Do Your Workouts Own You?

Humans are funny creatures.  We’re the only ones who pursue exercise intentionally. The rest of nature is active to the end of satisfying a need…shelter, hunger, survival, or simply for play.  It is through modern conveniences, such as fully stocked grocery stores and housing pre-built for us, that we’ve evolved to look at exercise as something we aspire to do in order to alter our body composition or state of health.

As a Fitness Professional, I certainly take a pro-exercise stance. However, I encourage you to be fully engaged in the process. We are most successful in maintaining life-long habits when we are clear with our intentions and incorporate joy into our daily activities. Why do you choose to exercise? To narrow this further, why are you engaging in specific activities and how did you decide on the schedule or frequency?

Visualize this exercise spectrum. At one end we have the person who is not engaged in purposeful physical activity. At the other end, is someone so committed to their exercise regimen the very idea of missing a workout stresses them out. Do you recognize either of these people? Maybe you’ve filled these shoes yourself.

Think about hobbies you’ve enjoyed in the past or have considered pursuing. Maybe you used to enjoy hiking, but your knees started bothering you. Soon, your boots were spending more time at home than on the trail.  On a recent sunny day, have you admired families biking together, wishing you could do the same?

Exercise can serve a much a deeper purpose in our lives than simply helping us fit into our skinny jeans or making a doctor happy. What if we pursued physical activity with the intent of hiking, biking or playing basketball again without pain or feeling out of breath? What if the side effects of all our time in the gym were more fun in our leisure time with family and friends and no longer needing blood pressure lowering medication or being a Type II Diabetic?

I believe in making life choices that reflect our individuality. Live purposefully, with passion and intent, making the most of your time in this life. As we honor and cultivate our uniqueness, we create a positive cycle that cannot help but infect every aspect of our lives. A happier you carries through to your family, workplace, and all who cross your path.

I know first-hand that feeling owned by the workout is no fun.  It was almost comical when I recognized how counter-productive it was to get stressed-out because life got in the way of a planned exercise session. Aligning my personal goals of being happy, healthy, and fit with my desire to experience and enjoy life have been like connecting the dots to create a picture of me.

I’d love to hear if you’ve found yourself moving along this exercise spectrum and how you’ve connected your own dots to take ownership of the role of exercise in your life. Use the Share Your Thoughts box at the bottom of the page to let me know your experience. If you’ve enjoyed reading this, please help me grow my audience by sharing this post, or simply clicking the “like” button to show your support!

To Your Best Health,


About Autum's FITNESS 4U

I love all things health-related and have a special passion for dancing, hiking, traveling, and creating memories! I am grateful to have an amazing husband, family and friends to share this life with.
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6 Responses to Do Your Workouts Own You?

  1. Amy says:

    Loved this post, Autum! Funny, Andrew and I were just discussing something similar at lunch today. Certainly a paradigm shift that aligns well with a paleolithic lifestyle to incorporate ‘play’ in activity. I must say, with your class, I am enjoying the process. The support in there is invaluable!

    • I’m so glad to hear this, Amy! If we’re not enjoying the process, we really are missing out, in so many ways. I am fully confident that you, Andrew, Abigail and A.J. will be wildly successful at incorporating play into your lives. Dance Central is calling our names! 🙂

  2. Suzanne LeMere says:

    Funny, there was a point in my life that I adopted that mentality (where I was working out to get in shape to do the things I enjoyed doing–like hiking, biking and skiing). Eventually I gave it all up and I’m not sure why. I think I got bored because I only hiked one trail and didn’t try very many others. Plus, it was a long drive to get to the trail and it wasn’t always easy finding someone who wanted to go hiking with me (not to mention the adverse weather). I gave up biking when I sold my truck and no longer had a way to transport my bike to places I wanted to go biking. Finally, I donated my bike to charity. I still have my skis. I would love to ski again. Thanks for putting things back into prospective for me.

  3. seattlesamba says:

    Yes, yes, yes…a great topic for you to bring up, and very well addressed! I’ve definitely been there, where it’s almost “comical” that I’m stressed out because I’m missing a workout (the ultimate irony!). I was also once 1/2 hr late to a friend’s wedding because I had to finish a run, and a few similar not-to-be-admitted incidents. In the last few years, injuries have helped to put things in perspective for me. Now, I’ve recovered from the injuries and am back to doing intensive gym workouts, but I’m also doing less-intensive, more simply human/enjoyable/social, version of a workout: for example, borrowing a friends’ dog for a long walk, or taking a walk with a friend to catch up on our lives (not a “power walk”!).

    As it turns out, the owner of the dog I’ve borrowed for several years now has cancer and is weak from chemo, so I’m now walking his dog 3-4x a week. Knowing that his dog is getting a good workout gives my friend real peace of mind in the middle of his struggles, which makes it all much more meaningful. So, even more these days, I’m grateful that I’ve been able to approach physical activity with a more balanced perspective.

    Thanks for another great post, which helps reinforce my journey in the direction of not being “owned” by my workouts. For those of us who love to work out, it can be a real challenge!

  4. Katie Huntzinger says:

    Autumn, you’re just so awesome! Thanks for sharing and inspiring us!

  5. Thanks for sharing! Keep the comments coming. 🙂

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