"I need to go to the gym tonight because I need to lose five pounds."
"I have to work out so my summer body is ready."
How many times have you heard these phrases, or variations of them, uttered? Oftentimes, people tend to frame exercising in terms of weight loss; they may even see weight loss as the only real motivation for working out. Some people genuinely enjoy working out, building muscle mass, and participating in fitness classes, but for everyone else, working out can seem like an obligation just to lose weight or keep weight off. However, the sole focus of exercising shouldn't just be losing weight.
Exercising offers many benefits beyond just weight loss or keeping fit. Exercise can help to combat health conditions and diseases, such as type 2 diabetes, can reduce stress, and even help you sleep better. Losing weight is not all that exercising can do for you, and exercising goes beyond just benefiting your physical health.
I have recently gotten into a habit of working out regularly, but not because I'm trying to lose weight or get fit. I have found exercise to be great for stress relief; when I'm upset, stressed, or feel like I have energy I need to burn, going to the gym does the trick. Exercising also allows me the chance to relax and have some "me time;" it's just me and some tunes, with no outside distractions.
Even if you do not need to lose weight or feel you can stay in shape without exercise, exercise anyways. Find a workout that's enjoyable for you and do it on a regular basis. Know that even if you aren't basing your workout on results such as weight loss, you are still helping both your physical and mental health, now and later in life.