Exercise means many things to many people. For some, exercise still remains a checks and balance for caloric desires. It is a means to an end. A common joke with bikers, is they bike so they can drink a beer after. The joke isn't to far off on why many people exercise and why for many, exercise remains a task to be accomplished, a necessary evil.
"I run because it's the only way I can keep my midsection from getting bigger."
"Running is the only thing that works for me."
"I don't lift, because I'll grow to quickly."
"I workout a lot, because I like to eat a lot."
You hear a lot of things when you work in therapy and strength and conditioning.
Perhaps, exercise still remains in the hero workouts category for you. If you didn't kill yourself, then it wasn't a good workout. If your not super sore the next day, then the exercise didn't really work.
"My abs weren't sore, so I guess my core workout wasn't hard enough."
"I puked, it was an amazing workout."
"It took me fifteen minutes to get off the floor."
Exercise can still be on the other end of the spectrum for some people. I don't need to do any exercise because I have great genes. This category still views exercise as a means to an end, because cosmetic goals are not needed, neither is exercise.
"Luckily, I can eat anything I want and not put on weight, I can thank my Mom's genes for that."
Performance and health can sometimes be viewed on different spectrums when it comes to exercise and training. Working with Pro Athletes as guidance I think one positive and one negative aspect should be considered. First, pros do a great job of building volume. They slow cook the training, to allow their bodies to handle high loads of volume, with out creating tons of soreness. What good does it do to train so hard, that you can't have a quality workout the next day. Training 5-7 days sometimes multiple times a day trumps a few "killer" workouts throughout the week.
This is often the opposite of what we see in the typical gym. Train hard, get really sore, don't train for a few days, or put yourself into a super recovery mode where your energy is low for a day or too.
On the other side, Pro athletes training, you have to realize it is their job to train. You head to a 9-5 job, they train for a sport. After training, recovery is part of their job. Taking a nap, sleeping 9 hours, eating, massage, therapy all that stuff makes up their day. 99% aren't pro athletes, exercise should be life enhancing. You shouldn't need to take the rest of the day to recover.
80-90% of workouts should leave you feeling better when your done then when you started. Lifting weights should make you feel lighter and super charged, not like your joints are going to be sore for 5 days.
Aerobic work should be accomplished so that when your done, your thinking clearer. Your mood is lifted.
"Dad, why did you ride your bike so long that you are to tired to play with me."
"I always get sick for 2-3 days after all my races."
Exercise accomplished great things. Makes metabolic healthy muscle tissue. It creates a healthy vibrant brain. It's our best defense and therapy for depression. It creates better blood glucose control. It makes us more resilient to life accidents. Better odds of not getting some type of dementia. It keeps this human body we have operating at it's best. Makes stronger bones. Stronger blood vessels. Healthier organs. Gives you energy. It's fun. Find your reason. Let's change our perspective from a punishment we do to stay leaner, to a joy that gives more then it takes.
No kid every hated playing at the park. Remember that.