Reasons For Working Out That Aren’t Weight Loss

We all have our own reasons for working out. And while a large majority might be motivated by weight loss at the start—it doesn’t take long to see the positive effects that regular exercise has on other aspects in our lives.

From improving self-confidence to providing mental focus and resilience, these eight reasons for working out have nothing to do with body weight…

Promote Discipline

Those who find time each day or week to work out are seriously committed and that, my friends, deserves some kudos. Finding time in a busy day jam-packed with work, family, and other personal commitments for a yoga class or a run requires discipline seems impossible.

Establishing this type of consistency in your life takes dedication, the type of dedication that makes you a better employee, friend, spouse, and parent that can be counted on to be there.

Boosts Self-Esteem

You might give the cold side of a downward dog to a yoga teacher that swears exercise is for the body, mind, and spirit. Personally, I found that establishing and reaching exercise goals, just seeing the improvements to my strength, endurance, and energy levels has really boosted by self-confidence. The certainty I’ve established through exercise has shown me that I have the inherent power to set personal goals and strive to reach and succeed at them.

Creates Clarity

We are faced with what seems like thousands of decisions each day—from minor decisions about what to eat to major decisions about our family, finances, and careers. It’s how we tackle these choices that matters most, especially when, for many of us, the most minor of decisions can be extremely stressful.

However, exercise, for me, has brought a certain amount of clarity and focus to my life in the face of decision-making so I no longer feel left floundering or paralyzed. Yoga and meditation, in particular, have taught me to make more definite and confident life decisions without anxiety.

Healthy Self-Awareness

It’s often difficult to look within ourselves critically without doing damage to our self-worth. However, working out (especially yoga), for me, forced me to look within, confront and reward myself for my strengths, and pinpoint and work towards improving my limitations.

This isn’t a negative, disapproving self-examination that leaves me feeling like crap, but a healthy self-awareness that helps me focus on my strengths and put my very best foot forward in other aspects of my life.

Improves Energy

One would think that a sweaty spin class or hot yoga session would leave you whipped out, but it actually does the opposite. Studies solidify that regular exercise releases endorphins, the body’s “feel-good” hormones, which boost mood, lower stress, and improve overall energy levels so you have more vivacity to do the things you love in life.

Balances Hormones

You might not associate stress with hormone levels, but anxiety-induced hormonal fluctuations have negative effects on our mood, self-esteem, and energy levels.  Stress causes the body to emit cortisol and adrenaline.

When the body is under constant stress, these essential hormones can cause major damage –to our sleep patterns, appetites, digestion, decision-making skills, mood, health, and overall outlook on life. However, hormonal balance can be restored when you submit the body to regular forms of physical activity.

Increases Concentration

It’s difficult enough to set specific goals for ourselves. Learning to focus on those goals in the midst of all types of distractions (i.e., social media and peer pressure) can make reaching them seem utterly impossible. However, staring with exercise, even daily walks or yoga, will help improve your focus and tenacity so that you develop the strength required to ignore those minor daily diversions and work towards what’s really important.

Builds Stamina

Life is filled with hardships, unexpected obstacles, and unfair rejections. Yet in the face of financial, personal, or professional difficulties those who have the most emotional and physical stamina will refuse to throw in the towel.

Whether you choose to exercise by training for a race or facing the physical sweat-fest of hot yoga 3 times a week, exercise will build the type of endurance required to overcome almost any emotional or physical challenge that life throws your way.


Emily Lockhart

Emily Lockhart is a certified yoga instructor and personal trainer. She believes that being healthy is a lifestyle choice, not a punishment or temporary fix to attain a desired fitness or body image goal. Anna helps her clients take responsibility for their own health and wellness through her classes and articles on ActiveBeat.