It seems the majority of people these days join a gym or undertake an exercise regimen with the goal of losing weight. This is the message we receive day in and day out from various media sources: exercise to get skinny. Since skinny is determined mostly by genes and has little, if anything, to do with being fit, this goal often leads to nothing more than frustration, failure and self loathing for not being able to achieve it. Forget skinny. Let me offer a different approach: exercise to get strong. Strong is a lifestyle. Strong is a mind set. Strong is a choice. A healthy body weight just happens to be a nice side effect of a strong body. Cardio is a fine choice to get the blood pumping and endorphins flowing, but it you truly want to change your body composition, lift some weights. Heavy weights. This will do more for your physique than countless hours on the treadmill. Our bodies were made to move, so even if it doesn’t feel natural at first, once you start hoisting some weights around you will feel more energized, empowered and more alive than ever before.
In case you need a little more convincing, I offer you ten better reasons to lift:
- There is great satisfaction in the self-sufficiency of being strong enough to carry your own weight, figuratively and literally.
- The discipline that comes with working out at dawn every day is something carries over into many other aspects of life.
- The endorphin rush following a good workout does more to boost your mood than most anti-depressants on the market.
- Toned muscles will dramatically improve your posture.
- Completing a strenuous workout is hard work. This is something to be proud of and your confidence will show.
- You are inspiring others whether you are aware of it or not.
- Working out with like-minded people is an opportunity to learn and connect with others. Not to mention that connecting with others during activity makes it feels less like a chore and more like a gift.
- Exercise has been shown to greatly improve mental clarity and boost creativity. Who couldn’t use more of that?
- It is empowering to know that you are in control of your own health and well-being.
- Being healthy makes you feel good about yourself, physically and mentally. This is the stuff of true beauty.
This is why I lift.