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The Power of Knowing Why: What’s Your Main Motivation for Fitness?

Updated: Dec 16, 2019

If you want to get fit or stay fit after 50, you need a good motivator -- a primary reason why you want to exercise, eat right, and live a healthy lifestyle.

We talk to people about this all the time. Active adults have powerful, compelling reasons why they lift weights, run, swim, take yoga, ride their bikes, and more. Here are just a few most often cited:

  • Playing with grandchildren

  • Reducing medication

  • Travel

  • Sports and hobbies

  • Avoiding obesity, hypertension and falls

  • Social interaction

  • Better recovery from surgeries

  • Treatment of chronic conditions like Parkinson’s, diabetes and more

Do any of those strike a chord with you?

Any reason is a good reason. Heck, you don’t even have to have one. But many people like to remind themselves of their primary driver. It can give you a boost when you’re not feeling motivated. And it can guide your choices about how to spend your time and energy.

Here are some real-life motivators from people over 50, 60 or 70 from around the US and Canada.

Paul, above, started working out eight years ago just for something to do. “And then I discovered something: It makes me feel good!” Paul lifts weights three times a week.

Donna loves to hike in the Rocky Mountains. She wasn’t about to let neuropathy stop her. Working with a trainer keeps her out on the trails. “I had to do something,” she says. “I wasn’t going to stop walking.”

Roy says, ““I want to be able to play golf till the last day I’m breathing.”

Brenda: above, “I want to die young at a ripe old age. My mother lived to 99, and after watching someone grow old, I want to do it as youthfully as possible.”

When arthritis made gardening too hard, Amanda found help at a local gym. She lost 70 pounds, started walking every night, and quickly returned to her cherished garden. “I find it meditative, and I can leave all my worries behind me.”

Being fit helped Shebah before, during and after hip replacement. “You have to take what life gives you and make it work and adjust.”

Jimmy, above, has been running and working out since 1979 and says it helps with stress. “It slows you down mentally. You have to focus on the moment, not what you need to do later.”

Julie: “I want to be an active grandparent. I want to get on the floor and pick her up and swim and do all those things. I don’t want to miss a thing.”

Lora, above, suffered a stroke in 2010 and now works out at least three times a week. “I’m living healthy and spiritually wealthy so I can laugh, love and live,” she says.

Kay has always loved to travel and knows she has to stay fit to keep doing it now. “If I didn’t exercise regularly, I wouldn’t be able to do everything you have to do when you’re traveling – just climbing stairs, running through the airport, carrying bags and all that stuff.”

“That’s why I keep this up,” she says about exercising. “Because I want to keep going where I want to go and doing what I want to do.”

That’s a wide, wonderful “why” to close this. So, come talk with us about your goals. We’re here to help you reach them, whatever your “why” might be.

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