The Why of Your Workouts: Working Out For You

By Sarah Leahy, CPT – July 1, 2021

When many of us start on those first shaky steps into the world of fitness, we typically have purely aesthetic goals in mind. We want to lose weight, have firmer bodies and look better in a bathing suit. So much of fitness marketing is geared toward fat loss and how to look your best that we often forget there is so much more to fitness. Finding your “why” for working out is the key to approaching your workouts and nutrition goals in a healthy, sustainable way. Shifting your mindset from working out for the sake of looking good to working out for the sake of feeling good will change your life. 

Is strength your “why?” 

Strength training is an important part of any fitness plan, whether it’s bodyweight training, general strength training or powerlifting. When we train for strength, we’re celebrating what our body is capable of and building upon it, and our body composition naturally changes as a result. Stronger bodies are more resilient both inside and outside of the gym and improve our quality of life. Your stamina increases for leisure activities like hiking, biking and kayaking. Day-to-day tasks like unloading groceries and doing yard work become so much easier to manage. A stronger you is a more durable you. 

Is confidence your “why?”

Let’s face it — there is almost no feeling in the world like hitting a PR on a lift or increasing reps or weights on something that used to be a struggle. The feeling of elation when you’ve achieved something amazing in the gym just can’t be beat. You worked hard, you improved because of it and you feel accomplished and confident. The best part? That confidence carries over into your everyday life. You realize what you are capable of if you stay consistent and work hard, and that translates to your life outside of the gym. Your body composition will shift with any good fitness and nutrition program, and that confidence that builds when your hard work pays off will have you feeling strong and confident outside of the gym. 

Is health your “why?” 

Keeping your body active and moving is important at every age and every health level. If you have an injury, arthritis or impingement, avoiding workouts will increase your pain levels and stiffness and lead to more problems later in life. Physical health directly impacts mental health and our ability to live our lives. A focused fitness plan will improve mobility, reduce pain and allow you to continue to do the things you love. A stronger, well-cared-for body will have a quicker and less painful post-surgery recovery. Even for those without health issues, staying active can lower your blood pressure, increase your bone density and increase your metabolism. 

Is feeling good your “why?” 

So much of what we do in and out of the gym is intertwined. Our overall health impacts every aspect of our lives, and doing our best to stay strong and healthy is the most effective way to feel good and live our fullest lives. From feeling sluggish all day at work to not being able to keep up with the grandkids, our everyday lives can feel like we’re just barely making it through. Consistently moving your body and eating well will improve your sleep quality, energy levels and stamina so you can be present and enjoy your life outside of the gym.

Whether you’re just setting your fitness goals or you’re a seasoned gym-goer, taking the time to assess why you work out is a great motivator. On the days you just aren’t sure you want to get that workout in, knowing your why can be that little push you need to lace up those sneakers and get it done. It’s about so much more than looking good — it’s about being your best self and building your best life, in the gym and beyond.

About the Author

Sarah is a Minneapolis transplant in East Austin, a certified personal trainer, award-winning interior designer and former gym owner. She offers in-person and online training with an emphasis on strength training and building confidence in and out of the gym. Sarah’s passion for strength extends to your business with a full offering of gym design and business consulting services


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