What counts as exercise?

“I vacuumed yesterday.  Doesn’t that count as exercise?”

photo by The Creative Exchange

I hear this, or something similar, from people, including my clients, just about every week.  (Although my clients know my answer if they’ve worked with me for a while.  Some just ask me to be funny.)  Here’s the short answer.  No.

A little longer answer is this:  You exercise so that you can DO those everyday things, like vacuuming, gardening, hanging Christmas lights, volunteering at a food bank, your job, mowing the lawn, etc.

The things we consider “life activities”, all of the above, and things like walking tours on vacation in Europe, hiking a beautiful trail in a National Park, shopping at an outlet mall, and many more, are all things which require strength and endurance.  This is why we exercise.  If you start down the path of life activities counting toward your exercise, you will soon discover that you are not getting enough strength training and cardiovascular exercise to make those things easy and doable.  And, you will start getting injuries while doing those life activities.

photo by Alisdair Elmes

If you can’t keep up with the rest of your group on that lovely tour of the hilltop town in Italy, it’s no fun.  If you injure your back gardening, you may miss that family birthday party you wanted to go to.  If you can’t dance more than a couple of dances at a wedding reception, you’re on the sidelines watching everyone else have fun.  Or, if you can’t make it from the parking lot to the stadium without stopping to rest, you will stop going to the events you used to enjoy.  All of these are real-life examples of people I’ve worked with.

photo by Garrett Parker

Exercise is consistent, controlled (for the most part) movement and good weight-bearing stress for our bodies.  It is important to exercise your body in order to participate in life and enjoy those activities.

Make sure you can enjoy your life by doing all the things you can to keep your body healthy.


Thanks for reading!  I’ve been busy writing new material for this blog and also working on a couple of projects for the trainer side of fitness.  I love being a personal trainer.  And, now I have the opportunity to help improve the profession of personal training.  One of these projects aims to help current, and future trainers learn how to be better at their profession and also how to be better business people.  There is no excuse for an unprofessional trainer.  And, there is no reason to be a starving trainer either.  Another project I am working on is to assist bigger companies in developing their own personal training programs.

Until next time!


2 thoughts on “What counts as exercise?

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