In fact, I find that remembering some of the following 'side effects' of exercise helps to motivate me more than just thinking "Well, it's good for my long term health". Perhaps this is because some the 'side effects' of exercise are more immediate and more noticeable than the somewhat ambiguous and intangible long term health benefits of exercise.
As we've seen and heard in previous posts (and no doubt all experienced first hand), we've all got plenty of excuses NOT to exercise. These are my excuses TO exercise:
Exercise Boosts Confidence:
you cannot be successful or happy.
~Norman Vincent Peale
Exercise also builds overall confidence. Exercising is all about setting goals and meeting them. There is no escape from goal setting when it come to exercise. It is an integral part of exercise, whether your goal is to simply get off the couch and walk around the block 20 minutes, or whether your goal is to beat your last marathon time by 10 minutes.
This mental/emotional aspect of exercise can be very fulfilling. I remember the exhilaration of completing my first 5 km run. Oddly, it was nearly identical to the feeling of completing my first full marathon 4 years later! That feeling was confidence and pride in accomplishing a goal!
Do you take time when you exercise to appreciate what your mind and your body can do?
Exercise Is Relaxing:
is the rest we take between two deep breaths.
cc flickr photo from GrahamKing
One of my favourite ways to clear my mind is a really tough trail run. When I'm out on the trails, I am so focused on my footing, my breath, my body, that my mind enters this glorious state of rest!
On the otherhand, pilates is one form of exercise I continuously return to for it's ability to calm me. Pilates allows me some quiet time to get in touch with my breath and my body in a slow, measured, and balanced way. It quiets and relaxes my mind.
Have you found an exercise that relaxes you?
Exercise Helps us to Appreciate Nature:
I live in a paradise for outdoor activities. We are close to the ocean, a lake, and a river, near a ski hill, and surrounded by forested trails. My husband and I spend a lot of our time mountain biking, trail running, snowboarding, hiking, and camping.
Being outside helps keep me grounded. Nature reminds us that we are a very small part of the world and so are our problems. Nature reminds us that we have a responsibility to protect our earth.
Have you been outside today?
Exercise Lets us Spend Quality Time with Friends:
- Antoine de Sainte-Exupery
I'm way more motivated by exercising with others, because being with friends helps make exercise more fun! For those who want more time to hang with your friends, exercise is a great way to get in your social time.
Would an exercise buddy help motivate you?
Exercise Allows us to Eat Chocolate (and other devilish delights!):
"All you need is love. But a little chocolate now and then doesn't hurt."
- Charles M. Schulz
cc flickr photo by elana's pantry
Exercise burns calories. In fact, we need those calories to exercise. And we get calories from the food we eat. What we eat is important to keeping our bodies healthy and strong.
And don't get me wrong, I'm all for eating healthfully and providing my body with essential nutrients. But, I also love my sweets...
And for a girl with a 'dessert compartment' in her tummy, I have personally always been in favour of the "if you burn it, you can eat it" theory. Hence, my favourite excuse TO exercise is that exercising allows me to eat chocolate!
What is your favourite treat to burn off with some vigorous activity?
Considering the more immediate, tangible benefits of exercise is sometimes that extra little push we need to get off the couch!!!
Go team #temt...