Why do I exercise?

Good news - I have been cleared to start running! I've got to go slow and short to start with but at least I can get out there again! 

Being forced to not run and modify what other exercises I can do  made me realise how much I really enjoy my normal exercise routine - I've been seriously missing it! I don't think I've ever wanted to run more and Strava and Instagram have been giving me serious envy of everyone getting their miles in!

So other than just because I enjoy it (which should always be your number one reason for doing anything), below are my top five reasons to exercise. 

1. To feel fitter and stronger  

I never realised what being fitter and stronger could do for your self image (and I don’t mean looks!). Being able to do something which I couldn't previously and the progression makes me feel like a ninja! (FYI - I would be totally awful on Ninja Warrior!) I tried a handstand press-up a little while back and whilst my arms were only bent slightly (you may have needed a magnifying glass to see it!) the fact that I tried it and didn't fall on my face made me feel incredible!  

2. To get outside! 

The majority of my training is outside and I personally just couldn’t imagine being stuck in a sweaty gym! For my job I’m pretty at my desk all day, every day. And before I got into fitness, the majority of my evenings would pretty much be spent inside too! But going outside and getting fresh air does amazing things for your mind! Although yes it does mean you're at the mercy of the British weather! 

3. Do to something for yourself! 

This could actually be anything so isn’t limited to exercise. But having something for yourself again is brilliant for your mind and also gives you something to talk about. Not many other people I know go out and run through mud for fun or leap from buildings*, so this is definitely something which makes me uniquely me! 

* Ok so maybe I don't actually leap from buildings, but when I say "parkour" this is what people imagine so I'm just going to go with it!

4. To explore! 

Since I started running I’ve been to places that are right on my doorstep or not too far away which are absolutely beautiful, but I had never been to! I'm lucky enough to have beautiful beaches and coastlines and countryside all within easy reach but I hadn't made the most of this and so running encourages me to explore! I like to mix up my routes and even if it's just a road run it's always nice to find nice little areas which would otherwise evade me! (I'm one of those people that when I'm driving I only know one route to anywhere and pretty much stick to it - so I get all adventurous when I'm running!!!) 

5. For my mind set 

This one has become particularly apparent since I haven't been running or doing parkour - I've realised how much more positive and generally brighter in myself when I'm being active! I'm generally not good at  being in my own company, and although I prefer running with friends, running on my own is good too! Maybe it's just the happy endorphins that come after a good workout but I believe it's having time to think and/or totally switch off that running provides - whatever it is running definitely makes me a happier person (even though I don't always feel like running).

However, there's one reason I'm missing above and I hadn't even realised until someone said it at circuits. Their reason for exercising is quite simple - to stay alive! In a world where aesthetics seems to be so heavily attached to exercise, it's quite easy to over look the one simple reason anyone should want to exercise - to stay healthy!  

And you may have noticed that no where above didn't I mention aesthetics! I personally believe that is the wrong mindset as a reason to exercise and any changes to your body should just be a side effect! Does that mean I’m confident in my appearance - hell no! But I am fully against believing you need to punish yourself through exercise or use exercise as a way to "earn" food. 

I've slightly struggled to verbalise what I mean in this post and the exact reasons but I hope you managed to follow my ramblings. Basically running is just good! 
So find whatever your reason is to make you stick at something, whether that be running, fitness or something totally different!