it, but setting little goals can make you feel accomplished and make you want to get moving even more.

  • Alise Brown

    I think everyone loves to sit around, at least every once and a while just to lounge out. I know I do, and sometimes I won’t let myself lay down or get comfortable until I have worked out because I know once I lay down there is no possible way I’m getting back up, so promising myself to have time to lounge after a workout is the best strategy for me.

  • Alise Brown

    I can definitely relate to you! I love running and I like to go out for miles on end, and in this winter weather it is not like going out in a spring day. There is ice and wind and my legs are so numb I’m not sure they are still there. Unfortunately Wisconsin gets about half of a year of that but when the summer comes its that much more enjoyable.

  • Luke Drumel

    Ann, I absolutely love this, your ideas aren’t even close to being out of the ordinary because they work and their effective. As a student and finals rolls around, its seems none of us have time but if we do the little things when we can it makes all the difference. So as for this years finals week I’m going to make a promise to myself to try your idea of getting mini work outs during commercials or whenever I have the most energy.

  • hicksjd11

    This post is so important. It’s all about finding the time and incorporating exercise into your daily routine. From personal experience, I know that this can be an extremely hard thing to do. However, I find that the more often I exercise, the easier it is to continue and make it a part of my everyday life.

  • hicksjd11

    I get motivated by the way that I feel after a good workout. When I don’t want to go to the gym, I remind myself how amazing I feel after I’ve exercised and that’s usually enough to get me there.

  • hicksjd11

    I’m glad someone else thinks the same way I do. I have always been very consistent with going to the gym every day. If I don’t, I feel extremely uncomfortable and that feeling isn’t worth it to me.

  • hicksjd11

    Weather plays a large role in my motivation to workout. Although I exercise indoors, I find it hard to get myself there when the weather is cold or rainy. Those are the kind of days I love to stay inside and curl up in bed with movies.

  • Austin Dorman

    I like to make a new goal for myself each month. Weather that is to be able to run 5 miles in a certain time, or bike so many miles I just like setting new goals for myself. That usually keeps me motivated to exercise.

  • Austin Dorman

    I feel the same way. I need the exercise in my daily routine just to keep me going and not feel self conscious. I also eat healthier when I’m working out. When I’m regularly in the gym, I’m less likely to eat at McDonalds or something like that.

  • Austin Dorman

    I fully agree with you! If you’re super unhealthy and inactive, how are you suppose to promote exercise and nutrition? You just can’t. No one would listen to you. And trying to decrease the obesity rate in young children is a great goal to have!

  • ReneeKirch19

    Thank you for this article Ann, it was truly inspiring! I love your articles are filled with the truth; I have found that it allows me to connect with it in a much greater way. I used to really enjoy exercising, and now, I don’t why, but I just don’t enjoy it as much as I used to. It makes me sad because working out used to be the highlight of my day, bu no I literally dread going. I hate the feeling of having to push myself to exercise, because I shouldn’t have to push myself, I should just want to go. I think it may have something to do with my new busier schedule this semester but I’m not entirely sure that is the only reason. How do you keep yourself motivated to work out when you have such a busy schedule?

  • ReneeKirch19

    Something that has helped me more to stay motivated to exercise has been the desire for a break. I have a very busy schedule this semester and I am constantly doing things that are academic related. Every so often it is almost a break to work out and escape from all the struggles of school. Putting my headphones in and tuning out the world for an hour is much needed when you are a busy college student, which I would guess most of us are.

  • danac501

    Thanks! I don’t know about you but I had many physical education teachers when I was growing up that were very unhealthy and not in shape. They would eat fast food right in front of us. Did you have any experiences like that? I think back when I was in elementary school when hiring physical education teachers the requirements weren’t very high. what do you think?

  • Kent Miehe

    My gratitude keeps me going. I am a runner, and being on a campus with a lot of people in wheelchairs, I realize that they would give anything to be able to run for a day. I am so lucky to be able to do what I do, and I never want to take that for granted. Currently I am injured and unable to run. I am motivated to exercise because I hate having that ability taken away from me. I have other effective ways of being active while being injured. Just the fact that I am able to do the things that I can keeps me going and motivated to exercise.

  • Eric H

    I stay motivated by appreciating my body and results. I see so many people around campus that are obese and out of shape. I try my best to not fall into those categories by exercising on pretty much a daily basis. If you look good you will feel good and I will never want that to go away. Also after exercising I feel so accomplished. Thanks for the article.

  • Eric H

    I agree with this. Thanks for the post. Goals are huge. If we do not set goals while exercising we can be consumed and lost in all of it and end up quitting. If we see improvement and results we will never want to get because we will continue the desire to improve.

  • This is such a fantastic article! By far the best one I have read on this site! Not only did you describe how exercise and physical activity are essential in maintaining health and longevity (even though we all, for the most part, enjoy sitting around and relaxing) but you also demonstrated that there really is no excuse to not exercise. No matter how busy your schedule is, no matter if you have access to a gym or not, and no matter where you are at in life, you can fit exercise and physical activity into your life. I especially like how you framed the importance of exercising at the end of your article: “It has no negative side effects and if you want to hold your children’s children, continue to save the world, be all that you can be, there isn’t anything better.”
    Thank you so much for sharing!

  • Cossioj14

    I stay motivated by always switching it up. Yes there will be times i become a gym rate for months where i lift weights. BUt there are other times I like to do recreational things. I also enjoy seeing how hard i can push my body, its something some people like to do.

  • Austin Dorman

    Exactly! I have a friend that will just randomly working out with no structure or goals. He’ll just hop on the treadmill, and when he gets tired he just quit. His bad habit is an example of working out without goals. He just does random stuff because he doesn’t think his workout out, and then when he doesn’t see improvements he get’s upset. I always tell him that I needs to set a goal and then work to accomplish it.

  • Austin Dorman

    Most of my physical education teachers were out of shape and unhealthy. Not quite to the extant that you saw, but still not healthy people. I would look at them and just think, “Why should I listen to you?” Although I understand that most physical educators aren’t going to be a triathlete with a six pack, they need to at least have healthy behaviors and be a healthy person. I’m more likely to listen to a healthy person about health rather than an unhealthy one, obviously.

