According to a 2017 list by Statistic Brain, the number one New Year’s Resolution this year is to lose weight. A lot of people will try the tried and true combination of diet and exercise. If you are a regular gym goer you know the month of January is the worst. Classes are always full, it’s hard to find a parking spot and your favorite equipment is always in use by someone else. The good news for regular attenders is that by about February the excitement of the new year will have worn off, and most people will go back to their old habits. Your class, parking spot and equipment will all be available by Feb. 15th.
The bad news is most people don’t stick with it and give up before they start seeing any real results. For years, I was a yo-yo gym goer. It hasn’t always been associated with a new year, but I have certainly had fits and starts with finding a routine that works for me. Two years ago, I purchased a groupon for a local CrossFit gym and I finally found my thing. At that time, I had a 9-month-old, a 23-month-old, a 5-year-old and an 11-year-old. To say life was busy would be an understatement and I was also suffering from some mild depression.
If you are starting to waiver on your New Year’s Resolution or thinking about starting a new exercise routine, let me give you a few other reasons to keep going other than just losing weight.
Exercise Gives You More Energy
Who doesn’t need more energy? You’re a busy mom, wife, friend, entrepreneur, professional, the list can go on and on. I understand sometimes just the thought of exercise can make you feel tired, but if you can get yourself to do it, I promise it will boost your energy. I usually work out in the mornings, and on those days, I am more productive, have more energy and just in general feel better. It also helps me get in bed earlier, because after all that activity, I’m ready for bed by 9:00 even thought I usually don’t get there until 10:00. I have a lot of thoughts on when to work out and finding time, but we will save that for another day.
Boosts your Mood
When I started CrossFit, I was in a low place. I had recently become a stay at home mom, I had two babies under the age of 2, and my hormones were all over the place making me a little on the crazy side. I’m a goal oriented person, and there just wasn’t much in my daily life that was giving me a sense of accomplishment.
I have known for years exercise helps improve my mood, but sometimes when you are in the dumps it is hard to get started. For me, finding a friend to join me helped get me off the couch and hold me accountable for getting there. CrossFit really helps on days when I’m just feeling down or blah. There is something about going into the gym and throwing weight around that makes a girl feel strong and powerful. I set new personal records for myself and I feel really good each time I hit a new milestone. I started hoping to boost my butt with all the squatting, but I got the bonus of lifting my mood too.
Change your body
Let’s be honest, most people exercise to lose weight, but as you get older your weight might not necessarily change, but your body certainly does. I successfully dropped back to my pre-pregnancy weight after having babies, but my body was forever changed. The weight seemed to migrate to certain unfavorable areas. After 2 years of strength training I can feel and see my body changing in good ways. I now have muscle definition in my arms, my butt is tighter and I’m whittling away that muffin top. If I cleaned up my diet a little more I could see even more results but hey, I’m a work in progress.
I know CrossFit isn’t for everyone, nor should it be. If you don’t know what you enjoy, try out different things. There are tons of free work out videos on YouTube you can try. Lots of local gyms offer groupons so you can try out different options for a relatively low investment. Find that thing that works for you and stick with it. Your body will thank you and so will your family.