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  • Writer's pictureMarissa Aiuto

The Secret To Actually Sticking With And Enjoying Exercise

The #1 reason people join gyms is to lose weight.

I often stop and imagine a world where people exercise simply because they enjoy it.

A world where people jump out of bed in the morning excited to move their bodies.

A world where people don’t focus on the numbers of calories they burned, or before and after photos, or the number on the scale as a measure of their fitness progress.

A world where weight loss and changing your body isn’t the driving factor behind working out.

When I ask clients what their relationship with exercise is, they often say, “it’s complicated.”

“Complicated”, because for years they’ve felt like the only purpose of working out was to lose inches off their waist, or get abs, and lose weight.

“Complicated”, because focusing on punishing their bodies at the gym usually made them not want to do it, skip many days in a row, and “fall off the wagon”.

“Complicated”, because using exercise to lose weight never seemed to work, and they always felt that was their fault.

For anyone who needs to hear it: your relationship with exercise doesn’t have to be complicated.

It’s not you, it’s not that you’re not doing enough, it’s not that you haven’t found the right program, it’s not your dedication or willpower.

It’s diet culture making you think that the only purpose of exercise is to lose weight, and ignoring the countless other benefits.

Studies have found that when the main motivation for exercise is losing weight and looking better, people are LESS likely to stick with their exercise programs long term.

That’s why I like to help my clients find the positive exercise benefits, beyond changing their weight, that will help make movement a habit that will stick!

Benefits of Exercise That Have NOTHING To Do With Losing Weight:

  1. Less Stress, Better Moods - Just like Elle Woods said “Exercise gives you endorphins. Endorphins make you happy.” There’s a reason it’s called a “runner’s high” -- but it’s not exclusive to runners, any form of regular exercise can give you this endorphin-release and mood-boost! Research has found that after just 20 minutes of exercise, your body releases endorphins, serotonin, and dopamine (all mood-enhancing chemicals), and those chemicals stick around in your brain for a couple of hours after exercise! How does it happen? When you’re exercising and your heart rate goes up, more oxygen is pumped into your brain and a well-oxygenated brain is much better at managing stress, anxiety and depression.

  2. Clearer Mind, Better Memory - Regular exercise can actually improve your brain function, which means you can finally focus better, and improve your memory Basically what happens is when you move, there’s more blood flow to the brain, which helps reduce inflammation, plus, studies have found that exercise helps create new neurons in the part of your brain that helps with optimizing memory, learning, and emotions.

  3. More Energy, Better Sleep - If you get nighttime “busy brain” like me, exercise can help! Not because you’ll feel burnt out after the workout, but actually just the opposite. We’ve already covered how exercise helps reduce stress and anxiety, but this helps your body feel overall more relaxed and ready for rest/sleep. When you get your heart rate up, your body temperature also goes up which makes you feel more alert and energized throughout the day! Just be sure to give yourself a few hours before bed to bring that heart rate back down, and allow your body temperature to regulate for optimal sleep!

  4. Stronger Immune System - When you workout, your body gets stronger at fighting off illness. Even just 20-30 minutes of exercise is enough to increase blood circulation, lower blood pressure, and reduce inflammation which will help protect your body from infections, viruses, and disease.

  5. Stronger Social Connections - There’s a reason why group fitness classes have exploded in the last few years. It’s rooted in your ‘animal instinct’ is to fit in with a tribe. Spending 45-minutes a week with the people in your spin class can make you feel like you’re part of a tribe. A tribe of like-minded gym-goers that make you feel inspired, supported, and motivated! You’re more likely to show up to class when there’s people you want to show up for, that you’re looking forward to spending time with! And, since everyone in the class is getting a dose of those mood-boosting chemicals, you leave the class on a positive wave-length, which creates stronger connection, a sense of community, and a great platform to build friendships!

  6. Makes You More Confident & Productive - All of the above benefits, like better mood, memory and energy, all add up to being more productive and confident! Besides the feel-good chemical boost your brain and body get from exercise, simply gifting yourself 20-minutes of movement will have you feeling accomplished and motivated to keep the ball rolling in a positive direction throughout your day!

Now that it’s clear that exercise is so important for more than just weight loss, you might be wondering, what exactly is the best workout to reap all of these benefits? I tell my clients that the best workout for you is the one you enjoy, because that’s the one you’re going to stick with. Make it easy! If you hate running, don’t push yourself to go for a

run 3 days/week. What do you enjoy, walking, biking, yoga, strength? Do that! Doing some sort of movement is always going to be better than doing nothing at all.

If you’re ready to move more and take advantage of all of the incredible benefits exercise has to offer you and your body, but you’re not sure how to get started or how to stay consistent, I’d love to support you!

Join me for a free 30-minute food and body freedom assessment call, where we can get clear on what movement is best for you and your body, so you can spend less time stressing over how much exercise is “enough”, and more time using your improved mood, energy, and focus to give to your relationships, your career, your passions and to the life you want to live! Space is limited, book your free call here!

Be Well,


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