Movement vs. Exercise

movement vs exercise
Coach Hines, MAD TV

There is confusion out there about the differences between movement vs exercise. Many people getting back into exercise have an adverse reaction every time someone mentions exercise. It seems wired into their brain that exercise means wearing shorts that are two times too small, socks that are nearly knee length with wide stripes, and terry cloth headbands while being screamed at by a middle-aged balding man to “GET UP THAT ROPE!!!” or “CLIMB THAT CARGO NET!” Whew. Do we all need a moment here? Ok, better now…
Let’s talk about the differences between movement and exercise. Movement can be categorized as any activity that uses skeletal muscles and requires energy. To that end, washing dishes is movement, but is it exercise?
Exercise is an activity that is planned, structured, repetitive, and purposeful. It causes an increased level of cardiovascular health, muscle strength, endurance, and flexibility.
Is it possible to take a favorite activity and turn it into exercise? You bet it is. Let’s take the simple example of walking. Walking can just be movement, or it can be a bona fide exercise. There are several ways that you can make this switch, and it won’t cost you a dime.
When walking for exercise, try to maintain a pace that makes holding a regular conversation just a bit ‘breathy.’ By this, I mean that your sentences are a little shorter than usual because you have to take a breath more often than when you are just walking through a store’s aisles.
If you walk alone, but listen to music, try to walk fast enough that you can’t quite keep up with the lyrics. Make sense?
Basically, if what you are doing gets your heart rate and breathing rate up for several minutes, and you are using your muscles, it is exercise and not just movement. That’s our goal!
Follow this link to a Mayo Clinic walking program.

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