Finding your fitness Zen

Do you have a purpose for exercising? To take the dread out of working out, it’s all about answering “Why?”

“Baby we were born to run,” echoes through my head and I think to myself, “Today, I am.” I have made time today to go for a run, and I’ve looked forward to this moment all day. However, I confess I have an addiction — a love for numbers and data. I want to know my pace, time, distance, heart rate.

Today, though, I am running without a GPS or fitness tracking device. Today I am running for me.

You see, while knowing your fitness “data” has many good points, it also can become a habit with a dark side. When I think my numbers are terrible, it can be counterproductive. Even if they are only slightly off, they consume me and turn my otherwise pleasant workout into something I dread.

If you can relate, there’s good reason to learn to fall in love with the real reason you are putting in the effort to exercise. To find your purpose for working out, simply ask, “Why?” Why am I doing this? Because it makes me feel good. Because it keeps my stress in check. Because I like to have a “cheat day” that includes pizza. Because it’s the only time in the day I have to myself. Because I need to lose weight for my health. Because … the list could go on and on.

Each day, find time to connect with your “why.”

Releasing myself from the chains of my fitness data has opened my mind rather than confined it. As a marathon runner, I now make it part of my routine to leave technology behind at least once a week and run for my “why”: because I love it.

Go as far, fast or hard as your body is telling you, but also challenge yourself. Listen to your inner self and let that be your guide. Look forward to the days when it’s just you and your thoughts. I guarantee you will take something more meaningful from it and feel a sense of calm and accomplishment when you are finished. And there you will have the answer to your “why.”



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