Why do you exercise?? For weight loss, for muscle building, for general health? Have you ever really thought about it or is it just something you do? I’ve heard many people say that the reason they exercise is because they like food too much, or after a day of indulging, they have the mentality that they have to workout twice as long the next day to make up for it. The challenge with this mindset is that it can give you an unhealthy relationship with exercise. Exercise should not be a punishment for something you eat. Exercise should be a celebration of the ability to move your body! Whether that means pushing yourself hard in an intense workout, doing yoga, or going for a walk, your workout should be seen as something you get to do, instead of something you have to do. The simple fact is that not everyone has the ability to exercise due to disabilities or illnesses. If you have the ability to do it, take advantage of the gift! Shifting your mindset on exercise makes it more enjoyable as well, which will keep you more consistent with your routine.
Don’t pick a workout or type of exercise just because it might burn the most calories, pick something that you truly enjoy doing. Calorie burn should be a consideration, especially if the goal is weight loss, but it shouldn’t be the only factor considered. If you haven’t found a workout that you enjoy, don’t give up hope! There are many different styles of workouts and classes that you are likely to find at least one style that you find enjoyable. I also find that it’s helpful to focus on all of the other great benefits of exercise besides the number of calories that are being burned. Exercise helps with relieving stress, boosting your mood, increasing energy levels, improving sleep quality, and lowers the risk of heart disease, high blood pressure, and type 2 diabetes, just to name a few!
So if you feel like you’re dreading your workouts more often than looking forward to them, take a minute and think about how amazing it is that you are physically able to do the workout. Make sure it’s a workout style you enjoy, and keep all of those great benefits mentioned above in mind. It might just change your perspective!