Original photo courtesy Unsplash
What’s the most elusive fitness ideal that exists? Is it 6-pack abs, nice shoulders, or “thigh gaps” (just plain dridiculous)? Nope, it’s motivation to move that will last a lifetime.
That’s a tricky one for even the fittest person. Striving for those physical benefits of fitness aren’t bad things, but they can keep a person motivated for only so long. What happens when just moving is a challenge and just staying active is the goal, or you enter a different season in your life and those physical goals are no longer as important to you?
I recently started thinking about why I exercise and it got me thinking about deeper motivations beyond the physical aspects of fitness, the resilient people I have trained, and my family and relatives who are struggling with chronic health problems.
When it all comes down to the wire, what keeps people moving? When moving gets hard and just waking up every day seems difficult, some people still manage to scrape together the courage to stay active day after day. What keeps me moving through stress, pain, life chaos and health uncertainties? A common theme in all of this is being grateful.
That might seem like an odd way to stay motivated, but being grateful is the best way to actually enjoy fitness and make it a priority for life. Let me explain:
Movement and health are gifts that many people don’t have. Many people can’t run, swim, or hike because of poor health, disabilities, and cancer. For some, just walking across the street would be a luxury. We often take movement and good health for granted until it slips through our fingers, then we wonder where it went.
I have trained many clients with chronic health problems like MS, rheumatoid arthritis, and fibromyalgia, and one of the things they miss is being able to do the activities once enjoyed. Savor each moment and be grateful for the little things like being able to walk, because for someone else, that is a BIG thing!
Tomorrow is not promised to us, and we never know how long our good health will last. We should be grateful for every day we wake up! I want my days to be full and I don’t want to miss out on life. I have been having health issues lately that get me discouraged and pain that makes it hard to stay active, but I am grateful I still have good health when I see what people around me are struggling with. And that keeps me moving 🙂
Be Grateful: movement and good health are gifts