Friday, May 18, 2012

Top 10 Reasons I Work Out...

Been thinking a lot lately about how to get myself back into the gym 4-5 times a week as opposed to the 3 times a week I've been doing for the past month.

For me, what it's coming down to is remembering why I do this in the first place.  So I decided to write it down for myself...which is a great way for me to process things in my life. 

Here's my Top 10 Reasons I Work Out...

#10 - I actually DO enjoy it.  This wasn't always true, but it definitely is now.  Even with the pain in my knees, I enjoy the feeling of making my body move. 

#9 - It helps me lose weight when I do it consistently and at a high level.  I love watching the scale go down, and it does when I'm working out hard enough and often enough.

#8 - I'm competitive and this lets me compete against myself.  This is a great outlet for me to set and surpass goals.  I love setting a fast time on a piece of cardio equipment....or lifting more weight for more reps than I have in the past.  It's a challenge...and I never back down from a challenge.

#7 - I enjoy having better cardio fitness.  When I walk up the stairs, my knees still hurt, but I'm not breathing heavily anymore.  I can go for increased distances without being winded.  That's a great feeling.

#6 - It's a healthy habit in a life that has had all too few of those! I don't enjoy eating healthy foods.  But this is one habit that I've established that is truly healthy and positive.  I feel like it helps me make up for the years and years of eating french fries and Doritos!

#5 - It makes me actually WANT to drink water.  I drink water because I have to, not usually because I want to.  But when I'm exercising, it's the only drink I want.  I crave it, and that is good for me.

#4 - I like the way my body shape is changing because I exercise.  Muscles are developing where fat used to reign.  There's a lot more shaping and firming to do, but what's already happened makes me much happier when I look in the mirror.  My clothes fit differently...and are much smaller.  That's directly attributable to exercising.

#3 - Exercising releases endorphins and makes me happier - really!  It's a great stress reliever to put the headphones on and block out the world for a half hour.  I come off the equipment smiling and happier than I went on it, and the good feeling lasts quite a while.

#2 - I still have goals for my health that I won't hit if I don't exercise.  And I'm a person who absolutely needs to hit her goals.  I can't feel like I'm living the life I want and need to live if I'm not setting and achieving goals. 

And finally...the one that never leaves my mind...ever.

#1 - I want to walk.  Bottom line for me is that if I stop exercising, stop working out, I won't walk.  It's the fact of my life.  There is so much damage to my knees that isn't really reversible.  But it's manageable when I do good things like exercise and use anti-inflammatory medicine and ice.  I exercise because if I don't, I won't walk. That's a HUGE motivator for me.

So, there it is.  For me, these are the top 10 reasons that I exercise.  I needed to review these in my mind to remind myself why making time to workout is worth whatever it is I have to do to make it happen. 

What reasons do YOU have to exercise?  And more importantly, can you articulate them?  What I've found is the more real I make this...the more I keep these things in the front of my mind...the more committed I am to actually working out.  And the less likely I am to blow it off after a long hard day at work.  Conversely, when I DON'T think about these reasons, I'm far more likely to head home and veg out after a tough day.

So, can you name your reasons to exercise?  Sure hope so!

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