This article originally featured on Sixty and Me

Is weight loss the goal of your exercise routine, and what are the other benefits of moving your body?

Why Do We Exercise?

In truth, people exercise for various reasons. Some do it to feel good. For others, the purpose is bone strength or flexibility. Quality of life, weight loss, and building social connections are also among the most common reasons.

There are also many reasons people don’t exercise, and it’s not because they are lazy. These include:

  • Fear of looking silly or of negative judgment.
  • Fear of injury.
  • Health conditions that may require special type of exercise.
  • Little or no knowledge about the benefits.
  • Mental health problems.
  • Limited financial abilities.
  • Boredom caused by repetitive exercise.

Let’s break down one of the biggest reasons people may begin an exercise routine: weight loss.

Exercising for Weight Loss Is the Wrong Approach

In my occupation as a fitness professional, working out and weight loss go together, like tuna and salad. However, a weight loss goal isn’t usually enough to keep us on track in maintaining an exercise routine.

But why is that?

If we begin an exercise program with weight loss the only goal and focus, and it doesn’t happen fast enough, or plateaus, we become despondent, frustrated, and lose interest. Thus, we miss out on other numerous and positive benefits of exercise.

There is increasing evidence that we, as a global population, are NOT meeting the exercise requirements put forth by our governments.

An Australian survey suggests over 50% of the population doesn’t get enough daily exercise. It also cites that 75% of people over 65 don’t meet the 30 min a day requirement of moderate-intensity exercise.

That’s a HUGE concern and one we shouldn’t take lightly.

Exercise Is a Bomb of Health Benefits

Let’s take the words “weight loss” out of the equation for a minute.

If we moved our bodies and incorporated an ongoing exercise routine into our lives, this is what the health benefits could look like:

  • Increased cardiovascular (heart) health.
  • Improved muscle strength.
  • Increased bone density.
  • Prevention of type 2 diabetes.
  • Better management of blood pressure, cholesterol, and blood sugar levels.
  • Improved balance and coordination.
  • Enhanced mental health.
  • Improved social health.
  • Reduced risk of falls.
  • Increased flexibility and mobility.

These are all amazing reasons to exercise, and there are many more. It is time to take charge of our health and refocus on the overall benefits exercise brings. And if you lose weight along the way – that is a side effect of exercise.

You can view the full article at