There are very few things in your life that can provide the degree of gratification and empowerment that working out can. It has both short term and long term benefits in that it provides a daily hit of gratification, energy, and feeling of accomplishment. It provides a long term benefit of improvement in overall health (whatever you want to define has health), and an improvement in the look and shape of your body. This all starts to feed forward on itself with a more positive outlook on life, self esteem, self image, and a positive change in social interactions as well.
When you’re in better shape people you tend to get a positive response from other people. It might not necessarily be fair, but it’s human nature, so you might as well leverage this effect.
And perhaps the best thing is that it’s something you can always do. As long as you can move at least some of your limbs you can always do some sort of workout that will always make you feel better once you’re done.
From this standpoint your workout will be the one thing in your life that will always produce benefit for you. The old adage that “you get out of a relationship what you put in” applies to your workout too. If you put in a half assed 15 minute workout once per week, you can expect to get a half assed 15 min’s worth of benefit each week. But the more consistent you are and the more you put into the workout the more you get out of it.
It’s very much like a healthy relationship but with one HUGE advantage. Your workout and the benefits it provides will never get jealous if you leave it for another workout. It doesn’t care if you drop it all together for months or years, you can always come back and the benefits will always be there. You can leave your workout, but it’ll be there when you come back with all the physical mental and emotional benefits on tap and ready for you.
No matter what else is going on in your life, and no matter how on-off you are with your workouts, you can always go back to the gym (or home gym), get a sweat on and start feeling good about yourself and your body. It might be the one thing that can stick with you through every up and down throughout your entire life.
Just like any other healthy relationship it you can’t give it too much time or get too obsessive about it. But give it a consistent effort, and treat it with respect and your workouts will give back to you 10-fold what you put in and improve all other areas of your life. I don’t think any other relationship can do this and only require an hour or so of your time each day.
Your workout relationship asks for so little and gives you back so much, you should find a way to make it long term!