What's your reason

Have you ever really asked yourself why you work out? I mean, we all know the typical reasons why we should, but have you actually thought about your true motivation for getting in shape or staying fit? It’s not as clear cut of an answer as you might think right off the bat. I think if you’re honest with yourself, then it will help your game plan to achieve long term success. After all, we want to be healthy for the rest of our lives.  

What is your initial motivation to exercise? Is it to get in shape or lose fat?

Is your motivation to lose weight because society will judge you for a big gut or flabby arms? Well, most likely they will judge you, but that should not be your motivation to lose that fat or get into shape. Obviously, looks play a huge role in our self-confidence and self-esteem, so it can definitely be one reason to work out, but it shouldn’t be the main reason.

Is your motivation to prevent pain? That’s a great motivation because you realize the great value of being in pain vs pain-free living. I can relate to this with my lower back.

Is your motivation to be healthy in order to enjoy your family now and years to come? This is enough reason to stay in shape.  

Your motivation must be meaningful. When there is meaning to doing something, it’s much easier to do. Your reasons have to be meaningful enough that you’re willing to do whatever it takes. That’s where a lot of people struggle. Once you realize the value of what exercise can do for you, the easier it is to commit to dedicating the time, money and effort.  Until then, good luck on reaching your goals. Unfortunately, a lot of people wait for a crisis in order to change. 

If you don’t have any reason yet to be motivated, then at least let some of these be your reasons for hitting the weights: 

  • It is the single best thing you can do for your brain in terms of mood, memory, and learning
  • It reverses the effects of stress
  • Exercise is one of the best weapons against diseases like Alzheimer’s, heart disease, and cancer.
  • You’ll take fewer sick days at work
  • It boosts your self-confidence
  • Your joints and ligaments will strengthen and your bone density will increase

If you’re out of shape now or feeling down about yourself, pick up your head and square your shoulders, look in the mirror, and ask yourself what your real motivation is. Be confident. Don’t make any excuses or lie to yourself or to others. Don’t care what others think of you. Walk through the doors of the gym like you own the place. Start now. Every successful person had to start somewhere. You’re not born successful. True success resides in your ability of self-mastery and problem solving over time.  

Having the right motivations will enable you to stay committed long term and avoid being stuck in the short-term ebbs and flows cycle of ever trying to get into shape.

AuthorTravis Lott
MagazineUtah Valley Health & Wellness