Exercise! - Does exercise only count if you call it that?

11-13-2011, 08:57 PM
I always mean to go to the gym. Sometimes if I work night i'll go in the morning. But for example this week i'm working the morning shift except for one day. I could wake up at 5am and run to the gym before having to get ready for work. That would work if I could go to sleep at an early hour, not 2am lol. But trying to go after work...i'm just too tired or I get there, hop on the bike (my feet will be hurting...i'm setting down and exercising ^_^) and can only do about 10 minutes. But the thing is though where I work. I have so many things to do (and so many people to help) and am constantly walking, and moving around. Is it possible to count my walking around at work as a form of exercise or does it have to be a designated time for exercise to count?

11-13-2011, 09:41 PM
That is your normal daily activity, not exercise. Your body is used to doing the things like that and becomes very efficient at doing them with fewer calories. Walking is not enough for exercise. You need weight training as well as cardio.

11-13-2011, 09:43 PM
Is weight training those machines where you can change how many pounds you move?

11-13-2011, 11:45 PM
Weight training is basically lifting around heavy stuff to strengthen your muscles, so yes, those machines would be it. While I recommend you give the free weights (barbells and dumbbells) a try over the machines, if you feel more comfortable with the machines, go for it. Anything to get you started with strength training.

11-14-2011, 12:36 AM
i remember when my son was 2 and my dr asked me if i exercised and i said, yeah, i chase a 2 year old around all day. she said that isnt the same, you need to be doing something that keeps your heart rate up for a significant amount of time without slowing down. walking 30 minutes straight is not the same as walking 1 minute 30 times.

thats just what she told, and ive stuck with that advice

11-14-2011, 01:21 AM
Agree with everyone. There is a difference between ACTIVITY and EXERCISE. Both are important and needed.

The movement you're getting in every day is GREAT- it's much better than me, who sits in front of a computer all day! This is good for keeping your metabolism up, blood circulating, etc.

Exercise, like julia said, is specific, sustained increase in heart rate (cardio) and bearing extra weight (strength training). Both are important.

Exercise doesn't have to take long and it doesn't have to be done at the gym. Even just a very brisk 25 minute walk or a 30 minute lifting circuit can be enough to reap the benefits of exercising. Even better are doing combined cardio + strength so you get the most out of your time. Circuits that keep the heart rate up, power yoga, and various others can be great cardio + strength routines.

11-14-2011, 01:26 AM
Your daily activity can be enough, if your job is extremely active (but most people's jops aren't). To some degree your body does get more efficient at tasks you do regularly, but not so much that they no longer "count," they just count for less than they would have, if you were doing more than whatever is typical for you.

If regular activity didn't count for anything, everyone would have to do more and more and more throughout their lives forever, because anything you did "wouldn't count" as soon as it became part of your routine. By the time you were middle-aged, you wouldn't have time for sleep, you'd be moving at maximum pace all day.

My father worked an extremely strenous active job, and when he got home, he'd be exhausted. He never did anything anyone would call exercise, even though he was extremely active - it was almost always within the framework of either his job or household projects. On most of his "off time" he was extremely sedentary, but his job was so extremely active that stayed fit and trim, even while eating thousands of calories daily (his idea of an evening snack was a sleeve of oreos and a pint or more of milk).

When he retired, he had to change his lifestyle completely, because he no longer could maintain a healthy weight on the calories he had been consuming. He also had to learn to make time for physical activity, since it wasn't a part of his daily responsibilities anymore.

When I started my weight loss journey, I didn't have the strength or stamina for anything anyone else would call "exercise," but I clipped a step-counting pedometer to my shoes, and every day tried to "beat" the previous days count, even if only by a few steps.

Start whereever you can, and do whatever you can. Don't worry abouth what you "call it" at this point, just try to do more than you usually do, even if only by a little bit.

If you do more than you typically do (no matter what you choose to call it) - you'll build strength and stamina.

11-14-2011, 09:16 AM
I agree completely with kaplods. I think that gym-type exercise is overemphasized to the point that many people feel as if because they do not have time to do that type of exercise, they might as well just give up and do nothing. Losing weight is mainly about diet, not exercise. Do what you can. That's what I committed to when I started. I committed to just doing one hour of activity per day. It could be vigorous housework, raking my yard, etc. Don't be discouraged if you cannot make it to the gym. Women in past decades were slimmer overall that we are now, yet gyms didn't become really popular until the 80s.