Move Better

Is Exercise a Celebration… or a chore?

Why do you work out?

When it comes to exercise motivation, what reason does the voice in your head give you as to why you should go on that run or take that boot camp class? For many of us, it may be something like, “You’ll never get that dream body if you don’t exercise,” or “You had a cheeseburger and fries for lunch, so you have to atone for it with a workout.” Unfortunately, popular culture too often treats working out as a punishment, something that we begrudgingly do each time, an unpleasant roadblock on the road to our ideal weight or shape. If this is your mindset, you might find it difficult to stick to a consistent active routine—and you simply won’t enjoy your workouts as much, most likely. Think of them as a chore, and they’ll feel like a chore. Next time you groan at the thought of donning your workout gear, think about this alternative motivation for exercising instead, and see how it helps you. You should work out… because you can.

Exercise should be a celebration of the amazing things your body is capable of.

It should be a regular period of giving thanks for all the physical actions you’re able to do. It should be done with joy, gratitude and wonder. Next time you do a simple squat, think of all the muscles involved: not just your quads and glutes, but all your stabilizer muscles that allow you to balance and hold your form. Next time you do a bicep curl, watch yourself in the mirror and marvel at the sight of your arm muscles responding to the weight. Next time you jog or sprint, consider the perfect, automatic rhythm of your feet, the incredible work your lungs are performing to bring in enough oxygen, and your powerhouse of a heart faithfully delivering blood to every place that needs it, and at the speed you’re demanding.

And when you’re tired or sore, you should relish that, too.

Revel in the amazing repair work your body is doing just under the surface, rebuilding the muscle fibers worked during exercise so that you can be ready to perform again the next day. Practice gratitude for the mind-boggling amount of intricate systems and processes happening in your body every minute that allow you to walk, run, jump, squat, curl, lift and recover. Think of the marvelous symphony taking place under your skin, all of your systems working together to fuel your movements. Even if you’re just starting out on your fitness journey, or struggling with an injury, there are always so many abilities to be thankful for.

Our bodies are truly incredible machines that are capable of staggering feats.

So, next time you suit up for a workout, do so with a smile on your face. Next time your quads are burning as you hold out for the remainder of a wall sit, or your abs are tingling as you settle into a plank, take joy. Allow yourself to feel wonder at what your body is able to do, and let that be reason enough to get moving. At Bootique Fitness in San Diego, we talk a lot about fitness motivation, because it has to come from the right place if it’s going to last. When you’re about begin the final round of an exercise at one of our outdoor boot camp classes, or you’re starting the final combination at one of our Zumba-style cardio dance classes, when you’ve worked hard all class and are tired after a great workout, remember to feel thankful for what your body can do, and you’d be surprised at how it helps you power through! (If you conjure up a mental image of that donut you ate in the break room instead, it might be harder to source that motivation!) We love to celebrate what our bodies can do, and we’d love for you to join us. Contact us to try your first group personal training or cardio dance class in Mission Bay, Mission Valley/Civita or La Jolla; let’s celebrate together!

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