What is ONE reason you exercise that has NOTHING to do with the way you look?


Hey AthletaWell Family!


As a physical therapist and having worked with athletes, I see active people recovering from injury and thrown off their usual workout routine due to pain, soreness, etc. SOMETIMES along the way, body image comes into play. I always like to remind people that there are still incredible health benefits of exercise that they may not be able to see, even though what they see may motivate them at times.


I totally get it, I have my up's and down's with where my muscles are at etc. It's been especially hard the last year with minimal gym access (I was stuck at home with resistance bands for close to a year!). BUT I ALWAYS remembered my true "why" of moving" - it makes me feel in control of the amazing potential my body holds, my mood improves, I feel more confident, and most of all, and I know I'm ahead of my health by even doing it at all.  I think drawing attention to this is so important and so grounding because fitness should be a lifestyle. We have a long way to go and have to make this sustainable.


What is 1 single reason you exercise that has nothing to do with your image?


I like to feel like I’m getting stronger

I was JUST thinking about this yesterday, actually. The reason I work out is that I know it's a good thing to do for ME and just ME. It's my time and it's a way to thank my body for all the things it puts up with. Thank you for helping us remember that working out isn't just about losing weight but the mental benefits (which matter more than anything!)

@asparling1986 YES! I know it can be hard for people to find out what's right for them, but man - when you do find it - such a great feeling!

I have a similar experience! @Leada_M @asparling1986 - I often use exercise as a way to reset my mind between activities. I enjoy the physical workout, but the mental reset is so refreshing to me!

I exercise to stay flexible, and reduce pain from arthritis.

Thanks for sharing @JanN!! Flexibility is key.. what are some daily movements you can tell if your flexibility is doing well or you need to work on it? For me if my knees start feeling "tight" i know I need to pay attention to my quad flexibility! 

I don’t really know how to tell.  At the moment, sciatica has me in some pain.  Taichi is helping, but it’s slow.  How do I fioit out?

I love to hear this @jilly ! There is something so encouraging about feeling strong in your body!

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To release stress and anxiety!

YES! @Vanessa did you know a 15 min walk has shown to reduce depressive and anxious symptoms in people? This is real!! 😍

My mental health, Stress relief and keeps my mood upbeat

@ruthiec5 i'm right there with you - my mood is SIGNIFICANTLY better when I get my exercise in... also my food. My friends and family know 😂

Because I know it’s good for me, keeps my heart healthy and I’m able to do everyday activities (hopefully for a long time) as I hold onto this lifestyle. Also former collegiate athlete so I would feel extremely lazy if I spent too much time away from working out.

@Laxergirl9 You have no idea how happy it makes me that you said you're a former college athlete yet still do it for the health benefits. I've seen athletes get sidelined and exercise as a whole part of their identity does too - that is so important for longevity and habit to do this for the right reasons!


I love this question.  I use to look at movement as a punishment for what I ate and I totally disliked going to the gym.  Now I move because it makes me feel mentally and physically well.  When I move first thing in the morning it set my mood for the entire day.  And, I now choose movement that I truly enjoy because I want it to be a forever part of my lifestyle.

This is GROWTH @Margeaux_H !! I've seen people come to this narrative and I'm so THRILLED because our culture has definitely not supported it this much leading up to 2021... the whole "earn your calories" narrative is something I used to fall for too. I'm so happy I reached the lifestyle point like you!! 



You can say that again @Valerie_C !! Maybe a post on "runner's high" without the running is necessary... hm..