The ability to exercise is a gift. It is a tool that will enhance ALL elements of your life, including your overall health (physical AND mental), happiness, self esteem/confidence, ability to think and be productive, ability to perform at a higher level in sports AND in your day to day life, your ability to sleep, your appearance (if this is your goal), and SO much more.
Using exercise purely as a means to control your appearance, obsessing about burning a certain number of calories to make up for what food or drink you might have consumed, is incredibly monotonous, stressful, AND counterproductive. I often hear people say ''I need to go to the gym to burn off what I ate last night,'' or ''I need to go to the gym to make my legs smaller,'' and so forth. This mindset is also rampant in the fitness industry. If I was told that I had to go to the gym to ''burn an x amount of calories on the treadmill,'' and then do some ''toning'' with baby weights, I would consider it to be a punishment and would avoid it at ALL cost. What about going to the gym to achieve ALL of the positive results that I mentioned above?
What also kills me is that SO many fitness ''professionals''/companies market their services in a way that picks at people's insecurities, mainly women, and prods them to work out to change the way they look, to burn calories, to ''tone'' or make themselves nothing but a smaller (and often weaker) version of their current self. Where is the marketing that encourages women to become incredibly strong, fit, athletic, empowered, confident, and most important of all, do whatever makes them feel good? Guess what, if you adopt this mindset, the chances are extremely good that you WILL be very happy with the way you look. Your ''improved'' aesthetics will be a byproduct of your workouts/healthy lifestyle. This is how I promote my services, and always will. Feel and perform your very best, AND the positive changes in your appearance will reflect that.
Many people take their good health (at least currently) and their ability to work out for granted. Due to injury or other circumstances, many people are unable to work out the way they would like to, or at all, and they would give ANYTHING to be able to do so. For 5+ years when I was dealing with my unknown body issues (ended up being severely misaligned ribs that resulted from a car accident I had been in years before), I wasn't able to work out the way I wanted to as something as pedestrian as sleeping or sneezing would send my body into a chain reaction of chaos, and I had to stop playing soccer as I could no longer deal with the pain/uncertainty of what inexplicable injury or painful event would occur, and how much money I would have to spend to manage/fix it, or more like mask it until I found the one person who was able to diagnose the cause and help me for good. As a result, I was very depressed and frustrated, and I didn't see a light at the end of the tunnel. Fortunately I made it to the end of my dark tunnel and haven't looked back. I now view my ability to exercise and play sports as a bigger gift than I ever have, and I will never take this for granted again. Working out and playing soccer is an absolute joy, and I think my workout style, and style of play on the field, reflect that.
As I've mentioned before, a 30-60 minute workout takes up just 2-4% of your entire day. If you are in a real hurry, a 15 minute workout is better than nothing and takes up just 1% of your day. This small window of time will dramatically improve all facets of your life, and will save you SO much time and money in the long run. If you are too busy to invest 1-4% of your day to improve 100% of your life, you need to assess your priorities. You matter.
Work out to be the best version of YOU in all parts of your life. This small investment in time will pay huge dividends right away, and for good. Find something that you enjoy but that challenges you, do so consistently, and watch your life transform for the better. Gift yourself with a better life, and make working out a consistent and permanent part of it.