I was at the grocery store last night stocking up on fresh produce, and in casual conversation, I mentioned to checkout clerk that I was heading for a run after I went home. His reply? “Well you don’t need it!” Which I guess was supposed to be a compliment (because I suppose I appear in good shape/fit), but what it did was get me thinking about the motivation behind my workouts…
I’ll preface my own explanation for why I work out by saying that many people I know view exercise as punitive…as a means to an end (losing weight, usually). But in truth, just like with nutrition, it is small changes/improvements over time that yield lasting results. It means doing a little bit when you can, and not having an all-or-nothing mentality. It’s making it a priority but also fitting it into your busy schedule/lifestyle.
Okay, so back to the point of this post…What motivates me to exercise:
- Cardio is good for heart health, and I want my heart to tick as many days as possible!
- Weight training increases muscle mass, which increases resting metabolism (how many calories you’re burning when you’re not doing any activities)…and this helps me not have to count calories to stay at a healthy weight.
- Strength training/weight bearing exercise is good for bone health, and I don’t want osteoporosis when I get older.
- Working out gives me a natural serotonin (happiness hormones) boost so I have a more positive mood/outlook on life.
- Exercise is great for reducing/coping with stress!
- I feel more toned and strong when I work out. It’s a definite confidence booster.
- I sleep better when I workout regularly.
- It’s my “me” time, where I can either zone out or reflect on things I’m too busy to think about during the day.
Those are some of the concrete reasons that I have made working out a regular part of my life. It’s become as important to me as brushing my teeth. Working out just to lose weight or purely for vanity reasons never had much staying power for me.
Now don’t get me wrong, I have my days when I don’t feel like working out, or when I don’t have the energy for a full-blown session…but when I’m out for a run and I see someone being pushed in a wheelchair, I think to myself about how lucky I am that my body is strong enough to be able to do physically challenging activities. It’s that type of thinking…being grateful and respectful of my body’s capabilities…that keeps me going and drives me from within.
If you want my advice, work out because you deserve to feel good in your body…after all, it’s the only one you’ve got while you’re on this earth…and hopefully you’ll be around for a good long while!
Ciao for now!