Reasons to Exercise

24 Jul

The past few days have been a little rough.  Last week I decided I was going to just totally unplug and take a break from working out.  I finished up Jillian Michaels Ripped in 30 and I was planning my next program.  I was feeling kind of un-motivated to work out, so I just went with it.  For several glorious days I pushed my alarm back and basked in the glory of several guiltless workout free mornings.  It was fantastic.  This past weekend I relaxed a bit and enjoyed some delightful culinary wonders like girl scout cookies and Indian food.  Again, fantastic.

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Oh yum… yeah a few too many of these.

Doesn’t really sound so rough huh?  Well yesterday I feel like I finally hit a wall from all my wild and fancy-free living.  And then it hit me: my body truly has been trained!   After months of P90X and focusing on better eating, my body craves healthy food.  My body wants to be active.  Saturday and Sunday I had a dull headache and just felt sort of blah.  My lack of healthy-living may not be entirely to blame, but it certainly played a part.  Call me crazy, but this is pretty awesome!

It’s common sense: eat a bunch of candy and you’ll get a tummy ache.  But now I feel like I’m at a new level – my body truly has gotten used to a regular diet of fruit, veggies, and working up a sweat.  When I deprive my body of these things, I feel it.  It took 3-4 days to really feel it, but this is such a change.  It used to take a few weeks of living unhealthy to really notice it (Christmas break in college ehem).  What a cool revelation.  When I changed my life style back in October I was really hoping that this would happen!  (Doing a little happy dance).

fresh-produce

Now I crave these things! Okay not all of these things and not all the time… but I’m making progress!

Last week I was really feeling some pressure that I was entirely putting on myself.  I found out I got the part and Adam and I were in the heat of several big wedding decisions.  Definitely exciting things, but I sort of felt my edges cracking from my own pressure (I think all other type a-ers can relate to this!).  So while the good news is my body craves healthy-living, and I will naturally want to get back on the healthy train…the bad news is that I sort of turned to food to deal with my stress.  Feeling stressed about needing to be an athletic dancer to play the part in the show?  Yes, eat more peanut butter and cookies…brilliant strategy to achieve your fitness goals.  Yeah…not such a great habit.  My eventual goal would be push my stress away by making a delicious yummy healthy or doing some yoga.  Now those are coping mechanisms I can get on board with!  Patience Kelly, one thing at a time.

The past week has been a great discovery of how far I’ve come fitness-wise, but also seeing that I still have room for growth.  As I left Adam’s apartment yesterday I made the comment, “You know I think the number 1 reason I work out is for balance and attitude.”  All of these thoughts got me really thinking about why I work out.  Why is it such a part of my life, and why do I want it to continue to be a priority.  In usual fashion, I present to you a list!

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Hooray exercise!

Reasons to Exercise and Stay Active

  • Attitude.  Working out keeps me mentally sane and balanced.  I just have a better attitude when I’m active.
  • Health.  From preventing heart disease to avoiding diabetes to controlling my asthma, health-related reasons to be active abound.  I want to be around a long time and I want to be healthy while I’m around.
  • Outlook. (And not the microsoft kind). Holy positive.  I am a much much more positive person when I take the time to invest in myself.  Suddenly the birds are chirping and I’m thrilled about the rest of my day.  Yes it may sound cliché, but come on… there are definitely endorphin side effects to exercise (and happy people just don’t kill people!  What movie?? :))
  • Confidence.  When I’m active, I feel like I can take on the world.  Whether it comes to pushing myself out of my comfort zone socially, pushing myself physically, or pushing myself to go stinking shopping even though I don’t like it – I’m more confident!!  And believe me, confidence just makes life easier.
  • Keeping up!  When I’m in great shape I’m much more of a “yes” girl.  Want me to join a dodgeball league?  Yes.  Want to run a 5K with a day’s notice in green tights?  Yes.  Want to go hiking?  Heck yes.  I just don’t have the excuses to say no.  “I can’t keep up” or  “I’m not in good shape” aren’t in my vocabulary!
  • Taking care of myself for others.  My friends and family receive major benefits when I work out.  I’m kinder, more balanced, and more passionate about life.  In addition, I’m healthier and more durable for whatever life throws my way.  If I can’t get myself to work out for me, often thinking about them will be the extra push to get me out the door.
  • Nutrition.  Fact: when I’m active, I make better food choices.  There is such a symbiotic relationship between food and activity  – I love reaping the benefits from both!
  • Looking good.  Let’s face it, one of the side effects of fitness is looking your personal best.  It’s nice to look good and feel comfortable in your skin.  It helps with confidence and being a “yes” person!
  • It’s relaxing and therapeutic.  Or at least it can be…eventually. :)  It took me a long time to view running as a ‘relaxing’ activity – but it’s awesome to just take time away and focus on yourself.  Be one with the run (or zumba or crossfit or whatever)!
  • The challenge.  I love setting goals and reaching them.  Fitness is an awesome place to compete against yourself for yourself.  It can be very motivating and satisfying to see yourself reach them.  The first time I did a pull-up I just about cried!
  • To enjoy treats.  Okay I had to add this one… regular working out makes the occasional crack-filled cookies from my mom totally doable (Note: not filled with actual crack).  Everything in moderation is one of my favorite phrases, and working out regularly allows me to really live this phrase out!  Because I just can’t say no to cupcakes every time.

