Motivation To Exercise Reminds Me Of Enzymes And Gibbs Free Energy – You Have To Catalyze Yourself Into Action

Gibbs free energy and catalysis compared to a wall.

When chemicals react they have to overcome a reaction barrier, like a wall they have to climb. Enzymes lower the wall. How can you lower your resistance wall to exercise? From Biochemistry 5th Ed.

Hi folks, welcome!

We are each motivated to exercise by a somewhat different combination of factors (exerzymes – I made that up, to mean something that reduces your resistance to exercise), including,

  • fear of ill health
  • wanting to keep your good looks
  • desire for a feeling of well-being
  • sensing pressure to keep up with your peers
  • anxiety related to a physically demanding job
  • a lust for the sheer pleasure of moving.
FitOldDog put up this blind.

This is the blind I installed, which I would have preferred to leave to someone other than me.

In order to stay fit you have to find the magic motivator that gets you going, and we are all so different.

For instance, the other day I was talking to my friend, Byron, who loves to work on his house, which is now delightful. I mentioned over lunch that I had just put up a blind, for which I learned the skills as a handyman in a hotel for many years in my teens and early twenties. Byron said, “Wasn’t it satisfying to see that blind installed correctly?” He was surprised by my answer. I replied, “No! I just saw it as a task that got between me and my work to build a business – I would have outsourced it if I’d had time.

Byron is highly motivated by home improvement (sheer joy of creation), I’m highly motivated by my attempts to build a business (fear of poverty and not having lots of fun). I have absolutely no interest in home improvement, but I will do it, if forced to do so. But I’m highly motivated to exercise – the sheer joy of using my body.

MRI images of thigh region to show effect of exercise on muscle mass.

MRI images of thigh region to show effect of exercise on muscle mass. Click for link to article.

Byron then said, “Kevin, when I called you to set up lunch, you said that you would get back to me once you finished your bike ride on your trainer, which I could hear in the background, in about an hour and a half. I couldn’t imagine riding a stationary bike for that long.” So, Byron likes home improvement, which can be outsourced, but not exercise or regular training, whereas I love preparing for Ironman races, which cannot be carried out by anyone but myself. Oh Boy! A conundrum.

I’d like to find a way to encourage everyone to learn to enjoy exercise, for their own good – can it be done?

The best exerzyme I know of, to get anyone moving if they take the time to look closely, is the adjacent figure. Contemplate this remarkable set of images, and imagine your future without fitness! I guess fear is one way to get people moving!

If I run out of money you’ll see me highly motivated to do my own home repairs. But how can I come to enjoy doing these tasks?

Doing and enjoying are clearly not the same thing.


Kevin aka FitOldDog



  1. Someone wise once said something like this: Maximize your strengths, talents; don’t seek to develop your weaknesses. Maybe it was Stephen Covey? Anyway, I’m not good at math, so why would I want to spend hours and years trying to get better at it? I get by. Your friend Byron does what he loves. The key is to find the body workout in whatever we love to do, so we can keep doing it. He loves to work on his house. I KNOW that’s exercise, but bet he could use strengthening and stretching body work to keep him fit enough for the work he loves to do. Exercise IS your work, you love it. You live to train. Those of us who are not elite athletes train to live. That’s where your business could add value in my humble opinion. Have a great day!

    • Hi Marsha,

      I remember Byron telling me that he really dislikes exercise, but he then described how he lugs huge paving stones around. Sounded like a recipe for disaster to me. Somehow we need to incorporate safe exercise into people’s early lives, and then they would do it like they eat their dinner. It would just be something one does to stay healthy. How to package this, I’ve no idea, but I’m working on it. I built a couple of website recently – could you take a look and provide some guidance? They are primitive, but better than the previous versions, I think. Outsourcing just doesn’t work, because I can’t control the SEO, which needs to be dynamic and responsive to conversion rate.

      All input, positive or negative (that’s the really useful stuff), much desired.



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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.