Exercise Goals: Focus on More Than Just Burning Calories.

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Most of us work up a sweat with only one goal in mind: burn as many calories as possible. Yes, burning calories is important and helps to lose unwanted weight, but there are so many other benefits of working out, both physical and psychological.

Increased Energy:

Getting your blood pumping can get you out of a sleepy slump. Even going for a light 20-minute walk a few times a week is enough to get you feeling energized. In this case, your goal is not necessarily to get the most intense workout that leaves you feeling exhausted and needing some ice packs when you’re done. A lower intensity workout is best for getting you energized, but not exhausted.

Better Sleep:

According to the CDC, over 70 million Americans suffer from chronic sleep problems. Getting consistent exercise into your daily routine can get you some much needed shuteye, which will also improve your overall health.

I know, I know. You need to stay up late to finish binging your favorite Netflix series, but getting a good night’s rest is much more important. I promise your show will still be there tomorrow.

Greater Productivity:

This one goes out to all the employers, business owners, and self-employed out there. Getting exercise on a regular basis boosts your concentration and creativity so you can become and even better employee.

One of the greatest struggles for employees, students, stay-at-home parents and the like is finding time in the day to get a workout in. Remember this: something is better than nothing. Squeeze in a walk around the office building or do some push-ups next to your desk (nobody will judge you).

Managers and business leaders, consider allowing your employees AND yourself 15-20 minutes every day to step away from your desk to get your blood pumping. Depending on the workout, that may be all you need. For example, you can get just as much out of a 15 to 20-minute HIIT workout as you can out of an hour-long run.

Read our blog about how to fit exercise into your work day here.

Reduce Stress:

Currently, I’m working a full-time job while also pursuing a master’s degree and juggling all of the responsibilities of being an adult, so I know the value of giving my brain a break every once in a while.

I’ve had difficulties with stress and anxiety for as long as I can remember, but having an active lifestyle has helped me immensely. Working out is a chance for me to focus on my body, not my mind.

So how does exercise help with stress? There are basically two sides to this answer: the behavioral side and the chemical side. In scientific terms, exercise reduces stress hormones such as cortisol, while increasing the production of endorphins, which give you the feeling of well-being and boost your mood. Science talks aside, working out reduces stress by improving the way you feel about yourself and your self-image. Exercise and physical activity give you a sense of pride and accomplishment, and this renewed positivity can give you the boost you need to conquer whatever it is that’s stressing you out.

You’ll Be More Confident:

We live in a time where body positivity and self-image often take center stage everywhere we look, especially on social media. A study from King University revealed that 87% of women and 65% of men compare their bodies to images that they see on social and traditional media. To be honest, I’ve been part of that 65%.

But the Bible tells us “do not consider his appearance or height, for I have rejected him. The Lord does not look at the things people look at. People look at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart.” – 1 Samuel 16:7

It’s not fair for us to compare ourselves to professional athletes and models that make a living spending hours in the gym every day.

So, here’s my advice: don’t.

Just getting into an exercise routine that works for you instantly makes you feel better about yourself. It takes time to see the results you want and if you’re as impatient of a person as I am, that can be tough. However, that patience adds to the challenge and makes the journey even more rewarding.


There is so much more to exercise than counting the calories you burn. For some of us, we just need something to take our mind off other things. Some of you may just need a kickstart to be more productive throughout the day.

Not all of us have the same motivators for working out, but it’s important to know what you’re shooting for so you can plan your exercise routine accordingly. Remember, losing weight is not always the end goal, but what IS always the greatest prize is being happy with yourself and pushing to be your best self.

Visit our Medi-Share blog for more articles like this one!



Jacob works as our Social Media Coordinator here at Christian Care Ministry/Medi-Share. He recently relocated to Florida after graduating from the University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh with degrees in both Marketing and Economics and is currently working on attaining his MBA from Florida International University. In his free time, you can find Jacob with his wife at the Disney World, Sea World or Universal theme parks, on the golf course, or playing music.

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