By Paul Bunting
Ever get home from work and flip on the tube to see how the world is doing? I rarely do, but for some reason after work I just wanted to go home, relax and watch a bit of television. During one of the frequent commercial breaks an advertisement from one of the major fitness chains aired promoting their health club. The message that they seemed to rather aggressively promote was; work out (preferably in our health club) and you will be beautiful. Seeing this commercial got me thinking about what areas of fitness are most emphasized by the media, and what impact that has.
Statements are constantly being made about how exercise will make you look better, burn fat, build muscle or firm up, and have more energy. These are all true and it is wonderful this message is promoted, however there is a lot more to the lifestyle than just skin deep attributes. This holds true for anybody who exercises, or is thinking about starting a program. I am fully convinced that almost all of the failures that somebody experiences with not following an exercise programs are a direct result of not focusing on the "right" reasons for starting an exercise program in the first place.
Take a look at some of the main reasons that people start an exercise program: being told to, the desire to lose fat, the desire to enhance muscle appearance, and the desire of increasing energy levels. The underlying issue that causes failures in following a fitness program is being driven by goals that satisfy an immediate want. Another way to look at these common reasons for starting is these reasons produce instant gratification.
Exercising because you are told to do so may get the person who has suggested, or in some cases nagged you to start the program off your back for a bit, but there is no satisfaction in this. If you are not doing the program for you it will definitely be a miserable task. After a few weeks of exercising to appease another person the gym, or wherever your exercise program takes place can be like a prison cell. This can also result in some pretty strong feelings of resentment towards your "captor".
Exercising to only satisfy a desire for skin deep attributes has just as much, if not more potential to fail than being told to exercise. Watching all of the pretty, toned, and seemingly energetic bodies being presented and objects of desire on the television can produce an urge in the minds of many people to "look like the bodies on TV." Usually what happens here is as soon as the harsh realization that you ONLY get out of an exercise program what you are willing to put in to that program, and yes it is hard work is recognized, that's it, curtains. Program is over, and it is easier to swallow the somewhat uncomfortable feeling that so many people feel about themselves than put the time and effort into an exercise program.
There are many benefits to fitness that often seem to be overlooked. Benefits that go a lot deeper than purely physical and work wonders in increasing the desire to have fitness in your life. Self love is a nice one to start with. Exercise does end up producing some pretty impressive physical changes. For this to happen it is a necessity to love yourself enough to allow the changes to happen. These changes are quite often a lot different than you may have envisioned, or currently envision. To start with the desire to eat better foods may be stronger and stronger. Why knowingly ingest foods that cause health problems. With a strong sense of self love many destructive desires are alleviated.
The constant challenge is another reason. For those of you who have been exercising for a long time you are well aware of this. Being persistent about an exercise program is a constant challenge. There are many different obstacles to overcome. There are times when it may like there is just one road block right after the other. Some of those blocks are self inflicted mental blocks, while others are factors that you have absolutely no control of. The bottom line is constantly finding ways around these diversions which may be both mentally and physically draining to physically condition your body is a major challenge. If you can overcome these challenges it makes perfect sense that you can also overcome other challenges as well. This may be career wise, personal issues, or dealing with people in general. Learning to overcome obstacles makes challenges in all other areas much easier to overcome.
Becoming a master of strategies is another great benefit of a strong exercise program. To attain a goal there first must be a strategy, or a good way of getting to that goal. The longer that you are actively involved in an exercise program the better that you will get at putting together strategies to take your program to a higher level. You may even come up with a strategy to increase your interest in fitness, the possibilities are unlimited. This is another skill that once perfected can carry over to other areas of your life.
Self love, better overcoming obstacles, and putting together winning strategies are a few of the benefits of the fitness lifestyle that are often overlooked. These are benefits that work in all areas of life and the ironic thing here is as a side effect of applying or focusing on these benefits the skin deep things will just happen. It is also likely that your entire lifestyle will change for the better if the focal point of your fitness program is more than beauty. There is really only one way to find out!
About the Author
I am a Fort Lauderdale, Florida based personal fitness trainer.
For the last 12 years of my life physical fitness has helped me
Overcome a great number of obstacles and excel at sports.
For more information about services I offer please visit
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