We all live within our own ideas and confines of routine, a concept that is different to each of us. While some people consider themselves routine-oriented- they thrive off of living within a regimen and feel off-balance when a wrench is thrown into their daily pattern, others may not fit that description. Some feel completely off the wall if they notice themselves falling into a pattern. They switch things up when they become comfortable; boredom makes a regular appearance and forces them out of their fleeting, cozy nest.
Regardless of which personality type you identify with, chances are you follow a routine to some degree. Work, sleep, and food are three components of routine that we need for survival. We don’t really think about these elements - we simply do them every day because we instinctively know we have to. It’s habitual.
Ironically, we should instinctively include another routine in this habitual list. It’s one of the most disregarded, yet healthfully imperative routines: exercise.
Building a habit around exercise is on the best ways to routinely incorporate it into your life, yet it’s the most difficult part for many people to grasp. The biggest challenge comes from the inception of an active lifestyle where momentum is non-existent and the why has yet to be discovered.
But that’s precisely what I want to discuss.
Why do you exercise?
Whether you’re caught in a tornado of routine, exercising mindlessly because you’ve conditioned your body and mind to realize its importance, or you’re just unable to form a healthy routine, the most important aspect to living healthfully is understanding your why. The why is what keeps you going, gives you purpose, and makes you feel accomplished.
As important as it is to simply choosing your why, it’s also important to constantly remind yourself of that purpose.
Living a lifestyle of fitness and wellness is not easy. We all have days where we feel like we’re melting into our couch and the last thing on our to-do list is to get up and sweat the stress away in a boxing class. Sometimes we can’t fathom exerting any more energy into our day than we already have. That’s when your why makes its appearance.
So, how do you figure out what your why is?
Look deep within yourself and think about your inspiration. What motivates you through the days that seem impossible? What keeps you going when you don’t feel like you can? What do you reach for when your tank is empty?
For me, it’s the feeling of accomplishment. I thrive on the sense of productivity and construction, the understanding that I’ve done something for myself, pushed through my limits and come out stronger on the other side. But, to be candid, your ‘why’ is something that appears along your wellness journey. You have to discover it along the way, not force it into fruition. You might spend some time exercising for one purpose, realize it doesn’t work for you, and discover a different ‘why’ that fits you better.
We all have different missions, routines and mantras - and the ‘why’ is no different. I took to the Peerfit team and asked them, “why do you exercise?” Here’s what they had to say:
“I work out to find balance and perspective. Balance for what my body needs to thrive in that moment and perspective for uncovering strength and resilience to keep charging forward no matter what obstacle is in front of me, in any part of life. When the workout is the hardest part of your day, then you probably had a pretty good day.” - Andre Ortega, Enterprise Health Consultant
“I exercise because the confidence I receive after pushing myself further than my own expectations allows me to be more self-assured in my personal life and work life.” - Dana Janney, Enterprise Health Consultant
“I suppose it is a very simple reason, I love it, it energizes me. I make sure I exercise with my friends, so I get to do the activities I love with the people that help make me a better person. Not only for those reasons, but it helps me compete, which I enjoy. It allows me to challenge myself every day, no matter what my week has been like, no matter how old I am getting, every day is a new challenge to prove something. Exercise is the best medium to become the person I am trying to be from a health perspective, as a friend and as a person.” - Ed Buckley, CEO
“Exercise teaches me that my body can reach new limits every day and that it's stronger than I think. Our bodies are incredible machines that can achieve amazing changes (inside and out) with a little time and hard work. I exercise to celebrate those changes, remain grateful for my body's abilities, and to continue being my best, physically and mentally." - Jeni Dowst, Enterprise Health Account Manager