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Finding forgotten money…

I am mildly obsessed with helping clients improve their health, their strength, and their wellness . So, when DRIVE: The Surprising Truth About What Motivates Us crossed my desk, I was giddy to start reading.

“How can I be more motivated?” crosses every everyone’s mind at some point. New York Times Bestselling Author, Daniel H. Pink answers with explanation and examples of work environments that are harnessing our natural intrinsic motivation with outstanding results. Thankfully, Dan has included bullet points for individuals seeking renewed intrinsic motivation with exercise and given Blakely FIT permission to share this excerpt here.
So, please read below. Because how great would it be to want to exercise? For those of you that already do, please feel free to read on and nod. For those of you that don’t, please read and apply. You just might find an internal reserve you’ve overlooked. Like forgotten money in a fall coat pocket, and who doesn’t love that?

“Four Tips for Getting (and Staying) Motivated to Exercise

Set your own goals. Don’t accept some standardized, cookie-cutter exercise plan. Create one that’s tailored to your needs and fitness level. (You can work with a professional on this, but you make the final calls.) Equally important, set the right kinds of goals…people who pursue more intrinsic goals – to get fit in order to feel good or to stay healthy for their family – make slower progress at first, but achieve significantly better results in the long term.

Ditch the treadmill. Unless you really like treadmills, that is…Gather some friends for an informal game of tennis or basketball, join an amateur league, go for walks at a local park, dance for half an hour, or play with your kids. Use the Sawyer Effect to your advantage – and turn your work (out) into play.

Keep mastery in mind. getting better at something provides a great source of renewable energy. So pick an activity in which you can improve over time…

Reward yourself the right way. …in general don’t bribe yourself with “if-then” rewards – like “If I exercise four times this week, then I’ll buy myself a new shirt.” They can backfire. But the occasional “now that” reward? Not a problem. So, if you’ve swum the distance you hoped this week, there’s no harm in treating yourself to a massage afterward.”

Pink, Daniel H., Drive: The Surprising Truth about What Motivates Us, pp 201-02, Riverhead Books, New York, 2009

Interested in reading more? Click here to purchase DRIVE.


Outdoor perks of Chicago

BFIT Frugalista: Enjoy the outdoor perks of being a Chicagoan…
With 18 miles of Lakefront trail and 520 parks to choose from – make a date with yourself to enjoy a walk along our magnificent lakefront or stride to a park near you. Beautiful views, fresh air and a great alternative to the lunchroom or treadmill. Take a look as you leave your home or office today, there is definitely a trail or park close by. This is a free, easy and dare I say, fashionable way to relish the end of Summer and start of Fall in Chicago.

Sun on Lake Michigan

Looking for something specific? Use the Chicago Park District website to find a park by name or zip code. Lakefront trail map link here: Lakefront Trail Map

Women are not little men…

“Women are not little men…” Martha Gulati, MD, MS

It’s surprising that we needed a study to remind us, but thanks to the work of Martha Gulati, MD, MS; Leslee J. Shaw, PhD; Ronald A. Thisted, PhD; Henry R. Black, MD; C. Noel Bairey Merz, MD; and Morton F. Arnsdorf, MD, women are now better informed regarding their cardiovascular exercise intensity. Heart rate range guidelines used for women throughout the health and fitness industry are being questioned. In part, because they were based on studies performed solely on men. The good news for the ladies: cardio doesn’t have to be as hard as we thought. The challenging news: you may have to change your behavior. Generally speaking, women need to be monitoring how hard they are working when elevating their heart rate during cardiovascular exercise. The study has found that working too intensely can actually hurt your heart health as well as limiting the previously accepted benefits.

I am not suggesting you eliminate cardiovascular exercise (sorry to disappoint). I am suggesting you purchase an inexpensive heart rate monitor (or take a ten second count) and learn more about the heart rate range appropriate for your age, fitness levels and goals. The recommendations encourage women to take it down a notch and I couldn’t be more in agreement. “Less is more” is a win-win for both heart health and body fat loss. Please call to let me know if you’d like help implementing these new guidelines. Call 773-680-6824.

To read the American Heart Association summary of the study please visit:  Circulation, The St James Women Take Heart Project

Have a “‘Less is more’ cardio success story” of your own? I’d love to hear it… connect with me at