1. You should work out because it makes you happy. I don’t mean this in an esoteric way. I mean it very literally. You’ll feel awesome after you exercise. Immediately. Intensely. Unequivocally. Study after study confirms the direct relationship between exercise and increased feel-good hormones, including a study that suggests high-intensity exercise modulates the brain in a very similar way to cocaine use . (That’s gotta feel good.) Another recent study confirmed that serotonin, dopamine, and norepinephrine levels in the hippocampus were significantly increased by exercise, suggesting physical activity can help manage depression .

Even in the 1800s Henry David Thoreau knew what was up. “An early-morning walk is a blessing for the whole day,” he said.

Both science and great American poets seem to agree: We simply cannot be our happiest without exercise.

2. You should work out to make your life easier. Being stronger, leaner, happier, and more capable can make for a more manageable life:

Your boss needs you to get that box? Yes ma’am, you can get that box.
Your neighbor needs you to rearrange his furniture? Damn right buddy, you’ll move that couch.
Your homeboy needs you to carry him home from the bar? Saddle up, cowboy.

Training increases your capabilities. That’s the law of progressive overload—lift something a lil bit heavier each day, get a lil bit stronger. Run a lil faster each day, get a lil bit, um, faster. A body that is increasingly capable makes for a life that is increasingly manageable (read: awesome).

3. You should work out because it helps you win at life. Setting and achieving goals inside the weight room helps you set and achieve goals outside the weight room. The goal-setting/goal-accomplishing cycle is a learned trait. From a very early age, winners start to reinforce this idea that if they set their mind to something and tirelessly work towards its accomplishment, the outcome will be positive.Archbishop Leon Joseph Cardinal Suenens said it well, “Happy are those who dream dreams and pay the price to make those dreams come true.”