Friday, September 9, 2011

Guest Blogger: Fitness Expert & Romance Author Kimberly Kincaid

There are many people out there in fitness-land who believe that the hardest part of attaining a healthier lifestyle is to get going. Me, I’m firmly entrenched in the belief that it’s to *keep* going. Motivation comes in many forms, and while it can light a fire beneath us when we’ve got our goals in mind, when it wanes— or worse yet, we have a day where it fizzles completely— we have to dig deep to see what we’re made of.
One of the most important things to remember is that bodies in motion stay in motion. Having a low motivation day? Make a bargain with yourself. Say you’ll walk for ten minutes instead of thirty. Chances are, once you get to that ten-minute mark, you’ll keep going. Why? Because getting yourself in gear is often the hardest part :)
Have a buddy, and be a buddy. We’ve talked about the benefits of workout partners before, but they’re a lot like critique partners in writing. They’ll motivate you to do more and be more. And returning the favor is a motivator as well, because the key to a good partnership is good balance.
Put it to music. I can’t emphasize this one enough! Regardless of your genre of preference, there’s always a list of go-to songs guaranteed to get you moving. A few of my playlists of choice are below (please note! Not all songs are meant for under-18 ears). Feel free to share yours in the comments section, too.
In sight, in mind. Write a weekly goal on Post-Its and stick them around your house where you’re sure to see them. You want to lose two pounds before your next weigh-in? Put “2 pounds!” on your bathroom mirror, your computer monitor, your pantry door, and every time you see one of those notes, do 5 push-ups. Next time, 5 squats. Or take the stairs in your house for a minute without stopping. Then you’ll be in motion. And you know what they say about bodies in motion J Also, find photos of yourself at a goal weight, and keep them prominently displayed. Oh, and those Post-Its are great for motivational sayings, too. Some of my favorites are:
“Strength does not come from physical capacity. It comes from an indomitable will” (Mahatma Gandhi)
“Ability is what you’re capable of doing. Motivation determines what you do. Attitude determines how well you do it” (Lou Holtz)
“Physical fitness is not only one of the most important keys to a healthy body, it is the basis of dynamic and creative intellectual activity” (John F. Kennedy) *Something to think about, writer-friends! J
Being motivated is easy (okay, *easier*) when we want to exercise, eat healthier foods, and reach our goals. But life often takes over, making motivation slide, hide, or just plain disappear. So tell me—what motivates you? What makes you get up from the couch, desk, or bed and say, “I’m going to exercise even though I’m not in the mood” or “I’m not going to blow my healthy diet even though I’m tempted”?
Kimberly Kincaid’s Get Up and Go Music: (all of which is available on iTunes for quick download!)
“Faster” by Matt Nathanson
“Let’s Get it Started” by the Black Eyed Peas
“Raise Your Glass” by P!nk
“Tubthumping” by Chumbawumba
“I’m Still Standing” by Elton John
“Breathe” by Michelle Branch
“Firework” by Katy Perry
“Let’s Get Loud” by J Lo
“Good Vibrations” by Marky Mark
“I Wanna” by the All-American Rejects
Cooldown songs: “I Stole Your Boots” by Chelsea Williams, “Good Life” by One Republic, and “Run” by Matt Nathanson and Jennifer Nettles

Next month: Q&A, as well as how to avoid your kids' Halloween candy!


  1. I'm a writer, so basically, if my butt isn't in a chair, I'm not getting words down in a computer file. But whenever I get stuck trying to figure out a plot or character issue, I go for a walk or a bike ride, even if it's a short one. Solo exercise like this usually gets my imagination flowing as well as my circulation. For me, it also has to be without distracting music (sorry!), because I'm thinking as well as moving, and I also want to hear the birds (and the bicycles or cars that may be about to run me over). I almost always come up with great ideas when I'm in motion. During my walk this morning, I resolved a problem with the romantic suspense I'm currently working on. More writers should try it!

    Happy writing and exercising!

  2. Yes! When our blood is flowing, it's likely that our ideas are as well. And don't apologize for doing what works :) One of my critique partners swears by her time at a local coffee shop, and writes great scene after great scene while she's there. I, on the other hand, need total quiet in order to feel comfortable writing. Fitness is much the same-- definitely not "one size fits all"!

    Thanks for sharing, Pamela!

  3. Great tips, Kimberly! It is so easy to let fitness slide when our lives get busy. I especially like the one about bargaining that you'll only do ten minutes. You are so right; everything I reach the ten-minute mark, I want to keep going. This is true for writing, as well.

  4. I've printed this and will follow your advice. Damn you, fitness woman!
    Tracy Brogan

  5. Hahaha, gotcha, Tracy! I find that the 10-minute bargain is one of the biggest motivators for me. 10 minutes is a reasonable chunk of time-- even when I'm busy, it's usually do-able. More often than not, it becomes 20 or 30, but even on the rare occasion it doesn't, I've done *some*thing. And as Pamela said, getting the blood moving gets the brain moving, too. So it's helpful all around.

    I also like to use it to blast writer's block. If I sit with an open manuscript and don't type anything for more than ten minutes, I make myself get up and move for five. The blood flow is good for my body, and almost always wakes my brain up, too. Win-win!

  6. Kimberly,
    Great post! I find the morning is my best time to focus--both on exercise and writing. Now the girls are back in school I do my morning work out as soon as I get back from taking them to school. 30 min./2 miles on treadmill or power walking in community is the start. It gets my brain going. My hard part is staying away from blogs/internet/emails before settling in to my writing. I must discpline myself to focus first on writing and second on the net.

    Take care and best of luck to everyone!

  7. So very true! Some people are morning exercisers, and others thrive in the PM. Knowing which works best for you can definitely kick-star your motivation. Sounds like your routine is right in place, Loni! :)

  8. Thanks for sharing! Your right I do promise myself just 1 turn around the track but once I'm out there I make it 3 lol