Over the last few weeks, I’ve chatted with clients about their motivation for working out. We’ve dug a little deeper into WHY they feel called to head to the gym or lace up their shoes to go for a run. And of course – it goes way deeper than trying to get stronger or leaner.
Everyday, women are told that they have to head to the gym or switch on the latest HIIT workout on YouTube to make our bodies “good enough”. We’ve been long conditioned to believe that if we aren’t working out intensely to be the leanest possible, we won’t be accepted.
But the truth is, if we’re working out solely to be lean, we likely won’t continue. Workout motivation will wax and wane depending on the results we see. There’s a difference between forcing yourself to go to the gym and choosing to plan a hike with girlfriends. One of those you are doing because you feel you should, the other, you’re doing for fun…and which do you think you’ll continue doing?
Of course, exercise is important. As a personal trainer, I understand all of the benefits of working out. But the truth is, until we connect with those benefits, we’ll continue to struggle with consistency. So, instead of dragging yourself to the gym to lift weight because you feel like you “should” try focusing on some of the other benefits of working out:
Improved Memory. When you work out – whether rock climbing, hiking, or lifting weights , your brain is getting more oxygen. There are plenty of studies indicating a definitive link between the increased amount of oxygen to the brain and improved memory.
Boosted Confidence. When you spend time doing something you enjoy, you are happier and more satisfied with your life. Exercise can give you that boost of confidence you’ve been looking for. More than that, as you build specific skills, get stronger, and achieve goals not related to your body composition, your confidence will sky rocket.
Lower Stress. Stress is a big rush of cortisol which can trigger adrenaline ricocheting around your system. Working out can decrease these stress hormones, which will help you feel a thousand times better and more calm.
Better Sleep. With our high stress lives, our sleep often suffers, which impacts our hormones and mood. Exercise makes you feel worn out in a good way, which leads to better sleep, better skin and a generally better mood.
Girl, it’s soo important that you exercise because of the thousands of benefits – not because you want to shrink. When we are simply trying to get smaller, our motivation is fleeting. Instead, focus on the lasting benefits of fitness, so that you can stay consistent for the rest of your life.