REAL Reasons to Embrace Fitness

Fitness shouldn’t be about vanity or insecurity. I’m not a fan of ad campaigns that play on people’s vanity to get them to pursue fitness. Being fit is a reward in itself; it doesn’t need to be propped up by inordinate amounts of muscle gain or obsessive fat loss.

My fitness philosophy revolves around the idea that the body is designed to perform athletic feats. If the end goal is not possessing the ability to run faster or farther, lift heavier, jump higher, or bend further, there’s little point in pursuing a fitness goal. I know that some people will disagree with me, but if you want to know my reasons for being strong and fit, read on. 🙂 You might find they’re more psychologically pleasing than the constant race for a smaller jeans size or larger biceps.

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1) Your Body Was Made for It

Your body was made to be fit! It was made to perform, to work hard, to gain muscle. When you come to the realization that every muscle in your body has a specific purpose and has the ability to be strengthened, you’ll wonder why you didn’t start giving your muscles more work to do a lot sooner!

2) Your Body Might Surprise You

Formation of habit requires muscle memory. Just as it might be a habit for you to go to the fridge in search of food at a certain time of day or brush your teeth first thing in the morning, so exercise is a habit that forms out of constant repetition. When you make it a priority to do a certain amount of physical activity every day, your body will reward your efforts by eventually reminding you on its own. Fitness is a lifestyle.

(I’ve also heard that it takes around 21 days for your body to form a habit. If you’re like me, you have to do something every single day if you’re going to do it at all. Start moving today, and in three weeks, you’ll do it automatically! Just don’t slack off!)

3) You Have Your Own Athletic Gifts

I don’t believe there are any non-athletic people in this world. Every person has the ability to be an athlete in some way. I may not be the best swimmer, but I can run. I have friends who hate to run, but are great swimmers. The key to nurturing your body with fitness is finding something that is natural and fun for you and pursuing it whole-heartedly. To be fit, you don’t have to run. You also don’t have to lift really heavy weights or be able to do a pull-up. Whatever your own personal goals are, pursue them and constantly strive to reach new heights.

4) It’s Not About How You Look

As I’ve said before, I really don’t like how the fitness industry (and seemingly every other industry in this culture) places so much emphasis on how people look. The point of investing in your body’s ability to perform athletically is not to be more attractive. You’re likely to find that being fit and strong makes you feel more confident in your own skin, but striving to attain a certain look for your body should not be the goal.

The root of this vanity-driven motivation is usually comparison to others. And we all know that comparing ourselves to others only steals our joy. You are you. You’re not that tall, skinny girl you disliked in high school or the quarterback who always seemed to get more attention than you did. You should only ever want to be you! If you don’t like yourself, now’s the time to fix that. Start achieving things and stop thinking about what everyone else has that you think makes them superior to you. They’re not superior. They’re just different.

6) You Can Do It!

Perhaps one of the biggest reasons to pursue fitness is that you CAN. No matter what physical limitations you face, you can be more fit. Just think of all the incredible souls who faced seemingly insurmountable odds and accomplished athletic feats (professional surfer Bethany Hamilton comes to mind).

If you’re looking for a reason to start pursuing a fitness goal, stop looking and just do it. You will be rewarded every day for the rest of your life. Fitness is a wonderful blessing to be had by all.

You might have already experienced the life-changing rewards of investing in fitness. If you have a story of your own to share, please comment! I’d love to hear from you!