Why do you workout?

I’ve had two conversations this month that have caused me to reflect on that question. One was at one of my speaking engagements.

During the speech I went around the room and asked the women why they did or didn’t exercise. One of the woman very frankly stated, “Because I don’t like it.” The other women chuckled and sighed jealously – “Well look at her, she doesn’t need to!”

The second conversation took place this morning. One of my boot campers remarked, “The first time I saw Stacy at class I was like ‘What’s she doing here? She doesn’t need a boot camp!’ ”  My response was, “Well how do you think she got that way?! How do you think she stays fit?”

Stacy, unlike the woman at my talk  (a skinny woman with poor posture and no muscle tone who “didn’t need to workout”),  possesses an athletic body – sinewy and strong; the body of a runner who also lift weights.

Too often we think of fitness as a means to an end (often that end is weight loss) instead of the lifelong journey that it really is.  Weight loss or the elusive six pack shouldn’t be the end of your journey. There are always new goals to be set and mastered – whether it’s increasing your strength by 30 pounds, lifting your body weight over a bar or developing better foot speed.

Then there are all of those intrinsic rewards; those benefits that can’t be measured – energy, happiness, independence, inner strength.

I’ll never convince the naysayers that they should exercise. No matter how many times I tout benefits like independence, inner and outer strength and youthful energy not to mention weight control and disease prevention, they just ain’t buyin’.

So, I pose this question – Why do you work out? I’ll give you my answers first:

  • Working out makes me feel strong.
  • Working out brings balance and control to my crazy life.
  • Working out helps me deal with my stress in a productive way (read – it keeps me from yelling at my husband or eating a boxful of Lucky Charms).
  • Lifting heavy things empowers me.
  • Getting through a tough workout means that I can get through almost anything that life throws my way.
  • My body does what I want it to do when I want it to do it (well, most of the time) because I workout.
  • Working out makes me independent (I don’t have to wait for some dude to lift that heavy object for me).
  • Working out makes me feel like a bad ass!

So, why do you workout? Holla back…