Somehow the notion that exercise should be either easy or only moderately difficult continues to be the most detrimental misunderstanding by many would be exercisers.
People are being misled into believing that they only need to mildly exert themselves and they will reap dramatic benefits in the process.
This misguided assumption destroys the potential effectiveness of the exercise regime of every person who possesses this belief. You will be very disappointed with your lack of results if you let this belief interfere with your willingness to exert yourself during your workouts.
Let’s get thing straight – activities such walking, running, biking, swimming, etc are often construed as exercise by the media, general public and health/medical professionals. These activities qualify as recreational physical activities and do not satisfy the definition of exercise and are not a necessary component of a proper exercise program. There is only one form of exercise that properly satisfies the definition of exercise and that is strength training exercise.
It should be no surprise that many people are unwilling to exert themselves during an exercise session. Many have grown up pampered and soft and have never experienced hard physical work of any kind, let alone real exercise. After all how much effort goes into watching TV, playing video games or moving a mouse on a computer?
Modern technology continues to make manual work a thing of the past. To make matters worse, magazines, newspapers, books, and ill informed fitness instructors have for years been inappropriately lowering the standards of exercise and telling people to: “go at an easy pace”, “stop if you feel discomfort “, and of course ” do what you enjoy, as exercise should be fun!”.
Now they are even telling us that activities such as grocery shopping, gardening, walking, playing with the kids, all qualify as exercise. So, is it any wonder that when an attempt is made to teach people “real” exercise they have such a hard time coming to grips with the reality of hard work?
Though some of the basic physical activities previously mentioned may have a place in a healthy, active lifestyle, none of these activities can even come close to the large number of physical benefits stimulated by real exercise. An active lifestyle does not replace the need for a structured proper exercise program.
Recreational activity and an exercise program are two separate things. The benefits of proper exercise, and the stimuli necessary to produce beneficial health improvements, cannot be accomplished with recreational activities.
If we are to expect anything in the way of meaningful results from exercise, including noticeable visual changes in body shape and appearance etc., we must exercise in such a way that challenges our bodies beyond our already existing capabilities. Only then will the body adapt.
Go to your local gym and see a fitness professional about the design of your exercise program making sure it includes at least 50% – 60% strength training exercise. Be prepared to challenge yourself and put some effort into it. Your reward will be results and benefits that will surprise and delight you and will take your health, your body and your life to the next level!