Exercise Mantras

I’m not one to shy away from delicious leftovers for lunch, so you can bet that last night’s dinner made an appearance in my afternoon meal.


My mid-day meal included an Italian sausage sandwich with mustard, spinach and tomato slices, paired with carrots and green pepper strips and string cheese.

Eat Those Carrots!


Lots of flavahs!

And now for the part of this post that I am super excited to share with all of you!

Exercise Mantras

Call me corny, but I love a good mantra. Whenever I’m feeling stressed, unmotivated, sad or angry, I often look to quotes and motivational phrases to change my state of mind.

When it comes to working out every morning, truthfully I don’t struggle getting to the gym most days. I think it’s because it’s a pattern for me and something I do daily. I know I would feel like I was missing something if I skipped my morning workout.

However, there are obviously days when I’d much rather sleep in. There are mornings when I think I’ll just walk on a treadmill for 30 minutes and call it a day. That’s when I look to my favorite exercise mantras:

After asking you guys for input on your favorite motivational quotes, I received a slew of responses that were funny, uplifting, energizing and inspiring.

Here are some of my favorites (with the name of the person who submitted the quote noted in parenthesis):

  • You know your limit and this is NOT it. (Meaghan)
  • A body at rest wants to stay at rest. A body in motion wants to stay in motion. (Heidi)
  • No hurt, no mini skirt. (Kelly)
  • When your legs are tired, run with your heart. (Gabriela)
  • You don’t HAVE to exercise. You GET to exercise. (Kimberly)
  • Everyone has 24 hours in one day. What you do with those hours is up to you. Make the most of them! (Jessica)
  • You are just one workout away from a good mood. (Cynthia)

And here’s a list of other wonderful mantras you guys submitted in the comments section of yesterday’s post and on PBF’s Facebook page:

  • There are no shortcuts to any place worth going. (Stephanie, a la Beverly Sills)
  • You’re stronger than you think you are! (Annette and Kristen)
  • Just keep swimming. Just keep swimming. (Amber K and Meredith, a la Dory from Finding Nemo)
  • What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger. (Jess)
  • If it were easy, everyone would do it. (Ang)
  • This is not the hardest thing I’ve ever done. (Kaella)
  • Don’t try. Just do. (Helen)
  • If you can, you must! (Clare and Jen)
  • It won’t kill ya! (Elisa)
  • Just get out the door. If I’m hating it, I can quit in five minutes. (Averie)
  • You can do anything for one minute (or 30 minutes, etc.). (Allison and Eliza)
  • I need to work some things out, leave some things behind, get over some long-held fears. I need to know that I’m strong in some ways that I’ve never really believed. (Mindy)
  • Pain is weakness leaving the body. (Margaret)
  • Your limits might not be where you think they are. (Margaret via IronMan Chrissie Wellington)
  • Obsessed is the word the lazy use to describe the dedicated. (Alicia)
  • You must expect things of yourself before you can do them. (Jen)
  • If you look good, you feel good, then you’ll do good. (Taryn)
  • Never let the body tell the mind what to do. (Sarah K.)
  • Don’t stop when you’re getting tired. That’s when you’re getting stronger! (Maryann)
  • Rule your mind or it will rule you. (Kelly)
  • The body is stronger than the mind. (Elysie)
  • If my 82-year-old grandma goes to the gym every day, I’ve got no excuses. (Kristin)
  • Time never stops moving. This challenge will come, and this challenge will go because time never stops moving. This will eventually be over and look at what I will have achieved. (Katy)
  • All I need to do is show up. (Arielle)

Healthy Eating Mantras:

  • The food you eat today is the body you wear tomorrow. (Katie)
  • Exercise is king. Nutrition is queen. Put them together and you’ve got a kingdom. (Katie)
  • An hour a day keeps obesity away. (Danielle)

Running Mantras:

  • You can’t judge a run by the first mile. (Michelle)
  • For marathon runners: Run the first 10 miles with your head, run the second 10 miles with your legs, and the last 6 miles with your heart. (Sarah K.)
  • If you train hard, you’ll not only be hard, but you’ll be hard to beat. (Alicia)
  • You’re blessed to have legs that allow you to run. (Kristen)

Amazing, huh?

Since I’m sure this long list of exercise mantras is a bit intimidating, I’m going to conclude each morning post for the rest of the month with one quote randomly selected from this post to give it some extra attention. Hopefully each daily quote will resonate with you and help motivate all of us to continue to make healthy decisions in our day-to-day lives.


