Why do you exercise?
For health reasons? For enjoyment? For stress release? For YOU time? For camaraderie/social reasons? For a mental and physical challenge? For aesthetic reasons? For self-confidence? Because you were told you should?
As a certified personal trainer and Muscle Activation Techniques™ specialist in Schaumburg, IL, this is a question I ponder from time to time. For myself, I exercise largely for the short-term and long-term health benefits. This was not always the case, though. When I was younger, I exercised almost exclusively to improve my athletic performance. Then, I exercised to increase my strength and build my physique.
But that has changed in the past few years, such that now, maintaining and improving my health and quality of life is my primary focus. Changing why I exercise has led to a change in how I exercise, too. My exercise selection, what I am focusing on while I exercise, how I am performing each exercise, and the volume of exercise I do are all variables I manipulate in order to progress towards my why.
WHY you choose to exercise is going to profoundly impact how you choose to exercise. Exercise that may be healthier for your joints in the long term may not provide the short-term enjoyment you are seeking. Going to a group fitness class that is designed to provoke camaraderie among the participants may not give you the YOU time that you really want. Exercising to improve aesthetic appearance may not fulfill the requirements of why it was recommended you exercise in the first place.
Figure out why you want to exercise and then you can decide how to appropriately go about it.
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