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The What Is Exercise?

Updated: Sep 30, 2021

Webster's Dictionary defines exercise as "regular or repeated bodily exertion for the sake of developing and maintaining physical fitness." Dictionary.com describes it in this way: "any activity requiring effort."


No matter what source you use to define it or grasp the concept of exercise it is, in a nutshell...movement.


Exercise can be both simple and complex. It takes on many forms and, as you will find out in a later blog, can be done at anytime and anywhere.


Getting out of bed every morning to let the dog out...putting on the perfect outfit for work...descending the flight of stairs to pour your morning cup of coffee...kneeling down to retrieve the local newspaper...climbing into your car for that dreaded commute or chasing down a Lyft or Uber...these are movement...ways in which the body exerts itself for the purpose of maintaining fitness. While the above activities seem simple enough to perform, they use repetition from a variety of muscle groups working collaboratively to burn calories and are, in fact, exercise. **However, for any of you looking to drop a few pounds, I don't recommend just doing these as part of a weight loss program.**


In a future post, I will go into further detail of how muscles work together to perform movement and its effect on the whole self, but for now I wanted you to understand what exercise is and how easily it occurs daily without much effort or thought.


On the other hand, exercise can be as strenuous as unloading a moving van or POD into a new house...a heavy lift day at the gym...digging holes for your springtime garden...shoveling snow out of your driveway...or pushing a stalled car out of a traffic lane. Although these only happen periodically (hopefully) and require a great deal more effort and care to accomplish safely, they don't follow the regular or repeated part of the above definitions but most certainly require exertion (sometimes more than others) and are definitely exercise. Just do them once or twice...you'll see!!


So, in closing, if you woke up this morning, chances are pretty good you are, or will at some point today, be engaging in exercise. Riding your bike to work when possible or grabbing a co-worker or friend and taking a walk on your lunch break are a few easy ways to get up, get out and get moving.


Later on in my blog journey I will discuss different types of exercise (with examples) and the benefits and risks of each. Stay tuned....


Share your answers to this question below:


What is your favorite activity or exercise?

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