  • DuchAM21

    I try to workout at the fitness center 5 times a week. I am really bad when it comes to exercising in my own house, so I force myself to go to the gym. I happen to work in the weight room as a Fitness Supervisor so I oversee everyone working their butts off, and it motivates me to workout harder.

  • Caroleigh Perkins

    Exercise is my therapy. If I didn’t take the time to run out all my thoughts and anxiety I would go crazy. I also exercise to keep my body in shape and looking fabulous.

  • AndreaOlsen22

    I enjoyed this article. It really shows how easy it can be to get just the right amount of exercise you need in each and every day. If it can be this simple, everyone is able to do it and SHOULD do it because who doesn’t want to live a long happy life? Your examples show how we can still do all the things we want to do, just in a non-lazy fashion. Setting standards for ourselves and sticking to them is extremely important. Without a standard like “I can only watch this movie if I’m on the treadmill” there would be no motivation to exercise. Just think, would you rather pass away way earlier than you should, or would you want to take 30 minutes, just 30 minutes, a few times a week to keep yourself alive and healthy.

  • Sarah Kasiurak

    I really enjoyed reading this article. I am on the track and cross country team at school and one thing that helps me stay motivated is to work hard to get better at what I love to do. Having different workouts throughout the week helps so you are not doing the same boring exercise day after day. Running also helps clear my mind and without it I think I would go crazy.

  • gaulrappkj17

    I struggle as a college student with 8:00 AM classes and working out in the morning. It stinks!! I love my 8:00 AM classes, but lets face it, it would be so much easier if it was at 8:30 AM so that I could go to the yoga class, or get on the treadmill. I could just get up earlier, this is true. But time has shown me, that I will not do it and stick with it. I have tried and tried, but I love the snooze button.

  • BastarKm06

    I don’t know what I would do without exercise. It helps me socially, mentally, and obviously physically. That’s all the motivation I need!

  • leeana liska

    I don’t know if what i do would be called a motivation technique, but more of a guilt trip to make sure I am training the way i need to be. I started keeping a journal of the workouts I do everyday along with the approximate number of calories that I burned while doing it. It help me put into perspective how much I actually exercised and how it relates to my diet. When I don’t exercise I dread-idly have to write down nothing in the journal. In addition, I’ve recently been adding a little side note about how I felt after doing the workout, and without fail I always feel better than when I started.

  • leeana liska

    Alex, I can easily relate to your comment. I started running more trying to improve my fitness for other sports back in high school by joining the cross country team. My family was greatly affected by my decision, because my mom, both of my sisters, and my brother began running as well. Our family became so much healthier overall and my mom worked to create more of a variety and balanced diet for all of us. Seeing all of my family being healthy and always making an effort keeps me motivated as well!

  • leeana liska

    A workout buddy is one of the best ways that I stayed motivated as well. It’s much easier to go for a run or go to the gym if someone else is making plans to meet with you. Also, I found that on the days where I run for a long time, it seems a lot easier having someone to talk to and make the run more interesting.

  • Alexa A Dralle

    My motivation to exercise it the simple fact that exercise makes me happy. It relieves stress, makes me look good, and surges endorphins throughout my body. So much better than sitting in my bed watching Netflix and shoving Triscuits down my throat (not that I don’t mind doing this once in a while). I think people are usually scared of exercise because they haven’t had the chance to find a type that makes them happy.

  • Michellelele123

    I need someone to help me stay motivated! currently none of my friends schedules match mine to work out together so I just started with a personal trainer at my gym. If I’m paying money for it, I will show up haha

  • struckml03

    Wow! This just motivated me so much Ann! Making a list is something so common and makes me think why didnt I think of doing that? That is a great idea and you have some great examples in there. I think im going to be a “cheater” in the sense of stealing your list. I am going to make a list just like this and add extra things on here to make myself healthier and better myself. I am so excited to try this out. You are right, it has no negative side effects. People can try and fight for excuses like time – but its all in your priorities. I know I wanna live a long happy healthy life. Im saving this blog for sure and looking back at this!

  • Jessica Peardon

    I totally agree with you! I’m volunteering at a hospital and helping with a Change Grant to make the community healthier. I complained about walking to a class and they all looked at me like I was crazy. Their response was “Well you gotta get those steps in!” It made me feel foolish and now I don’t mind walking to class and even to other places in town. Unfortunately, buying new workout clothes does not motivate me to workout.

  • Taysia Justus

    I absolutely love this! I’m not a regular exerciser, and I wish I could find more time to be. And I probably could find more time but I’m making excuses for myself. I love the idea of never sitting. At my job (I’m a waitress at a very face paced restaurant) I never have the chance to sit, not even to stand still for more than a minute, and I love it. I get tired, but I know that this exercise will probably be the only exercise I get during the week. And when I work a double shift, that’s almost 12 straight hours of walking. How great! But I do love the idea of never sitting, it will definitely allow me to force myself to be more active.

  • Kayla Martin

    I make goals for myself at the start of every swim season. They push me all year round, when i reach the goal there is always something new. Right now there is a girl in the WIAC conference that came from a division 1 school I am trying to beat her in the mile. The mile is the longest indoor race that is swum. It is awful and great all at the same time. I can’t stand not being the best at something. I want to be better then everyone. I push myself and practice way too much haha. I am not sure how I am going to stay motivated after swim is done, but I have a feeling I will be going to a lot of workout classes.

  • Colin HIckey

    I agree that the little things can add up, but remember that can go both ways. The bad things, even the little bad things, can add up as well. Just as Professor Garvin says in the article, keep cheating your way out of sitting and the bad habits. If you do the little things that are good, but keep the bad little things as well, It won’t necessarily even out. I personally like to do the big things and make myself get into a habit of them so that I think that they are the little things. Going on a 2 mile run isn’t that bad if you feel weird that you didn’t do it otherwise!

