Why Do You Exercise?

When I started this journey last February, I exercised because I had to if I wanted to lose 50 pounds before I went to Aruba. I worked out with a trainer twice a week and did cardio 3-4 days a week on top of that. A relatively athletic kid growing up, I knew it was in me to like exercise, but I definitely didn’t like it when I started working out.

As the pounds started melting off, and I started feeling the positive effects of exercise, I was hooked. I understood the exercise high. I also understood that it was keeping my body healthy beyond just how it looked. As the weather started getting nice last summer, I started running and worked my way up to the Army Ten-Miler. As I started logging longer and longer runs and seeing what my body was capable of, I started to like exercising. I even worked out while I was in Aruba! I’ve since run two half-marathons and am training for my first full marathon.

Even though I had lost a lot of weight, I still wasn’t happy with myself. (Losing weight doesn’t solve all your problems, y’all. Unfortunately.) After a lot of work at learning to accept and respect myself for who I was (and getting a fabulous job!), I can say I’m pretty happy with myself now.

While I was working myself through a lot of issues I had, I really learned firsthand about the mental benefits of exercise. How can you be upset when you’re lifting your weight? How can you think of anything else? Your mind releases some of its stress when you’re working your body.

These days I work out for different reasons. I work out to maintain my weight. (I don’t want/need to lose any weight. For the first time in my adult life. WHEW.) My boss says he works out for the mental benefits. My friend Eileen probably works out because it’s just such a habit for her (I’d imagine this is also for the mental benefits, too). 

Why do you exercise?

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