Why Do You Exercise?!

As I’m sure you’re well aware, exercise has an endless amount of health benefits and the list continues to grow daily.  Exercise can bring physical health benefits such as weight and body fat loss, improved blood pressure, improved blood sugars, improved cholesterol, and the list truly goes on and on.  Aside from improving your body’s well-being, exercise can also greatly improve your mental state by elevating your endorphins, reducing your stress levels, as well as potentially lowering your chance for depression.  Regardless of the advantages that exercise brings to our lives, we all have our own purpose for hitting the gym, or track, or bike, or slopes, or…well you get the idea.   They question is, why do YOU exercise?

If you were to ask me a few years ago why I exercise, my answer would be simple and straight to the point, “to stay lean and look good.”  In my opinion, I think it’s fair to say that almost everyone who works out does so with some (if not all) intention to improve his or her body composition.  I mean who doesn’t want drop some pounds, fit into their “skinny” clothes again, feel good about their body and boost their self confidence?!  Is that really a question?!  Sign me up!

Now don’t get me wrong, it’s great to be motivated to work out, period.  However, from my observation with personal and client experience, it is an endless road to go down when exercising with aesthetic intentions only.  It seems as humans we are never satisfied with our bodies and we are always looking to lose more weight, drop more body fat, tone this and tone that.   It’s easy to become discouraged when the weight isn’t coming off quick enough or on the flip side, you do reach your goal, only to find another physical attribute you’re unhappy with.  It’s far better to find other purpose for your workouts.  Eat and train accordingly and the physical changes will follow.

Ask my husband why he works out and he will tell you his purpose is to be stronger and bigger.  Bigger, that’s right.  Not body fat bigger but muscle bigger.  He is a powerlifter and has been chasing “numbers” for the years, and by this I mean, consistently training for larger numbers in weight to be able to lift.  For my husband, finally being able to squat, deadlift, or bench press the weight he’s trained for months on end, is an amazing accomplishment.  Consistently reaching his goals gives him a sense of achievement and capableness that is irreplaceable for him.

While many of our clients exercise to lose weight and for other aesthetic goals, they also have other valuable purposes that motivate them.  For some exercise (especially boxing) provides an enormous stress release for them after a long day of work or at home with the kids.  Some of our clients exercise to set a positive and healthy example for their children.  Goal setting is another great reason why many of our clients exercise.  They train to run their first 5k, climb mountains, or play a specific sport better.  Other reasons are more health based, such as to lower their cholesterol or blood pressure, get off their medications, and live a healthier and longer life.

While part of me undoubtedly still exercises to “to stay lean and look good”, I’m proud to say I’ve grown to expand my motives.  I’ve found that if I take off more than three days in a row from exercise, my mood takes a turn for the worst.  I become irritable, and my self-esteem tends to take a downward dive.  I now workout to keep my overall mood and attitude in a happy and healthy place.  I also workout to keep my cardiovascular levels high and to keep my muscles strong.   Lastly, I workout for my health.  I have witnessed many close people in my life, as I’m sure many of you have as well, suffer the consequences of poor health.  I always think that I would like to be in top shape to combat any unforeseen illnesses that come my way; I think of it as having an advantage in the game.

The question to ask yourself is why do YOU exercise?  Do you exercise with purpose?  What is your purpose?   If you find yourself answering, “to stay lean and look good”, give it some more thought.  You’ll have much more success with your workouts if you find a true purpose as to why you workout and use that purpose as a healthy source of motivation.

Written by DeHenzel Training Systems
Why Do You Exercise?

About DeHenzel Training Systems: DeHenzel Training Systems offers In Home Personal Training services throughout Northern Virginia and Washington DC.  Aside from in home, personal training is also available at the office gym or outdoors at a local park.

Within Northern Virginia, we service Loudoun, Fairfax and Prince William Counties including: Alexandria, Annandale, Arlington, Ashburn, Burke, Centreville, Chantilly, Fairfax, Falls Church, Great Falls, Herndon, Lansdowne, Leesburg, Lorton, McLean, Oakton, Reston, Springfield, Sterling, Tyson’s Corner, Vienna and Woodbridge.

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