  • milleram97

    It truly is the little things that add up to just getting yourself moving during the day.
    While I’m typing this I actually got up to a high counter so I could stand.
    The thing that most people hate about exercise is finding the time, and many think that only can take place inside a gym setting. In reality, anything that makes your heart start to pump faster or your muscles a bit sore you can constitute as exercise. I feel like that word alone has some sort of negative connotation, as in I KNOW I should do it but do I really WANT to?
    There’s many other options besides simply lifting weights and going for a run (not that those things are persay bad).
    What about volunteering? That gets you off the phone or computer, maybe moving things, cleaning, moving around with little kids and as an added bonus-you’re helping others.
    What about handy work? Around the house there’s always little things to be fixed, maybe reorganized or cleaned and I’m telling you the people you live with will appreciate the effort.
    What about when you have to sit? (ie: work or class) Fidgeting burns extra calories, so does talking (though it is true that sometimes we wish some would do it less). So while you’re in the dreaded math class, why not get your own personal extra credit in

    So before you make an excuse of not having enough time-there are 24 hours in a day, 8 of which can be dedicated to sleeping and the other 16 to having an active mindset.

  • hansends21

    This article in a way makes me think of my need for always making to do lists. I am the type of person who does much better when I am constantly busy. If I have too much time to do nothing, nothing is just what I will do and I become very lazy. Therefor, I am constantly making to do lists, which very often is just me creating things for myself to do, that are not really necessary. However, I think this is good for me because it keeps me moving. If I have nothing to do, I would just lay in bed all day and watch Criminal Minds. As appealing as that may sound, I do not want to waste my life away and die because I was too lazy. So I suppose, keep the to do lists coming.

  • Garrett Nelson

    Awesome post, well spoken Ann! I love all the examples you provided above, along with the simple message of stop sitting and stay active, and that is considered your exercise. If it works for you, it most likely can work for others as well. Obviously everyone is different, and stay active at different levels, but the more you can include exercise into your daily routine, whether the focus is to strengthen your body or simply walk the dog, having that productivity will help you cheat to becoming healthier. To simply take the time and think about things you do leisurely and modify them so they are a bit more active or engaging can make a world of a difference when it comes to your health. For me personally, I like to do push-ups and crunches during timeouts and commercial breaks while watching sports. On top of that I usually like to stay active (whether it is basketball, football, baseball, lifting, running, etc.) at least three times a week. Thanks for sharing, great advice professor!

  • Ashley Gardner

    I love this article. It holds so much truth. Having exercise in your life is key to being healthy and living a long life. I love that she says you dont have to do any crazy things to stay fit. The little things do count. I walk to class instead of drive, when I study I make notecards to bring with me to use on the treadmill. There are little things that once in a habbit of doing will make your life a lot healthier.

  • RadebaugVP02

    All throughout my years of growing up sports and exercise was encouraged by my parents. It obviously made it that much more encouraging that my friends would be able to do it with me. I 100% agree that we do sit too much and take advantage of it, I definitely take part in it. I was way more active in high school and felt that exercise had so much more of a purpose back then. Now that I am in college and have chosen not to fulfill college athletics I have gotten in much more of a laid back routine and I think there are many of us college students that can attest to this jump from gradeschool to college. I’m going to do my best to start being more active again and I’m going to do this by using my gym membership and eating healthy. I work a lot so I’m on my feet for sometimes 9 hours straight which is a start.

  • flaschbm09

    I often find it difficult to motivate myself to exercise. Let’s be honest, I’d rather sit in front of the TV watching CSI: Miami binge marathons while eating ice cream than actually exercise. I am, however trying to change this in my life. I have been going to Zumba once a week and then trying to run on the treadmill when I go home on weekends. During the week I have also tried to do crunches or something else during commercials but have had little success. I have always wanted to use one of those Fitbits to track my steps, but I don’t know how many steps you should actually take in a day. Can anyone tell me how many steps I should be taking?

  • Sara Fuller

    I totally agree with you Kent. I have currently not been able to run for about three months now and it unfortunately looks like it will be a few more until I can. After being on crutches for a few weeks you really take for granted the seemingly small things that others have to live without. Even though I can’t run at the moment I am so grateful that I can walk. What motivates me now is the comeback.

  • Samantha Lavenau

    I set goals for myself at the beginning of each month in hopes that I will be better than the month before. Working out for me is a huge stress reliever, and I don’t think I could get through college without consistent exercise. Being a girl, I’ve always had body issues (it is impossible to not in today’s society) but I recently changed my mindset to just wanting to be healthy instead of how skinny I want to be, and it has helped a lot. I love the quote “Do you want to hold your children’s children” is based on health instead of how your body looks. Great blog!

  • Abby2017

    Setting goals for exercise is a great thing to do. I liked how Professor Garvin talked about her own past a little about exercise. She is right that making time for exercise is important even if it is just 30 minutes a day. Even if we are at our careers and walking it’s still considered exercise. I try to set goals for working out. It is hard sometimes because of school, but I always think it’s no excuse because being healthy and staying in shape will help benefit me in the long run.

  • Katie Germain

    My motivation to exercise is the fact that it makes me a happier person. It’s that little alone time that can be hard to find on a daily basis. Especially on busy days full of exams and studying, I try to find time to do a little bit of exercise to relieve some stress. It helps me both mentally and physically!

  • catec18

    I am the epitome of what you describe in the beginning of the article. As much as I know exercise is good for me, I do not exercise. At least not in the conventional “go to the gym” sense of exercise. To me, exercise is increasing your physical activity. I think the things that you mention in the article make a lot of sense for people like myself who are intimidated by gyms and even the thought of going to the gym makes me want to just sit back down and take a nap. But standing while I read for class is more manageable. I don’t have to change clothes and I don’t have to walk in the cold. These tips make a lot of sense for people like me and just as we talked about in class, they are simple enough for everyone to implement but still impactful enough to make a difference to your health.

  • Austin Jones

    Keeping a list of things I must accomplish in a day really helps keep me on track. exercising is something that is on that list daily.

