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"How many of you out there exercise because of the joy it brings you? Conversely, how many of you out there exercise out of obligation, guilt, or dispassionate routine? For many of you visiting my blog, I"d guess that you fall into the latter group (i.e. you exercise, not necessarily because you enjoy it, but because you feel obligated to do so for some desired result). Don"t get me wrong, I think it"s great to exercise because you want to feel and look good. But when exercise becomes part of a tired obligation, or worse, when it becomes a guilt-driven obsession, that is when it might be time to step back and ask yourself, "Why isn"t this fun anymore?"

Physical activity and movement can be fun and fulfilling. After all, we are not built to be sedentary. We are built to move. Being active doesn"t just benefit us physically, but it also helps us thrive mentally and emotionally. Are you in a better mood after some good, positive movement/physical activity? Are you more efficient and effective at home and at work? I"ll bet your answer is yes. So the key is ensuring that your physical activity is a positive and healthy experience, not part of some unhealthy, joyless routine.

Of course, movement and physical activity does not necessarily have to be "exercise," but they can be one in the same. In my experience, many people start exercising from a good place. They are driven to improve their overall health and feel good. They love the way the endorphins make them feel. Or, they feel fulfilled by the sense of achievement that certain forms of exercise can bring. But problems can arise as time goes on, especially when people adopt the mentality that exercise is part of a dieting regime or lifestyle. In these cases where physical activity becomes embedded in your mind as being synonymous with dieting the joy of physical activity and movement is lost. Every step is merely a means to a calorie-losing end. Every time you enter the sliding doors at the gym, it"s "go time" and you are not deviating from your routine no matter what. When you"re done with your workout, and you leave the gym, you don"t feel a sense of joy. Instead, all you feel is a fleeting sense of relief (knowing in the back of your mind that you "have to" do it all again in 24 hours or less)."

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