So if you’ve been in a rut like me, there are a few reasons to push play or get out the door!  If you’re looking for more reasons or motivation head over to Catherine @ A Two Storey Home.  Ironically she had the exact same thoughts today, and beat me to the punch (which is good, because she’s been thinking about working on her defense skills)!  She lists a lot of great reasons to focus on strength over skinny – I love it!

In other news, ChaLean Extreme officially shipped yesterday, woot!  I’m so excited to share the process and my next phase of pushing myself!  Until then, I’ve climbed jumped back on the healthy train with a quick stop at the grocery store for some fresh produce and some invigorating yoga this morning (thanks Lucy for the motivation to get back at yoga!).  Man does it ever feel good to be back on the train.  Next stop: ChaLean Extreme!

-Kelly

HAPPY WEDNESDAY!

What are your reasons to work out?  Why do you maintain your fitness?

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14 Responses to “Reasons to Exercise”

  1. Brittany July 24, 2013 at 11:53 am #

    I love this!! I love that you honored your body and took the rest, and that your body in turn bounced back after a few days to let you know that the rest was over! HA! These reasons are perfect! I workout because I HAVE TO for my mental state. I will get too stressed, anxious, uneasy, working out just keeps me at peace and if FEELS good! And helps me fit into my pants..lets be real.

    • kelly @ racesrepsramblings July 25, 2013 at 10:24 am #

      Hahah yeah you’re right – I really could’ve boiled this down to the big two: mental state and pants fitting… what more could you need in life?? :) And my body DEFINITELY appreciated the break!

  2. Catherine @ A Two Storey Home July 24, 2013 at 12:17 pm #

    What an awesome revelation! It is crazy how quickly you notice your bad diet after eating well for a while. My body gets so thrown off anytime I go away for a week (or even a weekend) and am not preparing all of my meals. I think it’s good and bad–I wish I was more adaptable in those situations!
    I love that we had the same thoughts this morning… and I loved the “punch” pun :-D

    • kelly @ racesrepsramblings July 25, 2013 at 10:25 am #

      Oh I know! It’s really amazing how fast bodies get used to things… or is it bodies that aren’t as young as they used to be? Maybe a little of both! But I agree, I love it and hate it. Sometimes it would be really nice to just go with the flow. And glad you liked the joke, I was quite pleased with myself hehehe :)

  3. Lucy @ Lucy On The Lookout July 24, 2013 at 1:27 pm #

    You and Catherine have complied two great lists! I hear ya on the ‘food sabotage’ front (I always used to stress myself out preparing for big events where I had the ‘perfect’ dress, and I just couldn’t help scoffing down the junk food!), and it’s great you’re finding other ways to outlet your stress (yoga, yay!). My body also started to crave healthy goods when I deprive it, it’s a great little inbuilt warning signal to remind us to look after ourselves :) A bit late, but congratulations on getting the part!!

    • kelly @ racesrepsramblings July 25, 2013 at 10:29 am #

      Yeah what is it with food sabotage!? Funny enough I experienced it last night talking with my Mom on the phone about hotels for the wedding (somewhat stressful conversation). Somehow I didn’t even notice that I was eating peanut butter right from the jar! It’s like a subconscious reaction! A very good thing to know, awareness is the first step :) And thanks so much for the congrats – I’m so excited!

  4. Nicole July 24, 2013 at 5:21 pm #

    You will love ChaLean Extreme!

  5. liz o July 25, 2013 at 12:35 pm #

    Great Blog! I will share some of your “reasons to exercise” on my blog as well!

  6. lisamitchell21 July 25, 2013 at 1:59 pm #

    I completely agree! I just started up classes at the YMCA and it felt so good :)

    • kelly @ racesrepsramblings July 29, 2013 at 9:02 pm #

      Aww! I’m so impressed! I really love group fitness classes… I have yet to find a great place around here though. Hope you enjoy :)

  7. kathy@vodka and soda July 27, 2013 at 3:19 pm #

    i love this! after 2days of inactivity, i feel tired and sluggish…whoda thunk??!

    i exercise to continue this feeling of badassery…it’s highly addictive :)

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