When you hear the word exercise, what do you think of? Often thoughts of sweat, push-ups, pain, discomfort, time, energy, and muscles creep into our minds. Some people love that these words are what comes to the forefront of their minds when they think of exercise, but others may cringe at the idea and find that these words pose an additional barrier to becoming more active.
This article will discuss the latter of the two scenarios and aim to help you overcome this limiting mindset towards exercise.
What Is ‘Exercise’ Anyway?
The Oxford Languages dictionary defines exercise as: “activity requiring physical effort, carried out to sustain or improve health and fitness.”
When we read the true definition of exercise, we can see that exercise is very personal and unique to each one of us. An activity that requires physical effort for one person might require none at all for another, depending on the individual’s fitness levels for that specific activity. This definition also implies that the goal of exercise is to sustain or improve one’s health and fitness. Once again, we see that this is a very personal topic. Everyone has unique health and fitness need that take vastly different levels of exercise to maintain or improve upon.
Rethinking What Exercise Means For You
After reading the definition of exercise, does the initial words that pop into your head change? What if instead of sweating or push-ups, you thought of standing on one leg while brushing your teeth or parking farther away from the grocery store? All of these seemingly small acts tings would fall under the definition of exercise, and all of them would help sustain or improve one’s health and fitness.
Exercise is simply another tool that Calgary physiotherapists use to help people accomplish their goals and recover from injury or dysfunction. Sports physiotherapy clinics use exercise to adapt specific bodily tissues or systems (cardiovascular system, muscles, tendons, bones, and nerves) to help them accomplish whatever task needed to perform.
Here is a simple example of two different ways an individual could use exercise to accomplish their goal of improving the fitness of their lungs and heart.
- Walk for 30 minutes on their treadmill after work.
- Take the stairs at work instead of using the elevator.
Each of these options can accomplish the same goal and one option might be more preferable to the individual than the other. The important thing to realize is that exercise is a diverse tool – not a set-in-stone dogma of potentially negative images and ideas – that you can use to better your life.