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The real-life benefit of working out

This past weekend, I carried my 55-pound son--crying with scraped knees and all--10 blocks from a playground mishap, effortlessly. Now I'm not bragging (well maybe just a tiny bit), but I was more so proud of myself because it seemed like a year-and-a-half of consistent (twice-weekly strength training) paid off. I could carry my son (pic in happier times, below) before (he was lighter then) but not for long...and not without my breathing becoming labored. I read this kind of real-life accomplishment all the time with Shape's Success Stories: women who have overcome weight challenges, health scares, and more...and become so much more able to participate fully in life, be it keeping up with young kids or just gaining a newfound respect for what their bodies can do.

One daily change: Think about the one thing you want to change about your body--and list at least 3 ways improving it will help you live a fuller life. Then paste that list to your refrigerator, computer, car dashboard, etc so every time you think about not following through on your goal, you'll be reminded about why you're putting the effort in.


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