Okay. We need to have a serious chat. I know it’s a new year and for most people, a new year means new goals like working out more or eating more veggies or, well, something along those lines. You’re not alone. And those goals are cool. But, I think it’s SO important to point out WHY we set these goals.
Chances are, and again you are not alone, you’ve set goals like this because you’re wanting to make some sort of change to your physical appearance. Maybe you want to lose weight. Maybe you want to “tone” your arms. Maybe you want the pre-pregnancy bod. And here’s the thing, I’m not here to shame you for wanting those things. We’ve sort of been conditioned to set wellness goals around physical results. I am here to tell you – it’s time to change that.
YOU CAN LOVE YOUR BODY AND STILL WORKOUT, EAT A BALANCED DIET AND LIVE A HEALTHIER LIFESTYLE.
Rather than setting goals around weight loss or altering your physical appearance, there are so many other reasons to workout and move your body. Here are a few of the reasons & goals I like to focus on whenever I set an intention to get in a sweat session.
4 Reasons to Workout That Aren’t ‘To Lose Weight’
No. 1 To Feel Better
It’s true what they say (and by they I mean Elle Woods in Legally Blonde), “Exercise gives you endorphins and endorphins make you happy.” I can honestly say I have never regretted or felt bad after a workout. Sure, I might feel sore or exhausted but I ALWAYS feel accomplished and happy that I moved my body even if it was just for a few minutes. This sense of accomplishment us a huge mood booster and something I look forward to after every workout.
Aside from the mental and emotional benefits of a workout, there are tons of great physical benefits. Have you ever noticed how much more energy you have throughout the day or even the hours following a workout? What about how much your sleep quality improves? Yeah, those are real things and they’re things to prioritize when you want to live a healthier lifestyle. Natural energy and good sleep? What more could a girl ask for.
No. 2 To Make Progress
And I’m not talking about before & after photo progress. I’m talking about the progress made from session to session, week to week, month to month, and so on. Think progress indicators like increasing weight lifted, speed, and number of reps or sets. Aim for making small increases to the weight used or how many reps/sets you do every 2-4 weeks (called progressive overload). I like to write down and log how much weight I use in workouts and keep track of any increases over time – it’s a great way to measure improvements while also giving you goals to set for yourself.
No. 3 To Gain Strength & Increase Endurance
Keeping track of the indicators above, you’ll easily be able to prioritize and celebrate the wins you make in the strength and endurance departments. Going from deadlifting 20lbs to deadlifting 40lbs followed by 80lbs followed by 100lbs is a HUGE accomplishment. Not only are you progressing in your workouts (which makes working out that much more fun/less of a task) but you’re getting stronger. Same goes for endurance. When you first start working out, maybe you’re only able to jog/run for 10 second intervals on the treadmill or complete two rounds of a HIIT workout. Set a goal to increase that jog interval by 5-10 seconds every few weeks and add a third round of your HIIT workout every 4 weeks and you’ll start to see an improvement in your stamina and endurance – all of which are great for heart health!
No. 4 To Build Self-Esteem & Confidence
There’s something about showing up for yourself that just makes you feel like a badass. When you prioritize your self and your health, it doesn’t mean you’re letting down those around you, it means that you value yourself just as much as you value your kids or your partner or your work – and that’s Beyoncé level badassness. Continuously making that commitment to move your body and being dedicated to yourself really does wonders for your self worth and self esteem.
Don’t even get me started on how amazing you feel after seeing your strength improve over time. Nothing makes me feel sexier and more confident than my strength – physically and mentally. Being able to get through a HIIT workout or Peloton ride that I didn’t think I could finish makes me feel SO strong. Lifting a heavier weight after weeks or months of working at it truly makes me feel like Wonder Woman.