  • Tyler Mueller

    I am one that doesn’t struggle with exercise. I have loved playing sports, and being active since I was a little kid, so I don’t know the pain of people who don’t like to exercise. I do personally think there are many areas that people can get exercise in that can’t stand it though. One would be like Ann said not having a cleaning lady, or a land keeper. Clean your house yourself, shovel your driveway, and cut your grass with a push lawn mower. Little activities like that keep you moving, and active. Another suggestion I would have is park as far away from any building you want to enter. Yeah it doesn’t seem like a lot of exercise, but in the long run it will add up. If you have kids take them on a bike ride, its fun family bonding time where you have the ability to stay active. The other one that Ann said she does was having a treadmill desk. A lot of people use the excuse that they don’t have time to exercise, but with a treadmill desk you can exercise, and get work done at the same time. Find any way possible to gain that little extra exercise time, and it will pay off in the long run!

  • Anthony Davis

    I feel as though this was a very good read as well as a very satisfying article. When we look around the room in todays society it is filled with individuals that are complaining about not losing the weight that they want to, yet continue to sit watch tv and eat while they do it. Individuals need to understand that if they want something or that if they feel negative about their bodies the only way to do it is with hard work. Reduction of sitting day to day as well as a change in nutrition can definately be a start to insure good health and negate bad habits. Success is a choice.


    It’s so easy to make excuses as to why you “can’t” exercise today. Whatever your reasoning may be on any given day, I try to focus on the sole fact that I’ve never walked away from a workout feeling worse than how I felt prior to it. No matter how hard it is to drag my butt to the gym sometimes and how I feel like I just simply can’t fit a workout in on a certain day, I know that no matter how crappy and stressed out I feel, physical activity relieves those yucky feelings better than anything else. So whether I pack a bag and workout before I let myself go home for the night, or ask my roommate to force me to go to the gym with her later, I can attest to the fact that these little “cheat” tactics work.

  • FalkinerRR23

    I have to schedule a time when I can go exercise each day because of my crazy school and work schedules. Exercise is a great stress reliever for me so that is what keeps me motivated.

  • Lindsey Kessler

    What motivates me to exercise is to sign up for races. The thought of racing motivates me to prepare for it, which motivates me to exercise. After running a couple of races, I found that I love the feeling I get from running, and that I don’t need that motivation in order to run on a regular basis. Other things I’ve found that motivated me to exercise is to go to group fitness classes to experience different kinds of exercise. This can spice up your every day routine while meeting new people. I also like to view fun activities as exercise or exercise as a fun activity in order to look at exercise as a positive thing. If you make it a goal to physically do something every day, you find fun, creative ways to exercise daily.

  • Kyle Gettelman

    So after reading this article, I am surely lost in what Ann is referring to as “cheating” your way through life, or your day. Is she meaning by still doing what we want to do, but making it more of an “exercise”? That is what I gathered throughout this post. On another note, she did acknowledge that we sit to much, and gave prime examples of being more active, but some of them that she listed (specifically the watching tv while walking the dog one), is just promoting yet another bad habit we get ourselves into. While promoting one healthy option or behavior, we should address yet another one that can be thrown right into the mix. Knock out some of those barriers people use as excuses….in other words, killing 2 birds with 1 stone!!!

  • Radaya123

    i motivate myself and surround myself by people who do the same, who have things I don’t so that motivate me to be like them.

  • Chelsea Haffele

    I like to sign up for races as well. I have always been a runner but by signing up for a race it motivates to get myself back in running shape. The race is a specific date so it motivates me in the moment because I only have a month or two to be able to run a 5K. I know I can run the 3 miles because I have done it many times before but sometimes I chose to do other workouts such as swimming or biking. I like how signing up for races always brings me back to running.

  • mindhamrr11

    I agree that these are all good ways to add exercise into your daily routine. I exercise much differently personally. I like to lift weights to add more muscle mass rather than just exercising to lose weight. I’m pretty good at being able to find a time in my day to get to the weight room, and I try to plan my lift when I have a class in the William Center since the weight room is also there.

  • afallon14

    It’s actually quite difficult to motivate myself to workout during the week. I am fortunate enough to have a roommate who loves to workout and pushes me to go to the gym with her. She has a daily workout schedule that includes cardio and weights and I usually tag along with her to the gym. Another motivator is knowing that exercise helps reduce my stress with school and work throughout the week.

  • MattDennert

    I believe that it is a lot easier for people to workout when they have a workout partner or two to motivate them to get off their butts and actually do something.

  • Anthony Davis

    I completely agree with you on this one because I am someone who goes to the gym consistently but enjoy when people go with me. I believe that this is partially because I feel more motivation to go when I know someone is waiting on me and I know I have to do my best in the gym otherwise I look like I am taking the easy way out to my gym partner.

  • milkienr18

    To stay motivated i like to switch up my work out routine. If I have been going to the gym a lot sometimes ill go for a run outside if its a nice day. I also try and get friends to go with me so that someone is pushing me to go. I also like to walk a lot of places. Or try on my swimsuit and look in the mirror and that sort of gets me to want to go to the gym for a solid two weeks.

  • wegener61

    Staying motivated to exercise is very tough, if I wasn’t an athlete with mandated lifting/conditioning times, I’m not sure if I would stay as committed as I do. I guess the pressures from coaches and teammates keeps me going, without that, I would need a buddy to constantly badger me to hit the gym and get my workout in each day.

  • Ryan Dow

    Motivation is different for each person. This article really shows that, with the creative side and educational stand point. Very good read and educational.

  • JeremyWahl

    Staying motivated to exercise is very difficult. When the weather isnt great, all i want to do is sit and be lazy. Recently i went home to visit my parents and my grandparents and my grandma asked if i had gained weight. she has always said how she feels and i use that as motivation to get into better shape. when i exercise, i like to do it with a paetner to help me push myself or tell me i can do more when i want to stop.

