Women's Health



A good trainer has enviable abs and legs that are #goals. But a great trainer—the best kind, really—has something the naked eye can’t see: a “why.”

What’s a “why,” exactly? It’s your underlying, longterm reason or goal for exercise. And a growing stack of research shows that knowing it may be the single most important factor in making fitness a forever, not fleeting, part of your life. “When you tap into your ultimate purpose for exercising, skipping a workout today actually means putting off something you value at your truest core,” says Chicago psychologist Stephanie Hooker, Ph.D.

That especially resonates with women, who, research finds, tend to be more emotionally connected to their goals than men— meaning, whether you realize it or not, you probably already have a why. You’ve just got to uncover and mobilize it, like our finalists for this year’s Next Fitness Star competition have. Reading their stories, their struggles, their triumphs— their whys—will help

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