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Why Do I (You) Work Out?

June 10, 2019 0 Comments

I’m often asked, “How often do you workout?”, not what do I do. It’s generally presumed that someone who makes a career out of keeping people in shape must workout 8 days a week, right? No. Just like everyone else, I like my rest days too, only what I consider a rest day is probably more like an active day for most. But here’s my honest answer. I’m physically active 7 days a week. Some days more involved than others but I’m moving to some degree. Why? Because I choose to and the alternative does not appeal to me very much. So when did this all start or have I always been this way?

My Humble Beginnings

It goes way back to when I was very young witnessing my mother working out with the likes of Jane Fonda, Richard Simmonds, or Jack LaLanne. I was so impressed that people moved their bodies in certain ways to create a positive outcome. Then, I was an athlete through high school and I quickly appreciated the value of taking care of myself physically and it’s positive outcomes. I was never the best athlete but I could compete and “hang” with whoever or whatever the competition and not feel destroyed. In college, I was able to pursue an education in an area that I had already enjoyed and had fueled my passion to simply helping others. Not a day goes by that I take for granted the path that was laid out for me but also worked hard at keeping it growing. Working out was not something I did; it was a part of the fabric that makes me who I am.

Today

My workouts have evolved and rightfully so. As a fitness professional for almost 25 years, I’ve seen it all, tried most of it, and have the clarity to understand what is worth its investment and what is not. Exercise at its root is simply physical movement, a concept most don’t appreciate enough to include in their lives. There’s a ton of blame to be passed around as well as to why this occurs but it ultimately comes down to a choice: you either choose to move or you don’t. Forget about what you think you have to do and just move! Simple, right? Forget about the joining a gym, taking a class, buying equipment for your home, etc. and just move. Once that starts and is consistent, then you can look at alternatives to improving that movement. I love it when people tell me they don’t like to exercise. For one, I feel bad for them. Some where along their path they had a bad experience that soured them on the subject. Secondly, their outlook on life is bleak and perhaps there are deeper issues than I’m quailed to assist. Exercise is not the end all, be all, of life, but we were born with two legs for locomotion and the results of moving far outweigh any alternative.

So Why Then Do I (And You Should) Workout?

In no particular order:
• My personal health and well being. There are no guarantees in life but my odds are greater.
• My family and loved ones need and want me to be there, as do I.
• I love the way it makes me feel and look.
• It makes me feel confident.
• I feel generally stronger all around.
• It puts my mind at ease and is a superb way to handle stress.
• My energy levels are higher.
• Day to day tasks and activities are not a burden.
• I rest and sleep well.
• I rarely get sick and if and when I do it’s short lived.
• Most physical tasks aren’t so daunting. Yes, I can be depended on.

If any or all of these appeal to you, I can guarantee they’ll become your reality by getting and staying moving. So what are you waiting for?

Til next time, train smart, eat well, and be better.

About the Author:

Jeff Harrison is a fitness coach based in Pottstown, PA. He received a BS in Exercise and Sport Science from Penn State University and is an NSCA Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist (CSCS), NSCA Certified Personal Trainer (NSCA-CPT) and ACE Advanced Health and Fitness Specialist (ACE-AHFS). Jeff's articles have been published in peer-reviewed journals as well as consumer oriented websites and magazines.

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