  • Elaminsj25

    I have a really tough time staying motivated to exercise. The funny part is that I actually enjoy exercising. I don’t view it as a daunting task and I don’t hate it. I love strength training. I love the feeling of being sore. I feel accomplished. And still, I don’t exercise everyday. I make excuses. I procrastinate. My main problem is that I don’t exercise because its healthy for me, I exercise because I want my body to look a certain way. So if I don’t think my body is that bad or I decide to become accepting of the way I look then I wont exercise. I really liked when you said “if you want to hold your childrens’ children…” because I do want to. Thinking about my future and how I want to live a long healthy life and experience everything that life has to offer does motivate me to live a healthier lifestyle. It’s not only about the present but the future too. And a half hour a day isn’t too much to ask of anyone.

  • Jenna

    You’d think that by doing less sitting would help while at home. Well truth is, for many college students… we sit in classes all day. Slowly killing ourselves. We sit for sometimes 50 minutes, sometimes an hour and 15 minutes, and sometimes even 2 and a half hours straight. We as students have long days where we don’t do anything but sit and listen to lectures. There are times (only because I’m a PE major) that I get to be active in my classes. Swimming, tumbling, basketball, softball, track and field are all classes that are required for PE majors. By having these classes allows students in those classes to be a little bit more active. It makes my day go a little smoother when I get to be active in class and not just be active walking to and from classes. Our schedules are so busy that the most exercise we get is to classes…and that’s it for a lot of students.

  • Jenna

    Something that helps me stay/get motivated to exercise is doing something as simple as riding my bike to campus. Most days I end up driving to campus because I am on campus early enough to get a parking spot. Some days I’m on campus and leave during a break and have a hard time finding a spot on my way back… therefore, instead of fighting for a parking spot, I know that the bike rack will have some room somewhere! Doing something as simple for that helps myself set the pace for the rest of the day and sometimes even week. I like to plan out the days that I want to ride my bike to campus…like if I know that it will be a beautiful day, I will definitely consider riding my bike! Looking forward to a beautiful day is something that helps motivate me to change my way of transportation to campus!

  • kwit21

    My motivation who I want to be in life. I start a Chiropractic program in the fall and I want to work with athletes and promote health once I graduate. How can I tell others to exercise, but not do it myself? I like to do it and I enjoy doing it. What I don’t like is so many people at the gym (especially the ones I know from class or work or something.) When I work out I like it to be time for myself to think to myself. Certain people that I go with will just sit and talk and its is fun going with a friend, but sometimes I get less done in a longer period of time. And then other friends are so perfect I don’t like to struggle around them. Motivation also comes from my family. We are all pretty active and when one struggles the others help pick them up. I am only 20, but I think about how I want to be around for my grandkids some day so I need to be the best I can be now and get into habit so it only becomes easier by then.

  • ryanstorto

    My motivation for exercising comes from a few things. It comes first off self image because i want to look good and healthy. It also comes from enjoyment which really helps me. It is not hard for me to exercise because i get a lot of it from playing sports. Being an athlete in college is my main source of exercise, but i also enjoy playing other sports with my friends for fun. If i was not an athlete i think it would be very difficult to regularly exercise and i see why it can be such a problem for a lot of people. I think the best way to do this is to establish a set time on certain days for when you are exercising, so you dont have to decide if you are going to exercise, you know you are.

  • McKenzie Foster

    Gymnastics is what helps me to stay motivated to exercise. If I did not keep in shape for gymnastics I would be struggling everyday in the gym. You have to stay fit to do the sport or else you won’t make it. I tore my ACL so I was I out of gymnastics for quite some time and I also wasn’t able to do any kind of cardio. Now, if you’re a person who exercises a lot like me, you understand my frustration as you can slowly see yourself getting weaker and less fit by the minute. That did not stop me though, I did every upper body strength I could think and stayed fit that way. Not only is gymnastics my only motivator, but I feel more confident with a tiny toned body and so I work my ass off in the gym. But I like this article because yes, you can cheat yourself into exercising. Put a movie on while running on walk with a friend and make the time enjoyable and you won’t even realize you’re getting your exercise in. It is a win-win situation.

  • l2yza

    The gym to me is rewarding both mental and physical health. I find not going to the gym for extended periods of time puts me into a mental slump.

  • Guest

    What keeps me motivated is setting goals. I like to set a new goal every month so I have something to work towards and actually achieving that goal is so rewarding that I want to continue improving. What also
    motivates me is that I haven’t always been the most active and healthiest person especially when I first came to college, it was a lifestyle change that wasn’t the greatest. I then decide I want to do something health related to get myself motivated so I changed my major a couple semesters ago and for the most part I have been pretty motivated to exercise and eat healthy.

  • Sarah Reynolds

    What keeps me motivated is setting goals. I like to set a new goal every month so I have something to work towards and actually achieving that goal is so rewarding that I want to continue improving. What also motivates me is that I haven’t always been the most active and healthiest person especially when I first started college, it was a lifestyle change that wasn’t the greatest. I then decide I want to do something health related to get myself motivated so I changed my major a couple semesters ago and for the most part I have been pretty motivated to exercise and eat healthy.

  • Kent Miehe

    I totally agree! Some people can find it hard to fit exercising into their busy schedule. However, there are many things a person can do to burn a few more calories during the day and to get a mini “workout” in during the day. Instead of taking the elevator, take the stairs to the 4th floor. Instead of sitting watching football, do crunches during commercials. They can sometimes sound like crazy ideas, but adding up the little things can, in the long run, make huge differences for our health. Thanks again for sharing!

  • Kent Miehe

    I realize how lucky I am to be able to exercise. I am on the cross country and track teams at Whitewater, and recently I was injured and out of competition for 7 weeks. going through that process reminded me how lucky I am to be able to run every day. I never take one day of running for granted, because one day I know my competitive days will be over. Being grateful for your ability to run or just your ability to get out and exercise is something that everyone on this campus should be thankful for. Seeing people in wheelchairs all around campus reminds me of how lucky I am to be able run and exercise. That always keeps me going.

