Workout Wednesday: Knowing Your Why

Written By


Expert Reviewed By

Dr. Lauryn Lax, OTD, MS

Dr. Lauryn, OTD, MS is a doctor of occupational therapy, clinical nutritionists and functional medicine expert with 25 years of clinical and personal experience in healing from complex chronic health issues and helping others do the same.

Thrive Life Project 1 | Workout Wednesday: Knowing Your Why



I like alliterations, if you can’t tell.


Workout Wednesday is all about bringing you the best in training and exercise advice, along with some highlights of some of the best of the best places in Austin to mix up your workout routine, try something new and practice the art of self-care through a healthy approach to exercise.


I realize as I write this blog, I write to a pendulum of crowds and interest groups—from those in recovery from eating disorders, to those constantly at war with the scale, to those who love to workout, to those who could care less.


Regardless of where you fall on the spectrum, it is my hope that, through blog posts such as these, that you realize that moving your body is a gift, and expression, of thriving physically in life—whatever that means to you.


Jean Size


It’s not about a number on a scale, an image in the mirror, a size on your jeans’ tag, or a must-do-chore (or else!)…it’s about feeling empowered (and strong) from the INSIDE out, enhancing your health and life in order to do the things you were called to do (outside the gym), and having fun doing whatever it is that moves you—and it may be a variety of things (after all, variety is the spice of life right?!).


You may love setting new Fran PRs in a CrossFit workout, or snatching a barbell over head, or jumping in on a group class at the local gym you go to, spinning in a cycling class, doing Downward and Upward Dogs in yoga class, weight training, dancing, walking at Townlake, playing sports, swimming, running, hiking, biking, rock climbing, doing martial arts—really, the sky is the limit.


Regardless of what it is that moves you, the key to truly having a healthy relationship with training (and/or exercise) is knowing your WHY and WHAT.


For, when we are in check with our goals and our motives to train or exercise (for example: self-care and health-centered, as opposed to ‘beat my body’ or ‘hate my body’)—then training and exercise can truly be a wonderful thing!


Today I pose the questions:


Whats Your Why


Why do you train (or exercise)?

What are you training for?


Have you ever taken a moment to reflect on these? I most certainly have!


Take this scenario, for some food for thought:


Check, check.

So you worked out today.

You can check it off the list of to-dos.

Training, ah, does a body good.


But pause right there.


Have you ever stopped to ask yourself why you train? Why do you workout? And what is your training fulfilling for you, both psychologically and physiologically?


“I train because ______.” Fill in the blank!:


It’s what you’re supposed to do to keep fit and healthy.

My doctor told me to do it to prevent heart disease.

I lead a stressful life and it’s a great de-stressor.

I want to eat whatever I want.

I want to look good naked!

I’m trying to lose inches and pounds.

I want to be strong!

I really am at war with my body.

Because I HAVE to—or else.

Because it’s fun.

I like the social atmosphere.

I want to become more proficient at my Olympic lifts.

I have more energy.

I feel healthier-inside and out.

I’ve always been physically active and loved sports.

And more!


There are a slew of answers that you could put in that blank.


Whatever your reasons, it’s important to know your ‘why’—why you do what you do—in order to get the MOST out of your workout.


If you workout to simply keep active, healthy and fit, then slaving away, training as if you are a professional athlete is not necessarily necessary.


If you train in order to in order to attain a specific goal—then following a specific program, rather than hodge-podging workouts, here and there, one that is focused, will more than likely guarantee you greater success.


If you train to incorporate variety and fun into your daily life and physical activity, then trying various movements and activities throughout the week can be refreshing to a rather ho-hum, boring approach to your workouts.


If you workout to promote better mental and emotional health, then finding something that refreshes you and enlivens you—rather than frustrates you or is mentally taxing—is probably a good route to go.


If you workout to tone up and ‘get that body back’, then skimping out on your regularly scheduled workouts repetitively is not going to get you there very quickly.


Maybe you train for the fun of it, and the social atmosphere…then training alone, or 1:1, is probably not for you for the bulk of your workouts.


Once you know your ‘why’, then ask yourself if what you are doing is working and are the results lasting?


Your ‘why’, your motivations and your outcomes for your training are 100% personal to you! There is NO right and wrong answer.


Ultimately, you are the captain of your ship and your outcomes.


Captain Of Your Ship



I’ve come to realize, if something is not working, it’s time to mix it up.


And that, in and of itself, can be invigorating.




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