What’s your WHY?

by Khushboo on April 9, 2012

The other day someone asked me how often I worked out and when I answered, she responded with “You’re so lucky exercising is easy for you”.  Sure I do it and I love it, but getting up every single morning is anything but easy.  I routinely snooze my alarm multiple times before rolling out of bed and I sometimes debate whether to skip my planned workout.   It’s not easy but I do it because I’ve found my why.

We all know that exercising is “vital for good health” and it’s something “we should do”, yaddy yada yada but in the big picture, what does that even mean?  These reasons are too broad to drive us to exercise regularly.  It’s so crucial to establish your WHY, as this is you’re the root of your goal and is what will keep you focused when motivation dwindles.  As for WHY I set my alarm every single morning to work out and WHY I will rarely give into the urge to skip a workout, here are my reasons:

  • I like to eat…mostly healthy but sometimes not.  Ultimately it all comes down to calories in versus calories out.  If I indulge regularly, it will eventually translate into weight gain.  Exercise provides me with the leeway to indulge more so than if I weren’t working out.
  • Because I can: Working in an office job 5.5 days a week limits my opportunity to move.  My source of activity merely extends to walking up & down the staircase a few times a day and getting up to refill my cup of green tea.  I am fit and blessed with the ability to move and hence have no excuse to lead a 100% sedentary lifestyle.
  • Peace of mind: Life is busy and we’re constantly interacting with other people, be it face-to-face, over the phone, via email, etc.  My workout is my ‘me time’ to stay out of reach and just zone out mentally.  Consider it a gift I give myself every day.

A random egg picture in spirit of Easter....and because it always makes me laugh..

  • Sense of accomplishment: Each day that I make it to the gym is an achievement in itself.  Running at speeds beyond my imagination or lifting weights which would have previously been unmanageable motivates me to keep going back. There’s always room for improvement, and seeing what my body is capable of continues to make me want to put in the hard work.
  • Vanity: I am almost certain that everyone is motivated by their physical appearance to some degree.  When I exercise, I look better & more toned, my clothes fit better, my posture naturally improves and overall exercise boosts my confidence.

  • Health: Exercise is like a long-term health intervention.   I am perfectly fine now but abuse it and I lose it.   While being an “adult” still seems like years away, it’s assuring to know that I am reducing my risk of common diseases related to cardiovascular health, high blood pressure, and type 2 diabetes.  This also why I never disregard low-intensity workouts:  whether or not you give it your all or work up an impressive amount of sweat, every workout provides benefits.

Most importantly, I do it for the

  • Psychological effects:  I do it for the effect which motion has on my eMOTION.  There’s nothing like a good, sweaty workout to clear my head, calm me down, send me on an endorphin high and boost my energy levels.  It sets the tone for my day and makes me want to continue having a productive day.

Together, these are all far more important to me than an extra hour or so in bed. Don’t exercise because people tell you to.  Find the reason(s) important to you and that alone will ensure it’s a regular fixing in your life.

WHY do you exercise?

{ 34 comments… read them below or add one }

Alexandra April 9, 2012 at 7:17 pm

Great post! I work out because it makes me feel great with the endorphins and strength, it makes me feel like I’ve accomplished something, and because of health :)

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Khushboo Thadani April 10, 2012 at 2:09 pm

Workouts definitely empower me with both physical & mental strength :)

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Brittany April 9, 2012 at 8:02 pm

Yes to all of these..I agree. I workout because of the way I feel afterwards..physically and mentally. I love to eat, a lot of chocolate (which I have still been staying away from successfully) so I need to run, or spin, or even just walk. Psychologically if my pants get too tight, it’s downhill from there..so I stay active to stay peaceful for myself and those around me.

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Khushboo Thadani April 10, 2012 at 2:10 pm

“Stay peaceful for myself and those around me”…haha amen to that!

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Asmita (@FoodieAsmita) April 9, 2012 at 8:12 pm

I workout because I feel alive. When I hear my heart pumping and my muscles working, it just makes me feel good. I also love to eat good food and it’s important to burn those calories.

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Khushboo Thadani April 10, 2012 at 2:10 pm

Work hard, play hard = work out hard, eat good food :)

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fthegr8 April 9, 2012 at 8:16 pm

Great post KT. Made me re-discover my wordpress login….. Am searching for my real Why so darned badly!!!

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Khushboo Thadani April 10, 2012 at 2:11 pm

Thanks, Farhat :) ! I bet you’re why is more in reach than you know!

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sprint2thetable April 9, 2012 at 9:41 pm

Your “because I can” point is right on for me. I sit 99% of the time for my job. By the end of the day, nothing feels better than moving around… which feeds into the positive psychological effects.

Also, I love chocolate. :)

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Khushboo Thadani April 10, 2012 at 2:11 pm

Chocolate= the answer to everything :) !

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Parita April 9, 2012 at 11:45 pm

LOVE this, K! Our why’s are very similar. The #1 reason why I workout is because I feel that by doing so regularly I’m helping to ensure that I can live my best life and do the things I want to and was meant to. It’s powerful stuff!