  • Kent Miehe

    I do the same thing! I keep a log of all my runs and I can see how much I’ve ran every day, week, month, etc. Over time, it helps me see my progress and keeps me motivated to run more the next week, month, etc. Also know that any exercise that you do will be beneficial to your health. It can be stressful at times, but every time you go out and do something, you are improving your health and your future life. Thanks for sharing!

  • Kent Miehe

    I agree with you! Running always makes me feel good, and it’s always my go-to exercise. There are many times where I don’t feel like running, but after I get done running, I am always glad that I ran after I get done. Once a person can find something that they like doing, they will be able to find it a lot easier to go out and exercise more often. Thanks for sharing!

  • Kent Miehe

    Those are great ways to get in mini-exercises! I’ve also found that finding motivation and time to do exercise every day is very hard to do. Little things that people change in their daily routines, like the ones you have done, start to become habits over time. All of that extra walking may seem time consuming and unnecessary at first, but over time, you begin to realize that those little workouts are improving your health. There are countless things people can do to find motivation to exercise, and you have found the right ones that work for you! Thanks for sharing!

  • Alexa A Dralle

    Yes That is very true. The hardest part of anything is just the simple act of deciding to do it. once we finally make the decision to do something everything else falls naturally in place until the task is completed.

  • Jessica Mendoza

    I agree with you completely here. It can be a huge struggle sometimes. I also work about that many hours a week, along with school, and other activities. When I get the day off, it is extremely hard to find the motivation to exercise. Also, it can just be extremely hard to even find the time in the day to get my self to the gym. It takes so much motivation sometimes, and even time management, to get my self to exercise every day. I would also love to learn ways to motivate my self, I would also love to learn ways to better time management exercise into my every day life.

  • mindhamrr11

    My motivation for exercise is just to be fit and the way I look. I exercise through playing different sports with friends and family and lifting weights. Also, I just feel great after a good workout which gives me more motivation for my next workout. I also like to set goals for the amount of weight I can lift. Every time my weight goes up, it gives me more confidence to keep trying to get better.

  • mindhamrr11

    Wow. Way to be, Kent! I never really thought of running as a luxury before, but you’re right. There are so many people who aren’t able to run due to a disability, and that is sad. Most people take walking and running for granted, but it’s not something all people are able to do.

  • mindhamrr11

    Keeping a running log sounds like a great idea! I’ve never kept track of my progress of my exercise, and I think that has hurt me because I think it could add more motivation to my workouts if I can look back and see what I was doing months ago to compare.

  • Kent Miehe

    I totally agree, mindhamrr11. Many people see others in wheelchairs and think to themselves, “I’m glad I’m not in that position.” However, I don’t think they really understand how LUCKY they are to be able to do what they do. People who can’t walk would give anything just to be able to run for a day. Once we can see how important our gifts are to us, we will start to take more advantage of them and end up healthier in the process.

  • Kent Miehe

    What a great way to stay in shape! I’m glad that you stay fit through fun activities with your friends. People need to realize that staying healthy doesn’t have to be a job. They can make it fun by doing the things that they love. And like yourself, once they see improvements in their health, it will make them feel good about themselves both mentally and physically. This will also make them more likely to continue those healthy behaviors.

  • HutsonZW

    I like to walk to class instead of driving so I get more of a workout, and less sitting down. I also found a club sport to play and practice 2 hours every day, which also helped me meet an awesome group of friends, which is also another benefit of exercise, finding a group of people who all like to do the same thing so you have people to push you more while exercising.

  • Thumbs_up

    Motivation is the key. Besides know that be sitting all the time will kill you, there is many other factors which could motivate you. The improvement of your health will change your mood, give you the accomplishment felling, and change you in so many good ways that with time you will not want to drop out exercising anymore.

  • ryanstorto

    on the football team, I am able to stay active and exercise not just during the
    season, but in the off season with all of our weekly workouts as well. If I
    didn’t have this workout program in front of me, I’m not really sure how
    motivated I would be and wonder how many times I would leave the couch to go
    workout or get some exercise. But my overall motivation comes from my teammates
    who are always pushing me every day. We don’t want to let one another down in
    games, so we push ourselves in practices and workouts each day to get better.

  • ryanstorto

    on the football team, I am able to stay active and exercise not just during the
    season, but in the off season with all of our weekly workouts as well. If I
    didn’t have this workout program in front of me, I’m not really sure how
    motivated I would be and wonder how many times I would leave the couch to go
    workout or get some exercise. But my overall motivation comes from my teammates
    who are always pushing every day. We don’t want to let one another down in
    games, so we push ourselves in practices and workouts each day to get better.

  • ryanstorto

    Being on the football team, I am able to stay active and exercise not just during the
    season, but in the off season with all of our weekly workouts as well. If I
    didn’t have this workout program in front of me, I’m not really sure how
    motivated I would be and wonder how many times I would leave the couch to go
    workout or get some exercise. But my overall motivation comes from my teammates
    who are always pushing every day. We don’t want to let one another down in
    games, so we push ourselves in practices and workouts each day to get better.

  • ryanstorto

    on the football team, I am able to stay active and exercise not just during the
    season, but in the off season with all of our weekly workouts as well. If I
    didn’t have this workout program in front of me, I’m not really sure how
    motivated I would be and wonder how many times I would leave the couch to go
    workout or get some exercise. But my overall motivation comes from my teammates
    who are always pushing every day. We don’t want to let one another down in
    games, so we push ourselves in practices and workouts each day to get better.

  • Sara_Kay0316

    I think of exercise as one of the ingredients that will save you in the end. Exercise has been linked with low mortality rates as well as many other benefits like lower cholesterol etc. In the short term one might not realize how great exercise really is for the body but as you continue to exercise month after month the benefits are endless. Personally, I get better grades, I focus more in school, and I am able to have the appropriate energy I need to get me through the day.

  • CPanella1

    I stay motivated to exercise by looking at the world around me. It terrifies me as a country to see where we are headed in 5, 10, and 20 years. I exercise because I want to live a long healthy life with my future kids. I motivate my family to stay in shape and healthy so they can live longer and experience some of the best moments in life that are still to come. I do not want to be 50 years old and unable to move, overweight, receiving surgery after surgery to replace every joint in my body. I want to live a healthy life forever and I know that begins with the decisions I make now. I’m 23 years old and it won’t get any easier to get my body in shape and good health as the days are ticking away.

