Congrats To My 6:30am Fitcamp...

Friday, September 19, 2008
... for having just finished their first week of our four week camp.

Some of the women in the camp hadn't exercised the way I exercise before, and though it was no surprise to me, they were certainly surprised by how sore they were after the first couple workouts. Most people shudder at the thought of having tender muscles for a day or two. Then again, most people don't do in a month what these women did in a week. It's that very soreness that is going to amount to big results in the very near future for these women.

Exercise is a valuable tool, but I get the impression that a lot of people have too liberal an interpretation of what constitutes exercise.

Some people get very offended when I tell them that what they're doing is not exercise - that walking, gardening and cleaning the house just don't qualify. It's not intended to be an insult. Non-exercise activity is important and healthy, too. But it's not a replacement for exercise.

This is why I bring up my morning fitcamp. The soreness that many of the women are either feeling now or will feel tomorrow is a sign - that they have, in fact, exercised. The key exercise is right there in the word: exertion.

Your body loves equilibrium - its survival depends on things being on an even keel. This makes your body resistant to change. But we want our bodies to change, and furthermore, we're not concerned about the impending winter affecting our survival. So we have to provide a fairly substantial challenge to get our bodies to adapt. It's only exercise if you exert yourself to such a degree that your body is forced to adapt to the challenge.

Walking, while a great, healthy activity, is not exercise for the vast majority of people. Yes, it burns calories and is a great tool for clearing your mind or having a good conversation with a friend. But your body can walk for a very long time without being challenged enough to change.

Do not interpret this as me saying that you shouldn't go for walks or work in your yard or any other activity. Just make sure you don't confuse activity with exercise.

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