This Runner's Trials

Motives for movement

Posted by runnerstrials

I hope everyone had a wonderful Thanksgiving filled with good family, friends, food, and laughter. I sure did.

Why you should exercise vs. why you do exercise

I’m pretty sure each one of you is well aware of why you should be physically active. A lower risk of killers like heart disease, some cancers, and type 2 diabetes. A better mood, more energy, and a longer life expectancy, among many other reasons (source).

But is that why you do exercise?

This answer will be different for each person, but reducing my risk of metabolic syndrome is not what gets me out the door everyday. I think about how my active lifestyle helps my health every now and then, but it’s definitely not my main motive to move. (I know, bad health educator.)

Why do I exercise?

When people ask me this question, it usually comes back to running. I’m training for X race, trying to improve my speed, keep up my fitness in the off season, etc.

But if I was told tomorrow I could never run another race again, I wouldn’t stop exercising? Hell no.

I exercise because I like how it makes me feel.

After completely gorging myself on Thanksgiving and the day after, I felt awful. Despite running a turkey trot on Thursday and an easy run on Friday, I felt bloated and sluggish. I woke up Saturday with a stomach ache and no motivation. But I miraculously put on my running shoes and felt immeasurably better once I got moving.

I’m not going to lie. It took about 9 miles of running for my “full” feeling to mostly disappear. Even after completing 12 miles, I still felt a bit “off”. Luckily, hubby and furball were up for a hike.

The easy hike was so beautiful and exactly what my body needed. And I couldn’t believe how much better it made me feel. Exercise is such an amazing gift. (I proceeded to gorge myself again to the point of pain once we returned to my in-laws but that’s beside the point ;) ).

This really got me thinking. If you asked me in college why I exercised all the time it was to improve how I looked, not how I felt. I’m not sure when or how my motives changed, but I am so glad they did. You just can’t beat the feeling of completing a good workout :)

What gets you moving?

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