What counts as exercise?!

There is so much information out there about exercise. What counts, what’s bad, what’s good, and so on. Whether it’s facts, opinions, myths, fear mongering or anything else. There is information to either support or debunk almost everyones claim. The bottom line is most people will twist information in order to sell you something. Some people say that only structured workouts like a gym session, crossfit/bootcamp class, or hours on the treadmill count as exercise. And while, yes. They ARE exercise. They’re not the only option. Especially if you’re someone that has really bad gym/social anxiety or simply don’t like to do “traditional” workouts.

So what counts? What IS exercise?
The dictionary definition of exercise states: an activity requiring physical effort, carried out to sustain or improve health and fitness.

This leaves a lot of wiggle room as to what qualifies as exercise. Which is good! Because variety can be nice to have, as well as options when it comes to finding the way you like to move your body and what you’ll actually stick to. We all know and have heard that consistency is key – and it is. What you can stick to – what you can actually get in consistently will do more for you over time than trying a new class every other month and then not moving in-between. It’s like eating nothing but mcdonalds cheese burgers for a month and then eating a broccoli salad on a random Tuesday once. It’s not gonna do a whole lot for your health.

What actually counts as exercise?
Pretty much anything that gets your heart rate up and gets you moving. Things like:
– Walking
– Jogging
– Swimming
– Biking
– Weight Lifting
– Yoga/Pilates
– Hiking
– Playing sports (either on a team or for fun)
– Yard Work
– Paddle boarding/Kayaking
– Vigorously cleaning your house
– Dancing
– Workout videos in the comfort if your own home

This is not an exhaustive list. But you can see that there are things on this list that don’t require you to step a foot into a gym.

Gyms or group classes are not for everyone. They can be overwhelming, cause anxiety, and can make you feel bad about yourself. Which can lead you to either be sporadic on when you get movement in, or even worse – just not get any.

Another big factor when you’re picking what ways to move your body is joy. What do you ENJOY doing. Because it might not be lifting weights – it might be walking with friends. Or it might be yoga in your living room. Maybe even a dance class. Finding what you like to do is half the battle. So maybe you try a few classes out, either in person or online. To see what you might like to do or what you won’t like to do.

Here are some of my favorite home workouts:

Fitness Blender – They have a ton of options and you can filter through free workouts, style of workout, length and if you have equipment or not. They also provide modifications for if you can’t jump or do certain movements.

Yoga with Adriene – She has a TON of yoga options for different parts of your body, different mindset focuses and a variety of different lengths of videos.

Beard the Best you can be – while this option isn’t free, this is some of the best movement prep around. He teaches you how to move your body and get your joints strong so that you can tackle anything life throws at you.

SO – we’ve covered what counts as exercise. Which is pretty much anything that gets your heart rate up from resting and gets your body moving. You can’t just put a VR headset on and lay in bed and watch scary movies. You’re actually going to have to move your body. BUT there are SO many options to get you moving. It might take some time to find what you really enjoy and what you can stick to. But that’s the great thing about free workouts, free trials and finding a workout buddy to help keep you accountable.

At the end of the day – find what works for YOU.

If you’re in the area and want to try on of our group classes, or want to learn more about what we offer, you can book a No Sweat Intro here
We’re always happy to hear your goals and would love the opportunity to help you get to where you want to be.