Motivation

Happy Birthday, Derek Hough! His 10 Best Quotes on Exercise and Motivation – Parade

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Happy birthday, Derek Hough! The Dancing With the Stars pro turns 34 on May 17, 2019.

As a professional dancer, Hough is pretty much always in amazing shape. In his book Taking the Lead: Lessons from a Life in Motion, he writes about how staying fit and healthy is as much a mental challenge as a physical one. He also has some down-to-earth advice on how to motivate yourself to exercise and take care of your body.

Related: Watch Derek Hough Try (and Fail) to Dance Badly on The Tonight Show

In honor of Hough’s birthday, here are 10 of his best quotes on exercise, motivation and perseverance.

1. “You don’t have to be great to start, but you have to start to be great.”

2. “As human beings, going back to the beginning of civilization, we’ve had to move to survive. We had to throw spears to hunt, we had to prepare land to plant seeds, we had to gather firewood. Our bodies are hardwired to move. Not even TiVo can rewire those thousands of years of DNA. This isn’t a new idea, but it’s easy to forget: your body is connected to your mind and spirit.”

Related: World of Dance‘s Derek Hough Talks Season 3, Jennifer Lopez and His Upcoming Tour

3. “People say, ‘I’m miserable because I’m overweight’ or ‘I’m overweight because I’m miserable,’ but these two go hand in hand. I know when I drink to excess or put poisons in my body, the next day I’m not going to feel happy or inspired. The body is the vehicle that can help you reach your dreams. Keeping it moving, strong, and healthy paves the way to overall well-being.”

4. “You don’t have to be in the gym to exercise. You just need to move—and keep moving. It can be anywhere, at any time. Sometimes I’ll do push-ups during a commercial break while watching TV. Sometimes I take a short walk, even around the block with my dog, just to break up my day. Your body wants to move; your body was created to move. You have to feed that.”

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5. “Most of us sleepwalk through life because we’re waiting for the perfect time, the perfect place, and the perfect opportunity to improve ourselves. Stop waiting. Start moving and keep moving.”

6. “I like to set aside five minutes in the morning to squeeze in some push-ups and crunches. Just starting the morning like that changes my whole day. If you can find at least five minutes to do something that helps your body, you will already start feeling stronger.”

7. “When you do something often enough it becomes a ritual, like going to church or brushing your teeth. You will eventually recondition your body to crave working out and eating the right foods. The circuitry can be rewired.”

Related: The Top 11 Wellness Influencers on the Daily Health Habit Changes That Have Made the Biggest Difference

8. “When I think about the times I’ve excelled the most in my life, I was always around people who were like-minded and pushed me in a positive way. In order for a plant to grow it needs to be in the right environment and it needs nourishment.”

9. “Put your hand on your heart and close your eyes. Maybe you’ve seen me do this on DWTS with my partners backstage before we go on. It calms the nerves and helps you connect to a place of gratitude. You didn’t earn your heart; you didn’t pay for it. It was given to you as a gift. So take advantage of it, enjoy it, and treat yourself the best way possible.”

10. “Externally, things may be out of your control. But one thing you can always control and master is your inner control: how you perceive the situation, how you filter it. There’s a tremendous freedom in taking leadership of how you perceive things.”

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