Why do you work out?

When I was a teenager, I worked out because I wanted to win games and races. Without proper training, I had no idea what I was doing, and achieved little for my efforts.

When I was in my 20s, I worked out because I was skinny and wanted muscles. It was fun for a while, but my studies (and parties) were more appealing.

When I was in my 30s, I worked out because I wanted to match the women I studied as an advocate for gender equity in sports. And I had suddenly discovered my metabolism slowing down and myself 20 pounds heavier than I had ever been.

I became very fit and strong -- and very obsessed with exercise -- and found myself sick all the time.

In my 40s, I think I've finally found the right reasons to work out:

I work out to stay fit, but not to the detriment of my immune system.

I work out to support my vast energy stores (so lucky to be a high-energy girl).

I work out to maintain my mental health.

I work out to enjoy the natural beauty Santa Barbara offers every day.

I work out to get away from my desk, if only for a short time.

I work out because it feels damn good.

I try not to let fear or guilt motivate me. I try not to compete with other women's bodies. I try not to push myself beyond what's reasonable for my age, physical condition and interest. Sometimes I fail at these things. But I'm so much more physically and mentally healthy at this point in my life because I do what I enjoy and do it as often as possible.

Why do you work out?


Greg Friese said...

I work out for many of the same reasons.

I also work out because I know there are many that would want to work out, maybe not join me on a 15 mile run, but maybe go for a walk, hike, jog, or cycle, but they can't because of illness.

Thus I work out in part because I can and I am grateful for every breath, stride and pedal stroke.

Lisa Braithwaite said...

I think about that too, Greg. Whenever I start feeling whiny about my "hard" workout, I think of people who are in much worse shape than I am or who have health problems and can't get out there like I can. I'm very grateful for my healthy body!