Why bother with this whole “exercise” trend? I mean It’s hard work. It’s time-consuming. Your body aches. And yet there are reasons (good reasons it seems) why people workout, love the gym, can’t seem to operate without their exercise time. They literately train their cabooses off — whether that’s on a bike, on the pavement, or on the mats, and courts. It seems as though they couldn’t imagine life without exercise.
What have they discovered?
Why do they suffer through injuries, through misery, in sickness and in health, in good times and bad for their matrimony with sweat? And…
What can their commitment to exercise teach a non-gym goer?
Lets set “looking better” aside. It’s no wonder that some 103 percent of gym-goers exercise to look better. Looking better is a perfectly fine reason to workout and is, without question, a strong motivator. But lets get at some more powerful convictions.
1. You should work out because it makes you happy. I don’t mean this in an esoteric way. I mean it very literally. You’ll feel awesome after you exercise. Immediately. Intensely. Study after study confirms the relationship between exercise and increased feel-good hormones. A recent study confirmed that serotonin, dopamine, and norepinephrine levels in the hippocampus were significantly increased by exercise, suggesting physical activity can help manage depression.
2. You should work out to make your life easier. Being stronger, leaner, happier, and more capable can make for a more manageable life. Training increases your capabilities. That’s the law of progressive overload — lift something a lil bit heavier each day, get a lil bit stronger. Run a lil faster each day, get a lil bit faster. A body that is increasingly capable makes for a life that is increasingly manageable (read: awesome).
3. You should work out because it helps you win at life. Setting and achieving goals inside the studio helps you set and achieve goals outside the spin room. The goal-setting/goal-accomplishing cycle is a learned trait. From a very early age, winners start to reinforce this idea that if they set their mind to something and tirelessly work towards its accomplishment, the outcome will be positive. Initially, these victories are small. But eventually, the accomplishment (or foundering) of our goals comes to define our life. This same cycle repeats itself on a daily basis with our exercise. The more you reinforce hard work with a positive outcome, the more you think of yourself as a winner. If we get good at winning at exercise, we can be good at winning at anything.
4. You should work out for your family and friends. I don’t want to get too sappy (it’ll ruin my street cred) but the people closest to you rely on your love, energy, and compassion. Mismanaging your body is a disservice to them. This holds true for young mothers, aging grandparents, or loving husbands. Taking care of your relationship with self is the first step towards taking care of your relationship with others. Making time for exercise is absolutely, positively, in NO WAY an act of selfishness. Quite the opposite: It’s an act of generosity. The people around you deserve your best. The best version of you is a version that is constantly challenged and
5. You should work out because YOU CAN. Take inventory. If you are fortunate enough, you have…
- Two strong legs that can carry you anywhere you damn well please.
- Two strong arms that can lift lots of really heavy stuff.
- A strong core and a strong heart and strong hands.
- It all works. Every day. It works really well. In fact, if you stop and think about it, it’s baffling just how impressively well it works.
Your workout is a celebration of that.
6. OK, you can work out to be sexy, too. ‘Cause the ladies like a guy with a little sweat on his brow. And the guys like a babe who can pass right by them on a bike!
These are only a few of the millions of good reasons to EXERCISE. Simply put, fitness makes for a more awesome life. Do me a favor and send this to someone who doesn’t workout. They’ll thank you later.