One of the top reasons that motivates women to workout is the drive to look better. In other words, fat loss. There’s absolutely nothing wrong with wanting to change the way we look, and fitness can absolutely be an integral part of that. But I feel that many of us get so lost in the pursuit of fat loss, that we forget ALL the other amazing things exercise can do for our bodies.
Even a performance goal such as hitting a bench press or deadlift number, can over shadow our appreciation for the simple things. I’m just as guilty of this as anyone, so I got to thinking about why I exercise. The deeper WHY. (Most likely because I’m on holidays right now and I can’t get to a gym, so this has really been on my mind). I sat down and really thought about what it is that has kept me lifting weights, walking, doing yoga, climbing mountains, running hills, and riding bikes. More so than anything, I realized, it’s because I want a fully functioning and healthy body for LIFE. I want to bend down and pick things up with ease. I want to keep my joints and tendons supple and moving well. I don’t want to rely on others to help me all the time, to suffer from age related muscle loss, or to develop weakness and injury.
I decided to compile a short list of the things that I appreciate MORE than the desire to simply lose fat. Because this is really the stuff that has substance. This is the stuff that will get your butt off the couch when you don’t feel like moving, NOT the aesthetic reasons.
I choose to move my body daily because:
- I’m able to help others (and myself) to lift heavy objects, move furniture, carry bags of groceries, or bend over and reach for something in an awkward position. This helps me to be more independent and to also be of service to others.
- My mood and focus are greatly improved by moving my body on a daily basis. Exercise of any type is a major stress reliever and happiness booster. If I can’t exercise for some reason (travel, illness, injury, busy schedule) I FEEL my mental state that day significantly drop.
- It’s preventing age related muscle loss. And as I head further into my 40s this is more and more on my mind. From our 30s and beyond, we begin to lose muscle mass unless we do something to slow it down. This factor alone is HUGE in maintaining our independence and health as we age.
- It serves as a motivator for positive change in other areas of my life, because when I exercise it increases my confidence and self esteem. This consequently encourages me to take more chances and do things I may have otherwise shied away from. Who knew that going to the gym would spread more positive change to completely unrelated areas of my life??
- I have become more in tune with my body. I can sense when things feel “off”, or when something hurts, is tight, or needs attention. The more I USE my body, the more I know how it feels when it’s healthy, and how it feels when it’s not. I love to put my body through all ranges of motion to get a sense of where things feel stuck.
Fitness to me is a pleasure, it’s something to be celebrated. I rarely ever think about it as something I HAVE to do, rather it’s something I GET to do. It’s what my body CAN do. And how exciting is that?? We’re SO incredibly blessed to be able to move freely, to use our muscles and joints in ways they were meant to be used. Heading to the gym for a fat loss goal seems so small and insignificant when you begin to change your perspective.
Besides, it’s very true what they say, fat loss really does happen in the kitchen. What we eat has FAR more impact on our body composition than just the gym. We can sculpt and tone our muscles at the gym so they look better, but fat loss should come from our diets, NOT from our workouts.
Why do you like to workout? I’d love to know! Send me a message or leave a comment.
In Wellness, Krista