Stop saying exercise is selfish [it's not]

Exercise is [not] selfish

I hate hearing this phrase, "exercise is selfish". I hear it in podcasts, from athletes, from athlete's significant others, on Facebook... ugh, too many places. What is wrong with people. Does everyone need a guilt complex about doing something nice for themselves?

Maintaining your mental and physical health is not selfish. Working to make yourself a better person is not selfish. Spending time on YOU is not selfish. Stop letting people shame you because you enjoy to swim, bike, or run (or do whatever other sports and exercise) as part of your daily and weekly routine.

Exercise is healthy

In most forms, exercise is really, really good for you. Exercise has been shown to help reduce stress, anxiety, blood pressure, and a host of other bad things. It can help to revitalize a person who needs a healthier addiction.

I come from a family with plenty of addiction issues (and who doesn't?). Exercise has saved me from going down the wrong path more times than I can count. It's such a healthy release compared to so many other alternatives.

The goal of performing exercise is to be a better, healthier person. People exercise to lose weight, to rehab an injury, and to literally live longer. Exercise helps you live longer, people. But, no, you should totally not exercise because you just want to die earlier in life ;)

Exercise is good for mental health
Give your brain some love!

Mental health.

It's more than just physical. Your mental health and stability is vital for you to focus as a normal human being on a day-to-day basis. By exercising you're able to better balance your hormones and gain different perspectives you wouldn't otherwise have the opportunity to find.

Being mentally healthy and fit is essential to being a good parent, partner, spouse, or friend. You can't continue giving helpful advice and being that shoulder to cry on if you're too mentally beat down. Exercising helps people work through that fog. Once you gain your person fulfillment you're able to give more back.

How many times have you heard or read some one say they "need to go for a run to clear their head"? That's not selfish, it's helpful and smart!

Exercise is good for you.

Yes it is. Running is healthy. Swimming is healthy. Lifting weights is healthy. Everyone can over do-it from time to time but the general idea is that moving heavy things and forcing your body into challenging aerobic situations is, over-all, a good thing. After all, you can't grow if you don't do anything to expand.

And expanding is what exercise is all about. Expanding your horizons on what you're capable of. Learn to grow as a person by doing something that challenges you physically. How can any of that be selfish?

Exercise is so good for you that it's prescribed by doctors. Exercise is part of school curriculum!

No really runs alone in a race!

But its selfish to run a marathon or train for an Ironman.

No it's not. It's not selfish to do the things you enjoy, hopefully with a heap of moderation at times. But maybe moderation isn't your thing and you have different priorities than others, so what. Be your own person.

Just because you have kids doesn't mean your life is on hold too. I've coached so many people over the years with incredibly demanding jobs, who have families and tons of responsibilities in life. They still train for triathlons and more. By being able to express themselves through exercise they're able to be better people for those around them. Plus, everyone needs a release from the stresses of daily life.

Taking care of yourself is not selfish.

It's smart to make sure you have some "me" time. If you give all of your time to others how can you possibly have anything left to give to yourself? You're just going to run out of steam if you keep giving your energy away to others without doing anything to replenish.

So, no, exercise is not selfish. Can someone make it selfish? Well of course. People can figure out how to make anything selfish, that doesn't make the act is inherently selfish. Besides, just tell people THEY are being selfish for not wanting you to exercise!

It's all about that balance.

At the end of the day it's a balance.

You have only so much to give to all of the things that require your attention in life. If you can find a way to see to all your things and still exercise then you're good to go. Sometimes you won't get to everything so you can still exercise, that's OK too! No one gets everything done all the time. That's life.

So go exercise and make today a good day :)

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Nick Brodnicki

March 16, 2021