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Khushboo Thadani April 10, 2012 at 2:12 pm

That was deep :) ! Any kind of exercise really does bring out the best in us!

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sarah (onedayiwillseethesun) April 10, 2012 at 12:17 am

I workout because it makes me feel so great, I can eat and not worry:D and I feel so so good after, is great feeling yourself get better at something

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Khushboo Thadani April 10, 2012 at 2:14 pm

And the best part is…you can never be “too” good.

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Tessa at Amazing Assett April 10, 2012 at 1:39 am

Great post lady… lots of motivation and got me thinking too! Back in the day I worked out because I was on a swim team and that required a lot of physical dedication… the prattices were brutual! Then when I got the eating disorder, exercise turned into a calorie burner and that is it. Although that is still a major reason why I workout, I am finding that it does give me that mental release that everyone talks about and that is what I must remember, the true reasons :)

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Khushboo Thadani April 10, 2012 at 2:16 pm

Thanks, Tessa! I used to be on the swim team too (way back in middle school) and I remember how wiped out I would be after every session! I’m glad you’ve found exercise as a positive outlet!

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Tara April 10, 2012 at 2:43 am

I’m totally with you on pretty much all of these. I run because I know I’m good at it and I love competing, but I don’t necessarily feel that love everyday. The other reasons are just as important though and keep me going out the door!

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Khushboo Thadani April 10, 2012 at 2:17 pm

Sometimes getting out the door is the hardest step…luckily we have enough reasons to make it out!

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Meg April 10, 2012 at 6:14 am

Ooooo I LOVE THIS POST :D Very motivating to see why you workout :D I couldn’t agree more! I do it for so many reasons as well, but it just makes me feel so accomplished knowing what I can do and seeing how I progress :)

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Khushboo Thadani April 10, 2012 at 2:18 pm

Thanks Meg! It’s assuring to realise how much we underestimate the extent of what we are capable of achieving!

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JoJo April 10, 2012 at 9:49 am

I try to keep a smile on my face when people say things like that. Exercising is hard work and even if you love it, it’s hard to bring your self to do it. Pushing yourself DURING isn’t easy either!
I would say the #1 reason I work-out is: for my emotion – It always makes me feel better in the long run AND short run. I am definitely less moody and happier when I have time to sweat out my stress and move my body!

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Khushboo Thadani April 10, 2012 at 2:20 pm

Pushing yourself during isn’t easy at all…but sometimes the best sessions are the ones which take the most out of us (mentally & physically)!

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Nada April 10, 2012 at 12:29 pm

Love this. I think our “why’s” are very similar. Since I’m not actively trying to lose weight I now exercise in the interest of keeping fit and healthy. Like you progress plays a big part as a motivator – knowing I’ve run at speeds and distances I previously never thought imaginable keeps me coming back. And I’m glad you pointed out vanity, many people are embarrassed to admit that but I don’t see why. Humans are visual creatures and its natural to care about (and subsequently do things to enhance) the way we look!

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Khushboo Thadani April 10, 2012 at 2:23 pm

I’m so glad you agree with my point about vanity- if anything it’s unnatural to not care at the way you present yourself to the world.

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hotlyspiced April 10, 2012 at 3:29 pm

I love the image of the eggs. That’s more eggs than I would want at Easter and mine are normally of the chocolate variety!

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Khushboo Thadani April 10, 2012 at 4:24 pm

Hahah I’m appalled by how few eggs I ate this Easter…none of which were chocolate :( !

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ritika April 10, 2012 at 4:13 pm

brilliant post, i mean after i have worked out for an hour in the morning… the day can’t really be all that bad, no matter what.

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Khushboo Thadani April 10, 2012 at 4:25 pm

So true…if all fails, at least one thing has gone right!

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Honey What's Cooking April 10, 2012 at 11:19 pm

i exercise for 2 reasons… so i can eat all the crap i want to, in moderation, and vanity. :-) you’re right, the clothes look better and everything looks good, skin looks good, so then in the end, it’s worth it.

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Khushboo Thadani April 11, 2012 at 12:04 pm

Hahahahh I love your honesty…and my skin looks so much better after a good sweat session!

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Alyse April 11, 2012 at 1:52 am

Oh my gosh, YES. Yes to all of the above. You don’t have just one why – you have a whole litany of really freaking awesome whys.

Chocolate gets a lot of credit for easing emotional woes, but really, it’s exercise that deserves all the recognition and more. I too do it for the psychological benefits. Vanity ain’t far behind, though. :)

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Khushboo Thadani April 11, 2012 at 12:10 pm

So true about exercise- it has so much therapeutic power! And call me crazy but it defintely heals me better than any amount of chocolate could.

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onehealthymunchkin April 11, 2012 at 6:29 am

I agree with everything here! I love how you included “Because I like to eat” – so true! Maintaining my weight while frequently indulging in all you can eat sushi would NOT be possible without exercise haha. :P But most importantly I exercise for my health and for that sense of accomplishment!

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Khushboo Thadani April 11, 2012 at 12:11 pm

Haha I like to think that sushi is the perfect post-workout fuel: gotta restore the glycogen and sodium levels, right ;) !

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