Why Do You Exercise?

Most everybody these days knows that exercise is good for your health, even people who don’t exercise. But why do you strength train or jog? What’s your motivation for working out?  Do you have a personal trainer just to make you exercise?

Exercise is the best way for people to improve their life and to live a healthy lifestyle. There’s really no arguing the point. Scientific studies, common sense and anecdotal evidence indicate that exercise is a win-win activity.

But why do you do it? Do you like it? Is it a necessary evil?  Do you think that you are judged by your commitment to exercise or that such a commitment is a reflection of your inner character? To paraphrase “Is strength training next to Godliness?” Is having a personal trainer a sign of status, a means to an end or something that you have because you can?


Strength training alone won’t make you happy and a personal trainer is not a guarantee that you will enjoy working out, or even get anything out of exercising.

I feel like a 4-year old asking all these questions. But that’s a result of my current mood. I tend to get a bit cranky at this time of year when people are all over the whole New Year’s Fitness Resolution nonsense. It seems like everyone is making commitments to themselves to eat better, stop drinking, cut out sugar, eat less salt, sleep more, blah friggin’ blah blah.

And worst thing about these Resolutioners is that they have to tell everyone about it. People who know me and know what I do for a living can’t help but tell me that, yes indeed, this year they are going to get themselves in great shape.

But back to the point of this little blog-rant.

Why do you exercise? I don’t think there’s a right answer. I’m just trying to get people to think about what they do. I think there a lot of people who exercise out of a sense of obligation and don’t really know why they do it, and ultimately are unhappy or dissatisfied as a result.


I know why I exercise. Strength training makes me feel good, strong, capable.  I’ve always enjoyed the post-workout feeling, from both the mental and physical standpoint. Ultimately, I really enjoy it, even on the days that I hate it. And yes, it’s okay to hate exercising every now and then.

I don’t dislike people who don’t like to exercise. When encountering someone who doesn’t exercise, or say they don’t like to exercise, I just shrug my shoulders and chalk it up to free will. As an interesting aside, I never ask people if they like to exercise and yet people have no problem giving me their unprovoked, negative take on working out.

Actually, in social settings I never initiate conversation that revolves around what I do for a living. Ah, but I’m rambling again. So rather than just plow ahead and trundle away aimlessly, think about what you’re doing and why you’re doing it.


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