What Motivates Me To Train So Hard?
by Susan Arruca
6 Time Figure/Fitness Champion and Mom of 2
EXERCISE IS NON-NEGOTIABLE
Why exercise? Why do you train so hard? What motivates you? How do you train for life and continue to push through tough seasons?
Exercising is an area I consider to be non-negotiable. It’s part of my every day life, an essential part of a healthy lifestyle and vital as a mood regulator.
Why train so hard? I was asked this question one day which took me by surprise and prompted some reflection. Well, for starters, it helps to improve my mood, keeps me in balance, produces a feeling of accomplishment and especially after a successful and strenuous workout, it improves my overall mental and physical well being, keeps me agile, flexible and feeling strong. My thinking and philosophy is; if you're going to do something, strive to do your absolute best to get the most out of it.
There are many other benefits, such as: it enables me to maintain flexibility and mobility, promotes better circulation, improves skin complexion, heightens energy levels, improves brain function, counters the decline in body functions which occurs with aging and especially becomes more noticeable and progressive after the age of 30, improves heart health, improves functional and physical capabilities for activities of everyday life, increases bone density, to name a few, and of course, the biggie; it helps me stay lean, look good and feel good in my own skin! After all, your body is your home and if you don’t take care of it, where are you going to live?
We should strive to take care and enjoy where you live; your physical body is your foremost "home" and is with you 24/7, and it's a reflection of who you are.
The list of exercise health benefits is certainly an extremely lengthy one. We shouldn't have to first lose our health, in order to realize how important it is. Scrambling for your health after you've squandered it can leave you with serious remorse and regret. How can you afford NOT to exercise, is my question? I passionately believe that our health should be top priority and unfortunately, I feel it is often the number one item in life that gets neglected and eliminated the most; it is the first thing to get ditched when time gets tight, and is the one thing we seem to take for granted the most; generally speaking, of course.
Many people view exercise solely as a last ditch “must do” effort used to lose weight. As we can see by the benefits outlined earlier, it is so much more than that.
ARE YOU GAMBLING, OR INVESTING?
I look at things pertaining to health as an investment and/or a gambling kind of approach. When you exercise, eat well, do all you can to ensure good health, you’re investing in your health. When you’re overworked, stay up late, neglect training, party hard, consume alcohol, don’t manage your stress levels, rely heavily on pills, get out of balance, then you’re gambling in a big way! The pay off for exercising, eating well are magnificent but the consequences, however, take time to manifest, and symptoms are often internal and hidden for quite some time before we get the reality of their magnitude. We push the envelope more times than our body can handle, until the problem gets so big, we can no longer ignore or avoid it. An alarming Doctor’s report is often the only reason some people will begin exercising. That’s a bit like treating your spouse with respect, only after you have wound up in marriage counseling; too little, too late.
FIND YOUR “WHY”
We live in an instant society, want it now era; want instant results in life with exercise, diet and training, and this simply isn't possible. It isn’t a race, as many people seem to often view it; it’s a lifelong journey and a lifestyle. The serious problems take time to manifest and it is prolonged neglect that too often results in health hazards. I always say that knowledge is power. Know the benefits and the consequences, keep them before you, and get motivated to stay active. If you know you're not strong in self motivation, invest in a personal trainer in order to follow through with your exercise plans. Due to the seasons of life, your goals will shift throughout the course of your life and are dependent on your desires, priorities, circumstances, and where you’re currently at with your health. Do you simply want to look and feel better, improve the state of your health, remain mobile, or is it at the point where it’s a matter of life and death? Lack of knowledge and not caring is a dangerous place. Find your “why.” Develop goals and get motivated and committed to work at it! You simply cannot afford to not exercise! HAVING to do something is much different than CHOOSING to do something and we shouldn’t let it get to the point where it no longer is a choice, but because the Doctor’s orders dictate that you must. I’m fond of the saying, "pay now or pay later." Choose to invest wisely with exercise when you’re young and keep it up or you will be forced to invest in health care later on.
DON'T LIVE IN REGRET OF NEGLECT!
A close encounter with death can scare you into straight thinking but it shouldn't have to come to that. Remember, it takes approx. 30 days to develop a good habit. Keep the momentum going, strive to do something active on a regular basis and don't go longer than two days without activity (even if it's just a short walk). It's easier to stay progressive and keep moving forward than it is to stop and restart again.
Movement is a gift you should enjoy and cherish!