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If Fitness Feels Like a Burden, You're Doing it Wrong

I was reading an article in More Magazine and came across a small piece on what motivates us to exercise. The reason I bring up the article is I happen to agree with the content. According to More, the top reasons women over 40 exercise are to lose weight and protect their health. Research indicated these women were more disenchanted with their fitness programs. Regular exercise was explained as a duty, not fun and more like taking a mouthful of bitter medicine. So, it appears gals over 40 feel exercise is more of a have to duty than having a fun time.

The lesser percentage of women surveyed stated they exercised to improve mood and reduce stress. Now, that sounds fabulous. Studies show women who exercise for stress reduction and to feel good remained true to their programs. In fact, they exercised 30% more than those seeking to lose weight and protect their health.

Now, you may think losing weight should be motivational, but let's say you're not seeing results. This creates a whole other dynamic of fitness. We may begin feeling discouraged and even want to give up on fitness. The results are typically dwindling workouts and returning to unhealthy eating habits. It's weird how all this gets turned around, but it often occurs.

Our mindset and reasons to exercise should be clear and supportive of a healthy lifestyle we enjoy. The goals need to focus on feeling better about ourselves because we are working out and eating right.

Think about the immediate benefits of exercise and how you feel after finishing a workout. Positive endorphins (happy hormones) are released during exercise creating a positive mood and reduced stress. Being able to flow through the day more at ease, feeling good, and accomplished are feelings you will want to repeat. The long term benefit will be an improvement in the quality of your life and health. Before you realize it, you will be living an adopted fitness program and lifestyle.

The takeaway from all this is to enjoy what you're doing when it comes to fitness. If it feels like a burden, you're doing it wrong. Find healthy foods you enjoy and workouts that keep you anticipating the next session. The outward appearance you're striving for will eventually happen and the best part is enjoying the process along the way.

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