You may recall one of my first posts here, where I broke down the different types of clients I’ve experienced, along with their perceived motivations and workout habits. I ran the risk of alienating a few folks with my frankness, but I am all about transparency these days. I simply don’t like taking your money unless I can help make a difference in your fitness level and affect your life in a positive way.
So let’s throw the simple idea that working out makes you look better out the window (that’s a given) and go straight to the simplest reasons for working out:
(1) You’ll be happier. No, I am not using the “happiness” word in an esoteric way. I mean you’ll feel immediately, intensely, unequivocally awesome after you exercise. See, there is a direct relationship between exercise and endorphins. One study even suggests high-intensity exercise modulates the brain in a very similar way to cocaine use, believe it or not. It has been found that serotonin, dopamine, and norepinephrine levels in the hippocampus are significantly increased by exercise, suggesting physical activity can help manage depression . Today’s ADHD-afflicted and clinically depressed patients are almost always given instructions by their therapists to exercise to help their brains fire in healthier ways, so just imagine what exercise does to people who have no issues to address!
(2) Being in better shape makes life easier. I can tell you this from personal experience. One of my clients, who began working out with me a few years ago, complained of not being able to carry bags of groceries from her car without breaking up the contents or asking for help. She now schleps several bags at a time and has more energy than she knows what to do with. Another client complained that she had a tough time bending down to fasten her favorite shoes and was shocked at how she couldn’t manage to take a big step up into a van without help, making her feel positively geriatric. “What on earth happened to my legs?” she asked me when she began her workouts. Now she complains every time it’s “leg day” but is off-the-charts grateful that she moves like someone 20 years her junior.
But wait! There’s more! Getting stronger, leaner, and more capable means you can rearrange the furniture, hoist a suitcase into the overhead rack and even help carry a friend home from the company Christmas party. Just THINK of the possibilities! When you improve your capabilities, life becomes increasingly more manageable.
(3) You’re not doing this just for yourself; you are also doing it for those you love! I’m not trying to sound like Deepak here, but the people closest to you rely on your love, energy, and compassion. Mismanaging your body is a disservice to them and may even rob them of a full life with you, whether you are a young mom, an aging grandparent, or a single auntie/uncle. Applying the oxygen mask to yourself is the first step toward taking care of your relationship with others. Looking at it this way should convince you that exercise is NOT an act of selfishness; rather it’s an act of generosity. Those you love deserve your best.
(4) Exercise is a blessing. Seriously. Okay, aching, panting and sweating may not kick this fact into top-of-mind awareness, but think about how fortunate that you are to possess the knowledge and the means to exercise! The ancient Greeks knew it: a healthy body is truly a work of art. Two legs to carry you, two arms to lift a child or help your aging dog onto the couch, and a strong heart to help you scale those trails at Yosemite. It’s downright impressive what you are capable of, so don’t take ANY of it for granted!
These four reasons alone should convince you to:
- start exercising regularly
- keep your appointments with me –- that means planning life around your workouts and not the other way around, and/or
- make you take stock of how life is too short not to start now
Are you okay with spending half your life feeling unsure of your balance while doing something routine, not being able to get up off the floor without help, having to sit down to pull your jeans on, or only recalling nostalgically how strong you used to be when you were younger (as if that can never happen again)? If not, then I am part of the universe telling you that time waits for no one.
See you in the gym. SOON!