Jul 29

What is exercise anyway?

Who hasn’t heard that to lose weight, calories out have to be higher than calories in?  And how do we increase calories out?  Exercise!  But let’s be clear about what exercise is, because many of us read that to mean “go to a gym”.  I don’t mean “go to a gym”.  In fact, although I either trained myself or trained others in a gym for many many years, I am not a big advocate of “going to a gym”.

So, what is exercise then?

These are some of my favorite forms of exercise:

  • mowing the lawnlawn mowing
  • trimming trees
  • walking the dogs
  • walking the dogs (yeah… I like that a lot!)
  • picking up trash in my neighborhood



These are some of my least favorite forms of exercise:

  • grocery shopping
  • vacuuming the house
  • washing/waxing the car
  • scrubbing mildew off the tiles in the shower

They are all exercise.  Walking from the car to the office.  Walking up the stairs instead of taking the elevator.  Reaching for things on the top shelf in the kitchen.  Pushing a cart in the grocery store (oh yeah, one of my least favorite things to do).  Are you getting the idea?  Exercise is moving, bending, reaching, pulling, pushing, or even grabbing.  It’s pretty much anything but sitting and sleeping.  Does that change your perspective?

Functional vs Non-Functional Exercising

Functional exercises tend to be multijoint, multimuscle exercises. Instead of only moving the elbows, for example, a functional exercise might involve the elbows, shoulders, spine, hips, knees and ankles. This type of training, properly applied, can make everyday activities easier, reduce your risk of injury and improve your quality of life.


Functional exercise training may be especially beneficial as part of a comprehensive program for older adults to improve balance, agility and muscle strength, and reduce the risk of falls.

Non-functional would consist of your more traditional training regimen, such as lifting weights, doing crunches and sit-ups, and pretty much anything that focuses on a single muscle or muscle group.  Performing these exercises doesn’t necessarily translate into helping you with every day tasks or improving your balance.

There’s no answer as to which one is best.  They each serve different purposes.  If you want 6 pack abs, then vacuuming the house may not be the best way to get them.  But, most of the time, crunches won’t get them either.  If you vacuum, at least your house will be clean.  Not so with crunches.

If you’d like to learn about 5 simple exercises that you can do just about anywhere, please read my article here.

All this talk about exercise is making me thirsty.  How about a nice cold glass of filtered water?  You can read more about the Berkey water filtering system if you’re looking for a good glass of filtered water.

here's to youHere’s to you!



As always, please leave your comments below.