There's no doubt that exercise promotes a bunch of health benefits, and that doing something is way better than doing nothing. The very fact that regular exercise can improve insulin sensitivity, lower blood pressure in the long term, help with body composition and help our brains grow new neurons is surely a good enough reason to do it. And it probably is but I'm not thinking of any of these things on the days that I train.
My overarching compulsion to train is to lift my mood. You ask anyone who knows me and they'll tell you that I'm not someone who naturally radiates joy, excitement or enthusiasm. It's not that I'm a miserable bastard it just seems my emotional spectrum range is somewhat muted.
I'm not Mr. Animated
So one way to lift my mood is to push myself to train. Worth noting here is that I'm not motivated to train most days, but I do it. There is a distinction between motivation and discipline and yes the two can overlap, but it's discipline that will help you 99 times out of 100. I'm NEVER motivated to have a ice bath or cold shower either but I possess enough discipline (or sadism) to just get it done.
Some days I'm really not up for it and on these occasions I double down on myself. I never let myself off the hook on those days, but rather, curate a workout that is harder than I would have had to do if I was feeling up for it. It's perhaps a perverted attitude but the outcome is I train and I train regularly - enough that I can elicit the physiological responses I mentioned at the start of this blog but again, I'm never thinking about this stuff at the time. My only thought is 'this is going to make me feel better"
My secondary compulsion to train is to allow me to eat more during my day. I love food...who doesn't right!? So on days that I've trained my internal furnace burns brighter meaning I can consume more food. The harder I train the brighter it burns, it's a phenomena known as EPOC and in short, it means I don't get burdened, (as much), with my internal negative chatter about greed, gluttony, and body image. I can eat without the guilt.
So there it is folks, I've never trained to improve my insulin sensitivity or cholesterol but merely to feel better for the day and to eat more. Simple, yet utterly effective for me.
I never wait to feel motivated to move as the likelihood is that motivation won't make its face known so I have to rely of discipline and the grunt of dragging my ass to do something. Anything!
Something is always better than nothing!
"Even when all is known, the care of a man is not yet complete, because eating alone will not keep a man well; he must also take exercise. For food and exercise, while possessing opposite qualities, yet work together to produce health.” Hippocrates