When you first start working out, you are probably only focused on looking better or improving your health. Going to the gym is a necessary chore and not enjoyable. I was the same way. I began my fitness journey five years ago and I hated exercising. I had to force myself into the gym. As my journey continued, I found that I actually loved exercising. You may think I am crazy but it is true. My hope is that you will also fall in love with exercise. Do you have to? No. Does it help? Yes!

If you find a way to fall in love with exercise, then getting to the gym will be so much easier. You will remain consistent and reap all the benefits of exercising. It is perfectly okay to start out only worrying about your looks. Eventually, you will want to exercise because you love it. Otherwise, you will stop. You should feel like your day is not complete without exercise.

For example, I will exercise even when I know I will not lose any body fat. There are times when my diet is not 100% on point but I still hit the gym. (I know I will not lose weight because I am in a caloric surplus!) That does not matter though, because I feel good every time I work out. I know I am investing in my quality of life. I am also increasing my longevity with every step I take at the gym.

Here is the key to falling in love with exercise. Focus on benefits other than weight loss. There are so many other advantages to exercising! Think of these as non-scale victories. By redefining success, you will find that you are achieving more than just moving the number on the scale. This will make you love exercise!

Here are just a few benefits of exercise that go beyond losing weight.

  1. Self Esteem. You will feel better about yourself when you work out. You will reach new goals and learn that you can do hard things.
  2. Improved Energy Levels. You will find that working out does not deplete your energy but boosts it. You will be more productive at home and at work.
  3. Better Sleep. You will sleep better when you work out consistently. Your body will be ready to rest after going hard at the gym.
  4. Boosts Mood. You will find that endorphins are real. Your mood will instantly be lifted after a workout (although maybe not during!). That mood will extend beyond the gym too.
  5. Overall Health. You will find that health issues you did not know you had will be improved. Your chronic pain will ease. You will get better lab results at the doctor. You will feel better than you ever have.

Remember that exercise is a privilege. Think of all the people who would love to exercise but cannot. So many situations can prevent a person from exercising – from something small like a sprained ankle to something huge like paralysis. Many of these folks would switch places with you in a heartbeat. Take advantage of the gift of exercise and be grateful! Every time you hit the gym, remind yourself that this makes you the best person you can be. So when it is time for your next workout, put on a smile and sweat like a beast!