If you have ever visited a doctor then you know one of the things they are regularly going to ask, or advise is to move more. To get more exercise, be more active, be physically fit. Unfortunately, they don’t often explain what those directions mean. They actually have a little bit of different definitions.
Exercise is deliberate, timed activity, usually aerobic or non-aerobic. It is on top of whatever activity you do throughout the day. For example I am a nurse. When I work I average 15,000 steps per shift. That is about 6 miles per shift. You would think that counts as exercise. But, not it is not. I did not plan it, it just is nature of the job. If I went home and spent 30 minutes walking on the bike path, that would be exercise. It was deliberate and I planned it, setting aside that time in my day to do it. The main goal is to increase your heart rate, and make you breathe harder.
Being active simply means that at least 5 days a week you are physically moving your body for at least 30 minutes. While it is true this could be exercise if you heart rate goes high enough, it could just be something as simple as gentle walk around the park, gardening or housework. For me I have set a goal to be active every hour by getting up and walking at least 250 steps each hour. This is an easy attainable goal for anyone to have. If you have a desk job, or are basically sedentary this is a good goal to start with. I use a Fitbit to track my steps, but I know that two laps around my back yard is 250 steps.
Physically fit is a more technical term as to how strong your muscles are, including your heart and lungs. Do you remember when you were in school and you had to take a Physical Fitness test each year? Remember squat thrusts, sit ups and all that horrid stuff? Well that is exactly that, a Physical Fitness test. If you would like to find out if you are physically fit for your age, use the contact form at the end of this post to message me for a free meet and greet. I like to consider myself physically fit. My daughter wants to be a police officer and she has to pass a physical fitness test. Because we homeschool, I have set up a regime for her to be able to pass it. I have decided to do it with her. I am 51 so I have already started practicing, she is 16. I can already do the pushups and situps. The 1.5 mile run in 15 minutes, well I can almost do it. I am so proud of myself I can not even tell you. Please remember it has taken me 3 years of gradual increase in exercise to get to this point. I did not go from couch potato to these kinds of exercises over night. It is a process. If you would like to have me help you create an exercise plan to suit your needs, use the contact form at the end of the post to send me an email.
If you would like to move more, via walking, check out my updated Health Buddy Melissa Walking Plan.
Sign up for my Mailchimp newsletter!