Exercise is Therapy
In a world and life full of victories and defeats large and small, exercise is an oasis. It’s an escape that feeds the often unfulfilled human need of many for victory, success, improvement, essentially…accomplishment. In essence, exercise is therapy.
Sometimes humans forget how much a sense of accomplishment can affect us. We walk just a little taller, our chin held a bit higher. Our days are more likely to be filled with anticipation and optimism than dread and pessimism. Our relationships benefit both personally and professionally as our interaction is inherently more positive and uplifting.
It would then make sense that we would pursue opportunities for accomplishment, right? Unfortunately, accomplishments in our professional and personal lives aren’t so easily conquered! Why?
A simple answer is that there are simply too many variables in the equation, too many “moving parts.” For example, accomplishment in a work setting often requires the collaborative efforts of other coworkers. At home, accomplishment can be affected/hindered because of the collective needs, preferences, and involvement of others.
Exercise simplifies the equation. Compared to your professional or personal settings, there are far fewer variables in your exercise environment. Who are you counting on? Just you. Who are you needing to satisfy/please? Just you. Who are you competing against? Just you. Who is responsible for the quality of your effort? Just you.
Most of all, who will be the largest benefactor of your efforts? You.
Exercise offers humans something we need in our lives. Accomplishment. Maybe it’s finishing a 5k for the first time, completing a marathon, breaking a personal record on a lift, or hitting your target bodyweight. The opportunities for accomplishments in exercise are plentiful. It doesn’t matter that you’re not the first person ever to finish a marathon, it’s the fact that there was you before, and now there’s you after. You’re recreating yourself, into someone better.
Recreating yourself as an improved version can be addicting, in a good way. Becoming more addicted to exercise isn’t the worst thing to happen. Sure social media updates about working out and gym “selfies” are definitely on the rise—and can perhaps be perceived as annoying— but are essentially harmless.
Looking around your environment, what are you prioritizing? Is your “addiction” beneficial? Or are your “addictions” and activities sacrificing your health, wasting your time, and/or offering few benefits?
Exercise offers us a great opportunity for individual accomplishment. New to exercise? Make it through a workout! Boom, accomplishment. Try a new class or style of training for the first time and you’re officially exposed to something new. Accomplishment.
Set a personal record for an exercise, accomplishment. Lose a pound of body fat, accomplishment. Do something, anything you couldn’t do before. Accomplishment.
Exercise. It’s addicting. It feels good. It brings accomplishment. It swells your ego, in a good way…mostly. So if you haven’t yet, give it a try.