Do you exercise for your entertainment or for your health?  As a personal trainer in Schaumburg, this is a question I often have to ask.

Julie and Christof Pulldown

To understand what I am talking about, picture sports.  What is the goal of doing sports?  Winning, beating your previous time, finishing as fast as possible, lifting the most amount of weight, and racing others.  I am going to categorize these goals as ‘external goals.’  All of these ‘external goals’ are using your body to accomplish or change something external to your body.

The retirement age for most sports?  Way too early, and usually before the age of 40.

Now, think about what is commonly seen in the gym.  Classes competing against each other.  Members trying to lift more than they did last time.  Participants trying to exercise to a rhythm or beat.  Groups doing a pre-set workout-of-the-day.

What kind of goals are these?  They are still external.  They still revolve around using your body to do or manipulate something in your external environment.  And while they may be fun and entertaining to participate in, they can also carry a steep cost.

“I am at a great weight now but I needed two knee replacements to get here.”  “I am doing what my trainer says but I always have to push through my shoulder pain.”  Exercising with an external focus can carry a steep cost, indeed.

Exercising for health has an entirely different mission.  Exercising for health aims for you to use your body to improve the function or the current state of your body.  This takes the goal of exercising from something external and maybe good for your health to something entirely internal and certainly good for your health.  Contact us at Muscle Activation Schaumburg to begin creating an exercise plan for your health.

One thing that makes personal training extremely rewarding for me is sharing with my clients how they can reap the benefits of exercise without leaving their body torn apart and feeling awful.  Unfortunately, I see the damage of exercising for entertainment all too often.  Even the most educated fitness professionals, medical professionals, and health experts can get mixed up with this.  Why?  Because we want fitness and exercise to be FUN.  But exercising for health CAN be fun!

So always think–is the goal of exercising for your entertainment (external goal) or to actually improve your health (internal goal)?  One MUST be a priority.

– Julie

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Julie Cates

Julie Cates is an experienced, certified, and insured National Strength and Conditioning Association (NSCA) Certified Personal Trainer and mastery level Resistance Training Specialist® (RTSm). She is also a Muscle Activation Techniques® (MAT®) Master Specialist (MATm). Julie specializes in training new exercisers that have never exercised before. As a personal trainer, she is excellent at communicating the ‘ins’ and ‘outs’ of each and every exercise in an effective and understandable manner. She also often works with individuals with chronic illnesses, joint issues, and muscle issues. Julie graduated cum laude from the University of Florida. She earned her degree in Applied Physiology and Kinesiology with a specialization in Exercise Physiology. In her free time, Julie loves to dance! Julie is still active in a dance company with yearly performances of tap , lyrical, jazz, and hip hop! Julie can be reached via e-mail at Follow her on Instagram at @julcates!