With spring finally here, I am sure you are like me and wanting to get outdoors. On Easter Sunday, my husband and I went on a lovely hike with our family and a few of their friends. It felt great physically and emotionally to be outdoors enjoying the sunshine (getting our vitamin D) and the landscape.
Although I walk my dogs 3 or more kilometre most days of the week, I don’t consider this exercise. However, I do consider my weekly Zumba classes exercise. So what is the difference between being physical active and exercise? Is there a difference? Yes, they are different.
Physical activity/fitness is “a set of abilities individuals possess to perform specific types of physical activity” , whereas exercise is planned, structured and designed to enhance physical fitness. (Williams, 613, 606) Think of exercise as that activity you plan for and may be are avoiding.
A comprehensive weight-control program is more than just eating wholesome natural food in moderation. Aerobic and resistance exercise is needed to complement and increase fat loss. As well, behaviour modification is extremely beneficial to facilitate the implementation of diet and exercise. “Adding or increasing weight training exercises will offset any loss of lean tissue and maintain muscle mass.” (Bean, 123)
So where do you begin? Plan structured “activities” into your lifestyle that motivate and excite you. Sometimes simply by beginning is enough momentum to get moving.
Motivation is what gets you started. Habit is what keeps you going. –Jim Rohn
I am planning to start cycling, as in road bike, one or more times per week and build up my endurance. Plus I am adding in light weights and perhaps even a TRX session each week to complement my aerobic sessions. I purchased an indoor cycling DVD, which has yoga for cyclist. These sessions should assist with my flexibility and stretching (also important components for exercise routines).
I’ve shared my plans. Now it is your turn. Chime in and let me know what you are committed to for your exercise. No two people are the same, so our choices for exercise are numerous.
Bean, Anita. The Complete Guide to Sports Nutrition, 6th ed. London: A & C Black, 2009.
Williams, Melvin H. Nutrition for Health, Fitness & Sport, 9th ed. Boston: McGraw Hill Higher Education, 2010.