Why do some of us pay a regular fee per month for a gym membership, spend a small fortune on training attire, hire a personal trainer, take part in group training or push ourselves to the limits expending blood, sweat and tears on regular basis?

Is it down to our wish to feel healthy and live longer or is it all about our desire to look better, whether that be for ourselves or possible suitors?

Over a 2yr period of being a personal trainer I have trained over 100 people and I can count on one hand excluding my pinkie finger and thumb the amount of clients that upon our 1st consultation have said to me that their main aim is to just feel healthier and improve their living. The requests are normally to lose weight and tone up which I would assumingly relate to appearance based goals, correct me if I’m wrong. Now I’m not saying that we are so self obsessed that all we want to do is to be able to look at ourselves in the mirror and literally want to pounce on our reflection but however you want to sugar coat and justify your attendance in the gym, the underlying reason tends to be that of vanity. Now there’re obviously different levels of vanity and some like to go overboard but we all have a bit of that vain self-loving in us and there’s nothing wrong with that. If you don’t love yourself why should anyone else.

As a personal trainer I know the deeper impact of exercise that cannot be seen to the naked eye, such as the chemical and psychological benefits of regularly exercising. The most commonly spoken chemical benefit of exercise is that of the release of endorphins into the body after an intense workout which leaves you feeling exhilarated in the same way as you would after orgasm. Because they are naturally produced by the body, endorphins are possibly the best (and most legal way) to achieve a natural high. Psychological benefits include greater self-esteem, confidence, stress release and improved mental alertness.

My conclusion is that it is more often than not vanity which brings you to the world of exercise in the first place but it’s the health benefits (some of which I listed) which keep you exercising and make that lifestyle change. Simply put they both work together in helping you to become a better you.

Written by Erron Dussard of STONEiMAGE