Why Workout? It Is A Chore Or Is It A Joy?
I recently read this well written article in the Globe and Mail about the author's personal take on fitness training and CrossFit. In summary, it argues that healthy eating and hard training in the gym are effective, but not particularly fun. To pursue fitness means shunning the enjoyable aspects of live that make it worth living, and instead, we all become very dull and boring salad eaters who go to bed too early.
I get that this piece was written in a pithy tone, but it seemed to ignore the very thing that draws me and many others I know to fitness. The fun of it!
Feeling good is fun. Being able to put the hammer down and let your body rip sometimes is fun. That's just as human as enjoying a few too many chocolate croissants, no?
I sent this short letter to the editor in response to the original article, which you can read here.
Here're a few other thoughts about why I love to work out:
- Personally, I'm surrounded mostly with people who do love fitness, but obviously for many it's only a means to an end. As a coach, that makes me think: how can we make that person's training more engaging and intrinsically motivating, so that they have fun and begin to look forward to the process - to the extent that's possible? Do they need to get outside? Play a sport? Try something new? Have different people around them? Begin to accomplish exciting goals to build momentum?
One thing's for sure, when you enjoy fitness, you're a lot more likely to be consistent (and therefore make progress) than someone who's having a terrible time.
- It can feel great to sweat. You don't need to push it to the limit every time (actually, you probably shouldn't), but there's something human about running and jumping around. We do it to celebrate. We do it to play. We do it to clear our head.
- To most people who follow a healthy regime, it's not a trade-off. It's an investment. An opportunity. Feeling great just about all the time is the payoff.
Sure, sometimes it's worth jumping off the wagon to scarf some cupcakes, but for many people (myself included) once you know how good they can feel day-to-day if they stay consistent, it's an easy choice to make a healthier decision so you can be vital and supremely energetic.