By Vanessa Hampton
Some people struggle to find motivation to exercise.
Others struggle to take a rest day from workouts.
If you are in the first group, you probably find yourself perplexed at how the other group seems to love their time in the gym. Well, I am going to fill you in on the secret.
Exercise is not torture and its not punishment. Exercise is magical and once you begin to recognize that, it can change your whole life.
The truth is that far too many of us look at exercise as a means to weight management. When we have this perspective, exercise really can become punishment. When you try to “work off” that piece of cheesecake you ate during the office party or out run the pizza you had last night and then again for breakfast this morning, you are punishing yourself for the eating you don’t feel good about.
One of the truest sayings out there is “you can’t outrun your fork.” That will never work, and you will only feel defeated trying. This is not the primary reason or benefit for exercise.
Put aside the fact that your body was designed to move. Set aside the fact that having a strong body helps with balance, reduces pain, and decreases your risk for injury. Forget that fact that strengthening your body increases your life expectancy by several years. Those things are just the beginning. The fact is that exercise strengthens your mind even more so than your body.
Those people in that group that workout all the time don’t do it because they are sick in the head. Quite the opposite. Exercise is addictive.
Scientifically, you release endorphins when you exercise so that is the start of the magic.
More than that, however, exercise is empowering. When you realize that you are able to do something that you never thought possible, the feeling is unmatched. When you see yourself getting stronger, moving more easily, and reacting more quickly your confidence goes way up!
Not only that, but when you commit to yourself and begin to find consistency in making exercise part of your life, that too is empowering. There is nothing better than feeling in control of your life and your body.
Recently, I had the privilege to work with a lady that had previously been a victim of domestic violence and sexual abuse. She was able to remove herself from that situation, but she said that she moved around in life numb. She said she felt nothing.
She added exercise to her life and her own true magic happened. After 3 months of working out a couple of days a week, she was a completely
Through tear-filled eyes, she said that she could feel her body for the first time since she could remember. She said she was able to look at herself in the mirror and smile. She realized that she had just been going through the motions in life. She had not truly been living. She said for the first time, she understood what it means to feel happy on the inside. The even cooler part of it was that she was beginning to be able to navigate the trials in her life more easily.
Through a simple workout, she found out who she really is.
If you are one that is sitting on the sidelines today, make the choice to simply add exercise to your life. In whatever way that is right and manageable for you.
It doesn’t have to be extreme. It shouldn’t feel terrible. Just start moving. Just keep walking through the door and see what magic a workout
can do for your life.