Exercise VS. Training
When we talk about exercise and training many times we use the terms interchangeably. When really they are quite different.
Let’s start with defining both. EXERCISE, in its most basic form, can be defined as something that “enhances or maintains physical fitness and overall health and wellness”. The general guidelines from the CDC pretty specifically recommends that ALL adults get 2.5 hours total of moderate cardiovascular exercise per week. A simple way to think about exercise is that the overarching goal here is: to keep you healthy. There are a plethora of health and wellness related benefits to working out regularly. This includes improved cardiovascular capacity, immune system functioning, brain health, sleep quality and overall mental wellbeing. Exercise can also help with weight control (But cannot overcome a poor diet)
Exercise is a necessary part of our lives to maintain a high level quality of life.
Now let’s talk about TRAINING, we have all said “My training is going well” but what does that mean. Training is about INTENTION, when we say we are training it means that we actively trying to improve something, this implies there is a system in place to do so. Examples of this would be a sprinter training to run faster, a basketball player to jump higher, a boxer training for a fight etc. Broadly speaking, when we train something or train for something we are seeking to condition ourselves to operate at a higher level. To get better at whatever it is.
SO what does that mean? Should everyone be training not exercising?
The answer, like most health and fitness questions is….. It really comes down to your specific goals. If your priority is just to maintain your health, then simply exercising will generally be sufficient for you and you are completely flexible to choose whatever type of activity you like best. So, if you like Zumba, hiking, ping pong, extreme butterfly catching, whatever it is, if you enjoy it, do it. If it raises your heart rate for 30 minutes you have met the daily health requirement.
If you want to get bigger, stronger and more muscular then you should be training. These things don’t simply happen as a result of general exercise and movement; instead, they are a predictable response to routinely putting your body under increased amounts of tension, and forcing it to adapt. Yes, training is intense. Training requires focus. Training takes work. For this you need GOALS and a PLAN
Going to the gym and throwing around weights isn’t training. It is just another form of exercise.
And this is why you see a lot of people get frustrated at the gym. They are hoping to achieve results that only training can offer, but are unknowingly exercising instead. Their mindset and goals aren’t in alignment. However, if one embraces the ‘training’ mindset – and has the right methodology to go along with it – then making consistent progress is practically a given.
In the end, do you have a GOAL, and a PLAN to hit your GOALS. If you don’t find a coach talk it out and make things happen.