If the only reason you work out is to look good naked, it’s likely you’re squandering energy and time, in addition to missing out on joy. The idea of what is “looking good” is a moving target largely influenced by doctored photos, plastic surgery, marketing schemes, skewed body image and other societal, psychological and cultural forces. There is plenty of workout motivation that is concrete and attainable. Focusing on those will leave you smiling, walking tall, and buoyed by support – rather than standing alone in front of a mirror pinching your skin. “Looking good naked” has nothing to do with body shape. It has everything to do with confidence that radiates from you whether in or out of clothes.

Try Focusing on These 5 Things for Your Workout Motivation:

1) Posture.

Exercising regularly keeps your joints lubricated and your muscles strong and flexible. Great workouts include attention to muscles in your core which are the foundation for standing tall. Better strength through your core and enhanced posture means that the movements you execute in a workout will be increasingly effective, allowing you to build better musculature and throw yourself safely into intense cardio work.

2) Breathing.

Whether you’re strength training, doing cardio or participating in a mind-body class, workouts involve attention to breathing. Deep breathing oxygenates your brain and body parts. The same breathing that enhances athletic performance can help relieve stress, improve circulation to improve your complexion, lead to better (beauty) sleep and perhaps most importantly, enhance memory and promote clear thinking. There is nothing more beautiful than someone who remembers your birthday, whether they are naked or not!

3) Mood.

Make decreasing the level of stress hormones, like metabolism-disrupting cortisol, a goal. Focus on releasing mood-boosting endorphins. The happy hormones released during exercise will make themselves known when a big old grin spreads across your mug. Remember… “you’re never fully dressed” – or undressed – “without a smile.”

4) Self-confidence.

One benefit of working out regularly is that if you set realistic non-superficial goals when it comes to fitness (like running a race or achieving a faster pace) and following through with the steps that it takes to achieve them, you’ll have reason to radiate an inner glow on a regular basis. The confidence you build and the techniques you use to set and reach your goals in the fitness arena can translate to success and boosted esteem in your personal and work life.

5) Community.

Your presence in the workout world is important and appreciated by those who seek a safe place to grow their energy. By putting yourself out there and sharing your energy, you are part of something much larger than what you see in the mirror. Indeed, the opportunity to come together clad in spandex to express joyful movement doesn’t exist in every corner of the world. Use celebration and growing in freedom as workout motivation. You have found your tribe (and it is beautiful). Workout to inspire!

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