Exercise For The “Right” Reason

Like healthy food, exercise plays an enormous role in our overall health, our risk of illness, our mental health and happiness, and of course our weight. For some people, exercise comes easily, but for many others, it tends to be a constant struggle. Why is it that some people succeed at physical activity while others can’t seem to break out of that sedentary lifestyle? Why are we super motivated to exercise one week, and by next week our motivation is nowhere to be found? The answer is quite easy, actually.

Whatever you’re doing right now, stop and ask yourself this question..”Why do I exercise?” or if you haven’t started an exercise routine yet, ask yourself “Why do I WANT to exercise?” I know it sounds like one of those simple questions that require a simple answer, but you will soon learn that it’s much more than that. So seriously…pause for a second, be honest with yourself, and answer wisely.

As with eating, the why of exercise is very important. What’s your motivation to exercise? Who are you doing this for? Are you exercising just to lose weight to look good in clothes for a special occasion? Or maybe because you want a certain “badd” body shape like the women we see on television? If you answered yes to any of those questions– and I hate to say this but– chances are you won’t last long when it comes to consistent exercise. You may have a couple of good months, but what will happen once you reach your goal weight or you fit into that special dress for you birthday? There is a huge chance that you will gain that weight back and end up even more unhealthy than before. I’ve been there, done that many times and know how frustrating that process can be. So please…don’t do it to yourself.

In order to have a healthy, everlasting relationship with exercise, you have to shift your focus. What if, instead of focusing on a narrow goal (losing a certain amount of weight or fitting into a certain dress) or viewing exercise as something you “should” do, you looked at exercise as a way to better your overall health (body and mind), have more energy, bring you pleasure and fun, and feel strong and competent? What if you did it for yourself and no one else? If you can’t answer any of those questions, allow me to do so for you…exercise will feel damn good with a mindset like that! Trust me 🙂

One of the things I see a lot of on social media when it comes to exercise are these Polar fit watches, step counters, Apple watches,etc. I used to use my Polar watch faithfully and you would never catch me exercising without it. Whenever I did exercise without it, it’s as if my workout didn’t even happen lol (in my mind of course). If I did not see that I burned 500 calories or more, I felt so worthless and weak. Even though it took me a while, I realized those numbers were addicting and quite frustrating.

Instead of focusing on the outcome–calories burned, pounds lost, miles jogged–you can focus on the process. That means to listen to your body and notice how your body is feeling before, during, and after exercise. Think about the favor you are doing your body. Think about how you are strengthening your heart and lungs, and becoming stronger (physically AND mentally) *HELLO ENDORPHIN’S* 🙂 Being in tune with your body during exercise will also help you to avoid boredom. Whenever you notice that you don’t want to exercise, remember why you’re exercising and what you want in the long run. Instead of asking yourself “Do I feel like exercising?” remind yourself of why it’s important to you.

Once you establish a why that is meaningful, exercise becomes a positive task that you will want to do and no longer look at it as something you have to do to lose weight. It does take a while to find that right balance–the right exercise routine and something you enjoy– but keep at it because it’s vital for self-care and overall health.

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