For Exercise Consistency Find Your Ideal Workout Motivator


Hi folks,

The FitOldDog Safe Exercise Wheel runs clockwise, starting at the top, with reward or celebration as a critical final component of each cycle.

Follow the Safe Exercise for Better Health Training Wheel to find your ideal workout plan. Click on figure for podcast.

I must start this post by apologizing to over 10,000 people for my failure to complete a post I wrote almost a year ago, entitled “How Do You Find Your Ideal Workout Plan?” That brief discussion of choices available in ‘workout guidance space’ fails to provide any guidance, but it promises to do so. I’ll correct that error now by attempting to more fully answer this difficult question.

I would proceed by following the FitOldDog safe exercise for better health exercise wheel, shown in the figure opposite. For a 15-minute podcast discussing this approach to training just click on the figure. At the same time you should explore what motivates you, more specifically which sport or physical activity.

First ask yourself “Who am I when it comes to exercise?” Don’t ask yourself who you were (e.g. high school jock), but who you are today (e.g. overweight middle-aged guy). Be as accurate and unforgiving as possible when you answer this question. Your response should include a list or diagram of your past injuries, as they may influence your ability to train, determine which exercises are safe for you, and whether you need to address guarding issues (see my blog post on Feldenkrais Fixed My Knee). If you start here, the chances are that you will select a program of exercise that is safe for you, personally. It is critical, however, to link your exercise program to a motivator. If you have a goal, towards which improved strength, vigor, and aerobic conditioning prepares you, you’ll be much more likely to be successful, which means consistent in your training.

Look at the world of physical activity and choose one you like. Then look into what it requires to be undertaken successfully and safely (as safe as possible, that is!). My eldest son, Nick, is a weight lifter and he chose kiteboarding – here is a brief videoclip showing what he achieved through several years of dedication to mastering the equipment, techniques, strength and agility needed to safely glide over the sea powered by the wind (magic).

Running track near where my son kiteboards at the Outer Banks of NC USA

While Nick was playing on the waves out to sea, I ran about 10 miles around this asphalt ‘track’ in the hot sun, which goes to show that Ironman racing and training really is nuts, but I enjoy it. The reward is a seafood meal with my son on our way home from the beautiful North Carolina Outer Banks.

While Nick was kiteboarding, I ran around and around a nearby ‘track’ preparing for the New York City Marathon. To each his own is right. Alternatively, you might choose mud running, a latest craze, which does require strength, agility, and dedication to completing a challenging run, whilst working hard to become covered in mud. Here are my friends and Ironman supporters enjoying their latest race – I think I’ll do it next year, as it sure looked like they were having a great time, while I guarded their pile of clothes, towels and food. After the race was over, all the kids kept jumping into the mud pits, which I must admit was one of the most amusing sights I’ve seen.

I tend to be more solitary in my interests, so once we all got home from the mud run I went for a 15-mile trail run on my own, and had a great time, then we all met up at Johnny’s in Carrboro for post-race conversation. Now that was both a wonderful day and a great workout, don’t you think?

For all these sports you need to be aware of your body, train appropriately, have the right gear (running is easier than kite boarding by far, in that respect), allow yourself to recover, and most importantly reward yourself before going around the FitOldDog Safe Exercise for Better Health Training Wheel for another spin.

This process is appropriate for all levels of exercise, whether you hope to complete a Mall Walk or remain a gymnast into your 80s, or you are recovering from a health challenge, such as aortic surgery, heart disease, cancer or diabetes. Don’t compare yourself in this regard, just enjoy the activity that you choose and set goals to bring you the pleasure in life that is the reward for truly living one day at a time.

The sport or physical activity you enjoy will determine the nature of your ideal workout plan.

-k @FitOldDog



  1. You need to do the next mud race with us! Great video!

  2. That’s my plan, it was clearly too much fun to miss. -k

  3. Spot on with this write-up, I actually feel this site needs a lot more attention.
    I’ll probably be returning to read more, thanks for the info!

  4. Message looks like spam, but I liked the gym link so I posted it anyway. My site is pretty amateur, but then I’m just one guy who is an amateur. -k

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Disclaimer: As a veterinarian, I do not provide medical advice for human animals. If you undertake or modify an exercise program, consult your medical advisors before doing so. Undertaking activities pursued by the author does not mean that he endorses your undertaking such activities, which is clearly your decision and responsibility. Be careful and sensible, please.