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Why Do You Exercise? Is Looking Good Enough?

Kymberly Williams-Evans, MA

FitBlogLA name tag

This personalized Meet and Tweet Greet was Sweet!

“The ultimate goal of working out is to be happy and healthy.” So opened fitness celebrity, Tony Horton of P90X fame at the FitBlogLA Meet and Tweet event I just attended courtesy of Fitness Magazine.

When Tony followed up that comment by reminding us that “one size exercise program does not fit all,” I started to trust his message a bit more. Known worldwide for his high intensity, high impact, high energy exercise programs, Tony was the last person I expected to advocate for moderation, caution, and mental flexibility. Yet here he was spreading the word that “our goal as fitness professionals and (healthy living) bloggers is to get more people into the movement game” while getting our ego out. He admitted up front that his program, or ANY high intensity workout is right for some, but not all. As baby boomers, we might want to go all out, but if our joints don’t agree, then we’re wise to modify. I, for one, am neither happy nor healthy when I push too hard and increase my knee pain. Sure, I love the benefits intense workouts offer, but not if I suffer long term.

Stick with me as I share a few more quotes and key comments from Tony’s talk on “The New Way to Work Out” that may elevate your happiness and healthiness levels! (For more on the effect your reasons for working out matter so much, also read our post Why You Want to Lose Weight Affects Your Success.

Why Do You Work Out?

Kymberly at FitBlogLA pool

Being strong enough to wear new outfits makes me happy!

What gets you into the movement game? Why do you exercise? If you are like most people I have taught and met in fitness classes over the last 34 years on 4 continents and online, you work out to … wait for it … wait for it… look better. You may also want to feel better, to live longer, to think more cogently — or reap a zillion other benefits that movement offers. But looking better continues to pop up as reason numero uno. If we ask ourselves why we want to look better, what lies beyond? To do what? To be what? To get what? I think Tony nailed it that we really seek a level of happiness. Oh Yes, I firmly believe active people are happier people.

What Scary Activity Will You Try?

Snowboarding in Lake tahoe

Not Yet Going Scary Fast

“Do scary things that won’t kill you,” challenged Tony, himself a baby boomer. What physical activity have you thought about doing that scares you a bit? For me, it was learning to snowboard. Going downhill fast still scares me. Doing plyo jump squats scares my knee into “cap” – tivity. Get it? Ha ah aha My sense of humor scares others, but not me.

Do You Prioritize Skill Over Number, Amount, Duration, Speed, Flash and Flair?

“Focus on getting better as opposed to going through the motions.” Tony’s emphasis on form and technique over pushing hard and damn the torpedoes was a welcome message I hope you take to heart. And to the gym. Doing more bad reps does not give you better results. Better form gets you to your happy place. In fact, your body will change when you focus on skill. Well, your body will change regardless (thanks again menopause!), but we’re talking changing for the better with mindful movement.

Remember the mantra from our post, Reducing Obesity — What Does and Doesn’t Work: Move More: Sit Less and you will be on your way to more happiness. Don’t Worry; Be Happy (Thanks Bobby McFerrin for getting that tune stuck in our heads).  Feel free to leave answers to the questions in our post down in the comment section.

Got an event that could use a twin pack of movement and great fitness info?

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About Fun and Fit

Get practical exercise advice, your fitness questions answered, and cutting edge health edu-tainment that is accessible and doable from long time fitness experts, Kymberly Williams-Evans, MA and Alexandra Williams, MA. We have taught on land, sea, and airwaves for 3 decades on 4 continents. From writing to speaking, emceeing to hosting a radio show, reviewing products to teaching classes, we believe that little steps turn into big paths. Move a little more than the day before. FitFluential Ambassadors and award-winners both online and off.

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12 Responses to Why Do You Exercise? Is Looking Good Enough?

  1. Aqiyl Aniys October 24, 2013 at 6:21 am #

    I exercise to make my body strong so it can do what I want it to do. I also exercise to support my health. I love being healthy and having a stronger body, they keep my energized.
    Aqiyl Aniys recently posted..Medjool Dates NutritionMy Profile

  2. Nicki Anderson October 24, 2013 at 7:51 am #

    I was not a Tony fan until reading this. Mainly because his workouts have hurt a lot of people, but like he shared, “Don’t do something that will kill you.” For many his workouts are too strenuous for beginners and many beginners were jumping on the PX90 bandwagon. That said, seeing that he’s a boomer too, he’s likely realizing exercise comes in all different sizes and shapes and yes, not one size fits all.

    Thanks for this post!
    Nicki Anderson recently posted..Don’t let good health trump intelligenceMy Profile

  3. Kim October 24, 2013 at 12:15 pm #

    I’ve been a big fan of Tony Horton (even though he is a total goof on his DVDs!) for years. I don’t think he ever planned for complete beginners to try P90X and certainly not P90X2 – they are challenging and not for everyone.
    I workout to try and be the very best version of myself I can be. And I like the way it makes me feel.
    Kim recently posted..Some Thoughts Are Better Left UnsaidMy Profile

    • KymberlyFunFit October 26, 2013 at 1:25 am #

      I was not a big fan, but a big skeptic until I heard him speak in person. He’s quite funny and personable. More to the point, he advocated form over number or ego. Not sure whether he planned for beginners to do P90X but he did say he thought they could handle the intensity as long as they modified.
      KymberlyFunFit recently posted..Six Amazing (and Possibly Gross) Health Future TrendsMy Profile

  4. Jody - Fit at 55 October 24, 2013 at 3:34 pm #

    What a great post & oh so true!!!!! I want don’t have the need to ski or snowboard downhill fast but I would love to snow shoe & snow glide but no $$ for any of that right now. If I ever move to the cold, I am doing that! :)

    As for prioritization & form & all that great stuff – YES!!!! So about that! I see too many in the gym doing crazy heavy weights, hurting themselves & not getting results either!
    Jody – Fit at 55 recently posted..Would You Buy This? What Motivates You to Buy? A Message to All You Magazines/Advertisers Out There!My Profile

  5. Yum Yucky October 25, 2013 at 9:29 am #

    In the beginning, it was all about wanting to look good. But now exercise truly makes me happy since I’ve found my lane with the activities that work for me, which includes NEVER doing any form of pure steady state cardio. It bores me.

    Sidenote: That pic of you by the pool. My sinister mind envisioned a faulty bolt on that railing which would plunge you into the pool. Stop living so dangerously!!! You’re scaring me. O_O
    Yum Yucky recently posted..Greedy Recipe! Easy Butternut Squash SoupMy Profile

    • KymberlyFunFit October 26, 2013 at 1:14 am #

      Not to worry Yum Yucky as I waited until I was done with the pic to loosen a bolt. Just thinking of the next person who might want to choose a scary activity. Thoughtful, eh? If you want, I will do your steady state cardio for you as I do like it.
      KymberlyFunFit recently posted..Move Your Body to Improve Your BrainMy Profile

  6. Al Green October 30, 2013 at 11:33 am #

    Looks like I’m part of the crowd who works out to look good. That is only part of it and thankfully a small part.

    I find that working out makes me feel great. It releases stress and can turn a bad day into a good one. That’s why I try to workout in the morning, but that sleep thing get in the way of that most times. Lol.

  7. Shannon Gosney November 27, 2013 at 9:57 pm #

    I was at that event too and it was so much fun! Did we meet?
    Shannon Gosney recently posted..Holiday Gift Guide: Disney’s “Planes” on Blu-ray & DVDMy Profile

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