Are you having a hard time making regular exercise a habit? By focusing on the benefits to YOU, it may make it easier for you to want to. Finding selfish reasons to workout (or do anything we really want) increases the likelihood we’ll do it consistently.
There is an actual process to change, and it starts with Knowing Your Why… You have to know on a gut level why something is important to you. If it’s just a wish—you wish to look good, but truthfully, don’t want to work at it, I’m not here to judge. Okay, just a little. I’m judging your sanity because exercise is the shit. Go ask neuroscientists, behavioral therapists, doctors, philosophers, CEOs. It’s a really hard habit to get into, I know, but the benefits are undeniable. I’m going to look at 10 reasons to exercise. Here’s what I want you to do. For now, just read the list. The benefits that really resonate with you, that you think you could use in your life, write them down and leave them somewhere where you’ll see the list. I like the inside door of the pantry. Keep reminding yourself about what you really want and if your desire and motivation aren’t lined up, the next thing to start thinking about is why. If you’re too tired, you may need to work on the source of your stress first, but absolutely think about and work out the issues.
Because I really want you to have the life you want… and exercise is a gateway activity to a lot of mental skills: confidence, discipline, determination. What I’m saying is, exercise builds more than just muscles.
1. Exercise improves your cognitive function
You’ll feel more alert and focused. Might this help you in your career or in school?
2. Exercise improves your confidence
Could you use more swagger?
3. Exercise helps you to look better
If you love dressing up then you know you can pull off any look better when you’re at a healthy weight and have body positivity. Exercise gives you oodles of both.
4. Exercise increases your libido
Studies show that women who exercise regularly are more easily aroused, have more intense orgasms and greater flexibility and endurance (in bed).
5. Your hot body will attract more partners
Your looks, specifically a toned body, will get you more attention from men (and women).
6. Exercise teaches you life skills
Skills like goal setting and self-discipline that you build from working out can be leveraged in the pursuit of even bigger life goals.
7. Exercise helps you heal faster
Because it boosts your immune system, increases circulation, reduces inflammation, and kicks stress’ butt. It’s also great for chronic health conditions such as asthma, constipation, thyroid, and digestive illnesses.
8. Exercise will help you age better and live longer
Scientists studying what is termed “successful aging” have proven that people who exercise experience less debility as they age. People who exercise regularly also have minimal chronic diseases and less cognitive decline as they age.
9. Exercise is natural-Prozac
Exercise releases feel-good neurotransmitters in the brain. In a study conducted by British economist George MacKerron with over 50,000 volunteers, they found that exercise makes people very happy. In fact, get this–only sex makes people happier.
10. Exercise increases productivity
The number one excuse people give for not exercising is that they don’t have time, but getting in a good workout gives you energy, i.e. more time. In fact, it’s been estimated that exercising makes us at least 2x more productive.
Now that you have some good reasons to contemplate, you next task is figuring out how to make exercise a consistent habit.
There are many factors—convenience, time, enthusiasm and having the energy you need to exercise —that will affect your consistency. One by one, work out what it’s going to take for you to form the habit.
Christine is a lifestyle coach living in Los Angeles. Using systems, routines, and some psychological trickery, she can help almost anyone hack their mind and life for greater productivity. Email firstname.lastname@example.org to find out if she's available for one-on-one work.