  • Timothy Joseph Basaldua

    I try to make mental lists for myself. I see that my wife makes lists for everything. If she doesn’t complete everything on her list, she is okay with that. She just picks up where she left off the next day. I think it’s important to prioritize your list. If I don’t complete everything on my list, I get discouraged. Now I am trying to complete at least one thing on my list everyday. If I complete more than one task, that’s awesome too. I think it’s important to list some healthy things on that list as well!

  • Timothy Joseph Basaldua

    I have felt the same way. I always feel better when I exercise, so I don’t understand why I don’t do it more often. I feel like I am so extremely busy throughout the day, so when I come home I just want to crash. My day starts at 7am and doesn’t stop until about 9pm. In between that time, I need to make it a priority to find time to exercise. It’s all about priorities. Exercise isn’t always at the top of my list unfortunately, but it motivates me when I see change in my physical appearance and my increased energy.

  • Will Ettl

    Each and every one of us has are own reason to exercise. Majority of us are not doing it because it is healthy and keeps us from getting sick. The reason is because we want to look good for the opposite sex. I will say I do not do as well as I should but I know I want to look good for that reason too. The reason to stay healthy and to exercise is so we can live long and be able to pass on our own knowledge to one another.

  • Alex Marski

    Everyone works out for different reasons and those reasons lead to motivation for the reason why they are working out. I have been an athlete my whole life and use all different types of motivation. One that works out the most is changing exercises to increase the results you get from working out. As you see result you will want to keep those results and work harder to maintain that body image to stay healthy.

  • Nathan Tessar

    To be honest, I think what motivates me the most is seeing all these other people struggle with daily life activities because they didn’t exercise and eat well. Many people put off excercise and I believe its because it is not a need at times, its want! They are too busy during the day to do different physical activities and don’t stick to the right routine leading them to give up on it easier.

  • Leah Renee

    I am definitely not an athlete and not even an exerciser. I’ve have dabbled in some exercising here and there… I have done minimal sports here and there… but the most exercising I’ve ever done was gym class. That is a huge problem! This is awesome and I need to start “cheating” immediately! I did not used to be a healthy eater at all and I cheated my way into that and now I LOVE it, so this should work for me too:) I’ll sneak it in until I love it just like healthy eating.

  • Paige Cuchna

    What motivates me is the fact that I am bettering myself. Not only do I enjoy the benefits of working out but its an escape. Running is the easiest way for me to get something off my mind. Im not the type of person that is going to stare at fitness magazines for motivation because those pictures are unrealistic. I motivate myself.

  • Paige Cuchna

    What motivates me is the fact that I am bettering myself. Not only do I enjoy the benefits of working out but it’s an escape. Running is the easiest way for me to get something off my mind. Im not the type of person that is going to stare at fitness magazines for motivation because those pictures are unrealistic. I motivate myself.

  • Marlee Williams

    Staying motivated to exercise was SO much easier in high school when I played soccer and didn’t have a choice between going to the gym or watching Netflix in my comfy bed. Back then, you had to get up and go to practice even if you were tired. You had to go to the workouts even if your head hurt. You had to go to open gym even if your body was sore. Not having an option made it 93845893475 times easier to stay fit. Now that I’m in college, I’ve truly realized why students gain the “freshman fifteen.” Staying motivated to exercise is TOUGH. The first few months of my freshman year, I was like “This is great!” I could take naps whenever I wanted, I could eat ice cream whenever I felt like it, and nobody told me I had to go to the gym. But after a few months passed, I started to realize changes in my body. And by the end of my freshman year, I had not gained the freshman fifteen. I had gained a whopping freshman TWENTY-FIVE. It was terrible. However, this experience has taught me that eating Culver’s in bed at 1AM four nights a week isn’t the best idea. Looking back at pictures from freshman year and not wanting to ever look like that again is what keeps me motivated to exercise.

  • Marlee Williams

    I definitely agree that thinking about the future is a huge factor in what keeps me motivated to exercise. I want to be able to run around and play with my kids instead of just watching them grow up.

  • Marlee Williams

    Walking to class instead of driving is a great way to get more exercise in during the day. It’s an easy “cheat” way like the ones Garvin talks about in her article. It burns calories without making you feel like you’re actually exercising.

  • Lindsay Jakubik

    What motivates me is the benefits and the strive to get stronger and better. I have a lot of fitness goals and even on days I want to be lazy and stay home, I find myself pushing myself in order to reach those goals. I cherish my rest days and cheat meals and plan them around days I know I will prefer to be lazy. The benefit of being active outways the temporary satisfaction of sitting around and I feel fantastic, accomplished and rejuvenated.

  • Lindsay Jakubik

    I’m glad you say fitness magazines aren’t what motivates you and that you can do that on your own!! Today’s society revolves too much around the “ideal body image” but I always think, what is the beauty in a body if no one is unique? If everyone had the same photo shopped flat stomach and toned legs and arms, then we wouldn’t value those body types anymore. It’s about what makes you feel good and what makes you happy! So motivating yourself is the best way to achieve your own fitness goals 🙂

  • Lindsay Jakubik

    Absolutely! Not only does it prevent disease and health conditions, it leaves you feeling more energized! People who exercise are capable of way more than people who don’t. I personally sleep better if I have a consistent routine with my physical activity and tend to control myself from over eating easier than on days that I dont.

  • Lindsay Jakubik

    Agreed! I keep mental goals for myself and tell myself what I want to be capable of doing in a certain time frame. On days that I feel like staying home or not getting out of bed, I remember that it would set me back from those goals so I get myself moving right from that motivation.

  • Lindsay Jakubik

    It’s that time of year where exercise is beneficial for relieving stress too! I hate compromising my workouts for studying or cramming projects in, and usually make it a priority to get my workout done even if i’m swamped with school. If I take an unplanned day off for school work, I tend to melt down or “burn out” even.

