Do You Need to Rebrand Your Exercise?

Greetings from the tiredest bookbinder you know. I’ve spent the entire week either zipping about West Tennessee, Eastern Arkansas, and Kentucky (the K-Y state) or doing paperwork or visiting Memaw during a brief hospital stay. In short, I iz pooped!

yorkshire-terrier via pixabay

dramatic reenactment

I actually like doing the bookbinding training and wouldn’t mind doing something like it full time. (Well, my version of full time, which is 25 hours a week.) I’d enjoy it a lot more if *I* was in control of the schedule and could lay it out in a more logical and efficient way. But I’m not, so I must deal with it.

But none of that is the point of this post, so I’ll move on.

Despite my fatigue, I did notice an interesting article on Yahoo Shine late last night (it doesn’t happen that often these days, so it woke me right up!): Are You Working Out for the Wrong Reasons? it [sic] Might Be Holding You Back.

The basic premise of the article is that one of the reasons many of us have problems sticking to exercise programs is because we’re too highly focused on scale numbers and appearance as motivators. I’ll let you click over to read the full article, but this little bit sums it up nicely:

Scientists have found that the more we focus on our weight or appearance, the less likely we are to succeed at our fitness goals. That’s because, for the most part, we focus on appearances to please others. Successful exercise motivations, on the other hand, are those that are intrinsic, focusing on benefits that are felt solely by the person performing the activity. These include reducing stress or enjoying a sport. Women with these intrinsic goals work out more often, stick to a routine and reap the most rewards, including lower overall body fat and improved health. In contrast, women who work out to lose weight or get fit-extrinsic motivators with the ultimate goal of impressing others-tend to be flakier about their workout regime, don’t exercise as often and tend to have higher BMIs and lower self-esteem.

The researchers cited earn a strong “Amen!” from me! But you already knew that, because I’ve been yakking about it for five years. I can’t help it. This shift in focus, or “rebranding”, helped me appreciate exercise for the physical and the mental and the emotional and the spiritual rewards and profoundly changed my life. Yes, I do use exercise to help manage my weight, but I depend on exercise to keep me sane and reasonably calm.

I’m going to go out on a little bit of a limb here, because I’ve never tested this and really don’t care to, but if I found out tomorrow that exercise wouldn’t burn a single calorie, I’d still do it. Enthusiastically, even. (I’d still be disappointed a little over that calorie thing, though.)

Lifting weights make me feel stronger and fills me with a sense of accomplishment. It also enables me to do many household chores (gutter cleaning, lawn work, painting, etc.) that I used to depend on other$ to do.

Walking relaxes and energizes me at the same time. It allows me time to sort through my thoughts and quiet my mind. It also saves me from having to find a parking place at Kroger on a Saturday afternoon.

Cycling, when I do it, is another way I clear my mind and boost my mood. I find it difficult to be cranky when I’m riding my bike. (Except, of course, in the hottest parts of summer.)

Rollerblading…well, that didn’t happen. Or it did happen, but only for about a half a block. It did serve the purpose of making me laugh, though, so it was good for something! :)

I exercise because it just plain feels good, and that’s why I’ve done it almost every day for over six years. In the past, I approached it only as a weight loss tool, and when the scale didn’t show the results I wanted, I lost interest in doing it.

Exercising for better living: I like this brand better. :)

Okay, time for this bookbinder to get some sleep. Tomorrow’s trip starts at 5:00 a.m., so I need to get some sleep! Needless to say, my reader is overflowing. You can’t even know how much I’m looking forward to catching up this weekend!

10 thoughts on “Do You Need to Rebrand Your Exercise?

  1. This says what I thought about this week. I have been exercising on the home elliptical machine for a few weeks now and find the challenge of building minutes to be wonderful. I have not measured inches, the scale doesn’t seem to be moving and I am feeling a difference. My friends say my weight is going down (not) but that indicates to me that my weight is definitely redistributing.

    I decided to gain the benefits of exercise for its own sake. I plan to start adding in some weight training today or tomorrow (need to come up with a routine and schedule) and after a few weeks of this add in Yoga, too.

    I feel better when I exercise and I want to eat healthier as a result of feeling better. Funny how it all goes hand in hand and sometimes making one change can lead to another.

    • That’s fantastic, Cathy! We might be twinsies, because I totally get the excitement of building minutes. Even maintaining minutes (or reps or laps) is contagious. I love paging through the pages of my daily planner and seeing the consistency of exercise days in there. I wish you great success in building your own program; it looks like you’re off to a great start!

      I wonder if we carry ourselves differently when we exercise regularly and that changes our appearance. Maybe we stand a bit straighter, hold our chin(s) a bit higher, exude a bit more confidence, etc., and that translates to feeling and appearing slimmer. I dunno, but it might explain why certain people started calling me ‘Slim’ about 15 minutes after I started this plan. :)

  2. I agree – I would still bike tomorrow even if I knew it wouldn’t burn any extra calories, although I might have to forgo the cupcake…

  3. While I REALLY need the extra calories to combat my sweet tooth, I too would still exercise even if calories didn’t count. I actually feel addicted to it. On a day I don’t get my activity in, I feel much more run down than when I’m on the elliptical several times a day. Gimmie my exercise endorphins!

  4. I actually love working out – hard to believe but I rarely workout in training or to lose weight or change anything about my appearance. I just can’t imagine not working out!!

  5. You’ve put into words what I’ve been meandering into the last few months. I’ve had to change the way I approach exercise. It has more purpose these days, beyond burning calories and clearing my head. I need it to keep my joints from getting stiff, to strengthen specific muscles in my legs and arms so I can continue to perform everyday tasks like drying my hair or even walking without too much pain. If it burns calories, that’s great, but I agree with you…I do it because I enjoy it, especially the results, which are feeling as “normal” as I can.

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