Are you just giving your body exercise, or training with a purpose in mind?  Although the words exercise and training are often used interchangeably, they are not the same thing! Take your workout to the next level with goals and focus – and train your body to be the best shape it can be.

Think about going to school – do you take classes with no end in mind and no goals, or do you take classes that contribute to a specific end result?  Fitness can be the same way.  Many people go to the gym and go through the motions of exercising, but never have the same mindset as those who go to the gym with long-term goals. Those who are training instead of just exercising have a desired result – and usually have a much greater chance at fitness success.

Training isn’t just for athletes.  When you set a goal that you are passionate about, it motivates you to strive for success.  If you decide to go to the gym every day for no reason other than exercise, it can become boring and seem like a chore.  You can easily justify skipping “just today” or “just this week,” and soon you aren’t exercising at all.  When you decide to train your body with a purpose, you can enjoy the rewards of meeting your goals and feeling successful with your accomplishments!

So how do you begin training?  The most important thing to do is set a goal (or goals), and then create a plan. Do you want to run a marathon?  Make that your goal and make your plan to reach it!  Every exercise you do at the gym will be a step closer to running the marathon: running on the treadmill increases endurance, weight training will build muscles that will increase your stamina, and stretching will help decrease muscle soreness and stiffness.  When you run that marathon, you will know that you were a success because of your hard work and dedication.

Exercise in any form is important, but motivation and desire can drive us to much higher levels.  Sure, walking to your car or cleaning the house can be exercise, as can taking a yoga class or lifting weights, but it is the purpose behind your exercise that matters.  Choose to not just exercise each day, but to teach your muscles to work the way they were meant to, to increase your lung capacity and improve your health, and to work your body and mind toward a common goal!