  • Emily Krueger

    I enjoyed reading this blog because of the great ways you move on a daily basis. I am going to try wearing my workout clothes to bed like you so I do not have an excuse for not going to workout in the morning. I got a Fitbit for Christmas so I total understand about the naggy reminder of getting more steps in one day. I am planning to walk on treadmill and study instead of sitting at my desk. Overall, I believe being active is a great way to live a longer and happier life.

  • Paige Cuchna

    I agree that people should stick to a routine. I know from experience that if i dont then i end up not doing what i need to. People should plan out when they are going to the gym so its already set in a schedule for them. If they are taking time out of the day and planning, youre more likely to follow through with it.

  • Paige Cuchna

    I agree with Marlee as well. Walking to class is a great way to get a little more exercise in for the day. I sometimes would find myself driving to class day after day when i could stop being lazy and just walk.

  • Paige Cuchna

    Its awesome that you set a lot of goals set for yourself. Setting goals is a great way to achieve what you want. From experience I know that when i set goals it makes everything so much easier!

  • Paige Cuchna

    Scheduling is a great way to be able to fit in the time to exercise! And i couldnt agree more that exercise is a great stress reliever! When im stressed I usually try to go for a long night run because that it the one thing that frees my mind of everything.

  • Thumbs_up

    Really nice. If we stop and start to think how many things we can change to improve our health we would be impressive. The technology had improved our lives in many and many settings, but also had get us lazy. For this reason, it is extremely important to “cheat” and to modify our daily life to be more an active person.

  • Paige Cuchna

    Setting goals is a great way to achieve what you want. Working out is a great stress reliever for me as well. I couldnt agree more that its hard not to have body issues with todays society. And changing your mindset is awesome because being healthy is more important than just being skinny!

  • Paige Cuchna

    I do the same thing! I run to relieve my stress! its the best way to clear your mind and just kinda let everything go.

  • Brady

    I make a schedule. Not just for working out, but for everything. If you can set a schedule and stick to it, it can make getting unto the all important routine so much easier.

  • Brady

    Having your own fitness goals is important. But more important is to make them small, annd numerous. By setting yourself up for success, it can give yourself great motivation.

  • Tyler Hebert

    I play ultimate Frisbee for least two hours a day, 5 times a week. Every year I’m trying out for some of the top club teams in the Midwest. Reaching personal goals is very important to me as it is to pretty much every person. I push myself to become more in shape every year so that all I have to worry about is playing well and making good decisions to make one of those teams. Eventually I want to play professional ultimate and actually get paid a little for doing what I love. My family was never very athletic or into sports, but I have always pushed myself to stay in shape and they are there to support me and my goals.

  • Brady

    I’d a person doesn’t have a routine, its inevitable that they will never filly achieve the goal.

  • Timothy Joseph Basaldua

    I try to start out eating healthy. Once I start eating healthier, I feel a little more motivated to stick with an exercise routine. When I realize that I can have several health problems related to not eating healthy, I typically try to stick to a work out routine. I don’t want heart disease or diabetes. Those diseases can easily be avoided. Also, if my wife and I work out together, I usually stay pretty motivated. It’s great to work out with a friend, because they push and motivate you to work out consistently.

  • Steven Hass

    This just goes to show that there are no excuses when it comes to exercising! Trying to find the motivation is a whole new story. Perhaps making a schedule and setting things up so you really have no choice but to do it. Seems very similar to what you said by “cheating.”

  • Steven Hass

    I try to use other people as my motivation. If I surround myself with people that like to exercise, I feel bad and force myself to do what they are doing!

  • kgonyo

    One of my biggest motivators to exercise is sticking to a schedule. Making a workout schedule allows me to see the progress I’ve made on paper. Crossing off each day on the calendar always feels great, and if I miss a day, that check-less box on the calendar will serve as motivation to not miss another day.

  • McKennaKJ29

    I typically try to convince my friends to play sports. No matter what it is, i know i will be around the williams center and i usually workout before or after i meet up with them. Also having a workout buddy really helps because if you are feeling particularly lazy one day, but they aren’t, then they will help motivate you to go that day and vice versa.

  • Leah Renee

    this is what i need to do so badly. writing things down is so important to keep me on track and i never do it. 🙁

  • Jpl89

    I’ve been trying to adopt some of your techniques by making exercise non-negotiable. This helps me a lot. When I think of exercise in terms of something that I have to schedule time for during the day, instead of an option that I may or may not get to, it really helps me with staying on schedule and completing all of my exercises during the week.

  • Sarah Reynolds

    I agree that looking at the where our future is headed when it comes to healthy by looking at the people around us is a good motivation for us to get healthy so we can live long healthy lives so that we can accomplish everything that we want to!

  • Sarah Reynolds

    I agree that working out prevents disease and health condition and make you feel more energized. My mom recently lost a lot of weight not only does she look better but she said that she feels way better about herself and she said she feels like she can do so much more.

  • Sarah Reynolds

    I commute but when I get to campus I try to park at the furthest lot away so I am getting some extra walking in during the day after sitting in classes all day. It also I super refreshing to get a nice walk in.

  • Sarah Reynolds

    I agree that people shouldn’t take for granted what they have and what they are able to do. When I was in high school I tore my ACL and it sucked. I spent a good 2 weeks of doing a whole lot of nothing and gain so much weight in the short period of time. I just wished that I could go out and get some exercise. So I completely understand what you went through and why you felt that way.

  • Sarah Reynolds

    I do the same thing by switching up my workout routine keeps me intrigued because doing the same thing for every workout can sometimes get super boring and make you not want to do it anymore. I find that I am most successful when I workout with someone else, it allows us to motivate each other to do better and to keep going.

  • Sarah Reynolds

    I know when I have super busy day and it feels like I have no time what so every to go workout and the only free time I have I just want to sit down and relax, I’m going to use your idea of even though I want to sit down I should just go and get a workout in. And realize that not only does it make me feel better but it is also better for my health in the long run.