Many people start working out for various reasons….to lose weight, to fit into a pair of pants, to train for an event, to lower health risks, because their doctor told them to… all great reasons, but do these reasons KEEP people working out?
When I sold gym memberships, we would always ask prospective members WHY they wanted to start working out now? Can you guess what the most common answer was?
To lose weight.
It is a good reason, no doubt, to start working out! But if that is the only reason that a person starts exercising, then doesn’t it make perfect sense that when they meet that goal and lose the weight, that they don’t really have to continue working out? I mean, logically, we know that they might gain the weight back if they don’t exercise, but the goal was not, “to live a healthy, active life”, the goal was “to lose weight”. So if a person’s whole purpose of joining the gym or starting a fitness program was to drop 10 pounds, and then they do, then the mission was accomplished, right?!
I think most people’s goal is to commit to a fitness program long term, but it is easier said than done!
When someone came into the gym that I worked at and said they needed to lose weight or they needed to workout because their doctor told them to, it was almost an easy sale. “Well, Mrs. Smith, we have just what you need to make that happen: fitness classes, circuits, treadmills, personal trainers, etc., and if you start today, I will set you up with a free consultation with a trainer and waive your enrollment fee.”
Mrs. Smith is signed up and ready to work out and lose that weight. Mission accomplished all around, right? Not really.
For one, Mrs. Smith (who is made up, by the way) most likely joined because she felt she had to, not because she wanted to.
For two, as a sales person, I sold her on the gym (which is my job), but I did not really do her any service. She did not leave the gym thinking this is a life change, this is the first step to the rest of a healthier, happier life. She left the gym thinking it is a great gym, but I did not sell Mrs. Smith on HERSELF.
And finally, Mrs. Smith probably has no clue what to do in the gym, and the fact that she joined is such a big accomplishment that she is not rally even thinking about a plan to actually make these changes in her life, long term.
If I still sold gym memberships, I would definitely do it differently. I would sell people on themselves! They can and will change their lives because there are so many wonderful reasons to exercise! And there are so many wonderful reasons that have nothing to do with someone telling you what to do or your outward appearance.
I work out because I know my body needs to move
I work out because I feel so much better when I am done
I work out to live longer
I work out to avoid doctors and drugs
I work out so I can kick someone’s butt if I had to
I work out so I can participate in activities
I work out because I LIKE to
I work out because it is amazing what the human body can do and accomplish
I work out because I want to set an example
I work out to be a better version of myself
I work out so I have energy
I workout so I sleep better
I work out because it makes me happy
I work out because I am lucky enough to be ABLE to!
Why do YOU work out?