Why do I exercise?
If you were to ask me this a few years ago, back at University, the simple answer would be to be ‘skinny’. I was self-conscious; I’d piled on weight from living on a diet of biscuits and alcohol and I was obsessed with the number on the scales. I’d been slim my whole life, mainly because of my background of being a competitive swimmer, but I ate whatever I wanted. And trust me, this was a lot! I had no understanding of nutrition, well, food in general to be honest. So my first University year, with a combination of drinking more than I had ever done before, as well as having to fend for myself (pasta and biscuits was basically my diet), let’s jut say, I piled on those pounds! With this in mind, I basically exercised to be skinny!
I’m sure we all go through similar stages in life, but the above reasons are so far from where I am today. Maybe it’s part of growing up and becoming an adult?! I’m a firm believer in exercising to feel strong and healthy. It shouldn’t be for aesthetic reasons and to be ‘skinny’. I remember having a ‘motivational’ photo as my screensaver on my phone with the statement: ‘nothing tastes as good as skinny feels’. This is wrong on so many levels. There’s much more to life than having abs!
Anyway. Rant over. Here are the reasons I now exercise.
I have more energy. This may seem counter-intuitive, but it’s true. Whenever I’ve not been exercising for whatever reason, I genuinely feel drained. I have no motivation to move and basically turn into a blob. Exercising regularly does the opposite. I feel energised and ‘pumped’. Those endorphins are real.
It helps me de-stress. If I’ve had a bad day, I 100% feel better after the gym – especially after boxing! It calms me and focuses my mind on other things. The endorphins kick in and creates a positive mind-set. I come out of the gym feeling less stressed, with a new, fresh perspective.
Time for myself. Going to the gym means it’s just time to focus on me. When I have been at work all day that 30 minutes to 1 hour at the gym to focus on myself is just what I need. It’s the time to make myself feel good and refocus my attention from my daily problems/ issues to my workout. Having time for myself is so important for my mindset.
It’s fun! I love exercising and the feeling it gives. To me, going to the gym is the time to reward my body, not punish it. If you find the kind of exercise or sport that you enjoy and suits you, you won’t feel the dread or boredom of going to gym. Plus, the more consistent you are, the better the side-effect; fat loss, strength and most importantly, confidence.
What are the reasons you exercise?
Are they similar to mine? Let me know!