Why we exercise | TheUnion.com

Why we exercise

So, you’re in the process of making a life-changing decision, one that will have an impact for the rest of your days if you follow through. This new decision will affect not only you, but family, friends and co-workers … if you follow through. As someone who has built a life on exercise, let me share with you in the words of our gym members about why we exercise.

We are the ones you see in the gym as you drive to work in the morning or on your way home at night. You see us on the hiking trails, the ski hill and the back roads riding our bicycles. We are a mixed lot; men, women, young and old, rich and poor, business executives and dishwashers. When we enter the gym, those labels drop away and we become part of one big family. It is one of the few places on earth where one can find that kind of experience – and it makes me proud.

We go for many reasons – each with our own personal commitment. Some are trying to shed a few pounds, others to build muscle, lower blood pressure or return health and function to our bodies.

We have cancer survivors, people with diabetes, and athletes. Life has a way of placing many burdens on our shoulders, but when we change from our street clothes to our gym attire, many of those burdens slip away for a time.

We see familiar, friendly faces at the gym. We encourage others on their journey and they in turn encourage us. We welcome the new faces we see by sharing our experience and knowledge.

I would be less than truthful if I said it was always easy. Some days, the swirl of life makes it hard to show up at the gym. The alarm clock that goes off too early in the morning or the work day that lasts long past quitting time.

Sometimes it is easier to close our eyes and stay in bed or turn left towards home instead of right towards the gym. We have felt that way too. But, we put our baggage on the shelf, our feet on the floor when the alarm sounds, and turn right more often than we turn left. Every time we follow through, the baggage becomes lighter and the mind and body become stronger. We move toward a better, healthier, more fulfilling life.

You are, to use the expression of the day, at a tipping point. It may seem easier at this point to simply tip back into your old routine that you have been living up until now. If you are at the tipping point, then I have one question for you. What brought you to this point?

Don’t answer just yet. Sleep on it. Mull it over for a few days. But please, please, please know this … we have all been right where you are now. We understand the difficulties of life that have caused you to drive by us day after day. We just want to say that there is a better way, a healthy fulfilling journey and it begins with a single step. We hope you take it.

Mike Carville is a NASM/RKC-certified personal trainer and co-owner of South Yuba Club in Nevada City (SouthYubaClub.com) and Monster Gym in Grass Valley (MonsterGyms.com). Contact him at mikec@southyubaclub.com.

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