Honest truth, I got inspired to write this post after browsing workouts on Pinterest! When you search fitness or exercise, the majority of pins that come up are motivational pictures or quotes. And it really got me thinking. I loved this post that Clean Eating Chelsey wrote a few months back on "how she does it - exercise." So I decided to write a post of my own to hopefully help someone out!
First of all let me clarify that I didn't always (and still don't everyday) love exercise. It has been a long road to now where I do enjoy it most days. This is going to sounds cliche but you really have to think of it as a lifestyle change, not a way to lose weight. First I'll share the top 6 reasons why I exercise, in no particular order:
1. Mood. Notice how you feel absolutely great after a workout? I'm sure you've heard that exercise releases endorphins. Well for me, it really does improve my attitude! I know that nothing turns my mood around after a bad day like a great workout. I always leave feeling refreshed and good about myself, no matter how hard it is to get myself there on those days.
2. Weight Management: No I am absolutely not trying to lose weight. (Although toning up a little bit more wouldn't hurt I guess!) Exercise can help you lose weight - if needed - but for me one of the perks is weight management. Being in shape helps me feel good about myself and boosts my confidence.
3. Energy: Exercise gives you such a burst of energy. And not only after your workout, I am talking all the time. I completely notice a difference in my day to day energy levels than before I worked out regularly. Being active also helps me feel motivated to accomplish more things during my day rather than coming home from work and being a bump on the couch all night (notice how once you sit down its hard to get back up?)
4. Health Benefits: This is probably the most important reason. No matter what type of exercise works for your body from walking to running marathons, there is no doubt that it is good for your health. This is also probably the main reason I do it (along with healthy eating). I want to take care of this body God gave me.
5. Feeling in Shape: As I said above in #2, being in shape feels good! I like being able to run up the stairs without feeling out of breath. I want to be able to run around with my kids someday and be able to keep up with them.
6. Stress Relief: Along with boosting your mood, exercise helps to reduce stress. There is nothing like pushing yourself during a class or zoning out during a run and just getting your mind off things. It really does help.
Now that we've talked about the perks of hitting the gym, I want to talk about some things that help me get there 5 or 6 days a week. When I first started exercising regularly I just alternated between running the treadmill and the elliptical. I would dread the gym most days after work because I was tired! The thing I found that worked for me to get myself there was bring my clothes and shoes along with me. I would pack them in my car so they would be sitting on my passenger seat right after work everyday. If I went home for some reason I was much less likely to get myself changed, and back out the door to go to the gym.
Now, I am lucky enough to have found a gym that offers so many awesome classes from cycling to boot camp, to yoga! I've found that the variety classes offer really keep me from getting bored, I actually enjoy a lot of them, and I feel more motivated in a class setting when I am working out with people, not by myself.
I have learned that I am not a runner, I will probably never enjoy it. (I do still run probably once a week with my dog outside and do enjoy that once I'm actually running...its hard to get out the door though.) I've also learned that a workout doesn't have to consist of hard core cardio the entire time. My body has changed the most when I added weight lifting and plyometrics (both of these usually come from classes I take). That is when I started to see definition in my legs and arms. Probably once a week if I just don't feel like getting to the gym (or don't have enough time), I'll squeeze in a quick workout at home. Here is one of my favs.
I also think its important to take yoga and pilates, and those count as my workouts on those days (sometimes I'll add in a 15 min run on the treadmill to get some cardio, or take the pup on a walk). Yoga is such an awesome class, it reduces stress and relaxes me, plus helps with muscle stability and toning. Pilates helps streghthen the core which is of utmost importance. Overall its important to listen to your body and rest when you need to, but don't be afraid to challenge yourself!
Tomorrow I'm going to post on healthy eating so stay tuned! I hope this helps you find a little motivation. I'm actually looking forward to my workout tonight now!