Most of us don’t like the word “exercise.” It is associated with many negative connotations such as pain, suffering and toil. A lifetime of trying to exercise has led us to hate the very notion of it. Fortunately, it doesn’t have to be that way. You can learn to love the idea of exercise in just the time it takes to read the rest of this article.
Let’s start by defining exercise.
Exercise is not running a treadmill for an hour. It is not picking up the nearest weight at a gym and doing twenty bicep curls. These are types of exercise but they do not represent the bounds of exercise.
The dictionary definition of exercise is as follows:
Activity requiring physical effort, carried out to sustain or improve health and fitness.
I hate that definition and reject it entirely. For example, you can exercise for the sheer love of whatever activity you’re doing – it doesn’t have to be about sustaining or improving health and fitness. Let’s not put that pressure on ourselves. Let’s not stick a label on exercise and make it something to aspire to (or feel pressured by).
Instead, let’s define exercise as follows: anything that elevates your resting heart rate. For the record, that involves just about anything beyond sitting or lying down and doing nothing.
By my definition, just about anything you do in life is exercise. And that is incredibly liberating. No longer do we have to think about “physical effort carried out to sustain or improve health and fitness” when it comes to exercising – we can just think about moving more.
That opens up a world of possibilities. After all, there are undoubtedly a huge number of things you like (or don’t mind) doing that involve moving, which means that you just have to focus on one simple fact: if you do more of those things, you’ll be healthier.
If you make a conscious effort to engage in more physical activities that you enjoy, you’ll get fitter and healthier without engaging in any prescribed exercise. That’s the reality.
So take this opportunity to move more, in whatever way you enjoy the most. Don’t worry about the numbers of calories burned or whether your heart rate is poised perfectly within the so-called fat burning zone. Just enjoy moving more.