  1. says

    Wonderful mantras! There’s a quote that I keep on my desk at work and at home. It keeps me wildly motivated:
    “There is no passion to be found in playing small … in settling for a life that is less than the one you are capable of living.” Nelson Mandela
    I think I first read it on the Fitnessista’s blog. I love that quote!

    If you have time… are there any yoga training DVDs that you have tried and recommended? I just had to ask because you seem to really enjoy yoga.


  2. Emily says

    I know I’m late on this but I wanted to share one that always helps me.
    Back when I was swimming very competitively, I would get extremely nervous and anxious before a final race.

    My dad would always encourage me to go my hardest, saying , “what are you saving up for? The car ride home?”

    That always struck home with me. Now, when I’m doing a hard workout and I wanna ease up a bit, I think, What am I saving it up for? Breakfast?

    Have a good day!


  3. Christa says

    This was an awesome post. Especially like the “all you have to do is show up” mantra which I sort of have my own version of… I always tell new managers I’m training “all you really have to do is 2 things: 1) show up and 2) TRY.”


  4. says

    Thank you for this list! I picked my favorites and posted the around my apartment (on my mirror, in my closet, inside my pantry door…). Very motivational!

    Also, I just discovered wheat germ and I’m obsessed. I put it in my yogurt this morning..yum! I also just baked some steel cut oatmeal cookies and added it to them! Delish!


  5. says

    For those just getting started with exercising: “Inch by inch is a cinch, yard by yard is hard”. Start out small maybe with just walking twenty minutes a day versus running 2 miles when you’ve been inactive for the past 5 years!


    “Preparing to fail is failing to prepare” = if you’ve made the decision to start exercising, come up with a plan on HOW. For me, I have to do it right after work or else it won’t get done. If I just went straight home it’s really hard to motivate myself to get up and do it after I’ve already hoped into my lounging gear, aka my PJs lol. Make a plan, stick to it… don’t wing it.


  6. says

    These are awesome, I love mantra too…and I’m always looking for new ones.

    With working out, when I’m feeling tired and I want to quit, I usually rotate between “you are NOT a quitter” and “just x more minutes/miles and then you can stop” but by the time i get to my goal, i add on another mile or another 5 minutes and start all over again until I’ve finished a full workout.


  7. Caroline says

    On a similar theme, along one of my favorite running routes is a small wooden cross someone erected to honor someone who died in a car accident in that spot and every time I see it I feel grateful that I can run and tell the person I’m doing it for them.


  8. Holly B says

    I actually thought a lot about the mantra you listed, “I’ve never regretted a workout.” It got me out of bed this morning and onto the treadmill for 4.1 miles. I hate the feeling of late-night regret and it’s sooo true! I’ve never regretted a workout or a long dog walk for that matter. I’m happier and my mini-dachshund is happier and healthier because of it.


  9. says

    You are a great inspiration for me – I love that you workout so regularly. And this list of motivational quotes is highly inspiring as well – I am always telling myself: You don’t have to be great to start, but you have to start to be great! And as I made the first step I will normally continue 😉


  10. Mimi says

    Before reading this, I was trying to psyched up for a workout today. Now I’m determined to go!

    P.S. I usually say, “I never regret a workout.”


  11. says

    Thanks so much! This has actually gotten me to get off of my butt and do a quick run at 7:45am. I figure it’s plenty of time before my first class, so why not!

    My favorite ones are:
    *When your legs are tired, run with your heart
    *Obsessed is the word the lazy use to describe the DEDICATED


  12. says

    I loved these tips. I will start following your blog now to see what other great things you have to say.

    I can use these mantras to get me through those days when i just don’t want to move at all. lol

    Thank you again fro taking out the time to share.


  13. Kami says

    Inspired by one of my favorite running songs, I often tell myself: “I’ve got the magic in me!” Puts a smile on my face every time!

    Also, I had a teacher at the gym say once, “If you want to look like an athlete, you have to work like an athlete.” And I tell myself all the time: YOU ARE AN ATHLETE!!


  14. Haley @ Fit, Young, and Fabulous says

    I LOVE these! I look back at them all of the time. And I love using them as Facebook statuses to inspire others as well! Mantras=LOVE! (: <3


  15. Barbara Ann says

    I was just doing an online search for some new mantras and this post popped up. Just wanted to let you know that even years later it is still making a difference!



Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>