Melanie Thomassian’s blog post on physical activity reminded me of an essay called “Exercise vs Recreation” by Ken Hutchins.
One of the key points of the essay for me is that exercise isn’t supposed to be fun. Ken wrote, “Do not try to make exercise enjoyable.” Getting your teeth cleaned or car’s oil changed isn’t supposed to be fun, either.
Once I got that through my thick skull, it made it easier for me to slog through my twice weekly workouts. Another excerpt:
We accept that both exercise and recreation are important in the overall scheme of fitness, and they overlap to a great degree. But to reap maximum benefits of both or either they must first be well-defined and then be segregated in practice.
4 responses to “Exercise Versus Recreational Physical Activity”
Agreed BUT I’ve been in diabetic education classes with folks who had serious mobility issues and heard young female fitness advisers tell us that anything less than 45 minutes of aggressive exercise was pointless. I could not believe my ears just looking around at the audience. That was a physical impossibility for these folks. A SENSIBLE nurse told them that double or triple vacuuming of their carpet or doing an extra trip up their stairs would be great ways to increase their physical activity. As usual, context is everything. If you’re in good health AND you have the interest and motivation to actually maintain an aggressive exercise program, then good for you. I suspect that’s a minority of most Americans. I don’t find this sort of advice very helpful personally, no matter its correctness. I use fast walking on a regular basis and try to use Nautilus machines with fairly light weight settings, eat low carb, and that’s that. More power to the Hutchins’ of the world but I think they dialog mostly with each other…at the gym…or at the protein powder counters…
Frank, you are right about Hutchin’s core audience.
According to Ken’s article playing tennis and dancing belong to the same non-exercise activity as knitting and watching TV. He is an idiot. I understand unique benefits of HIIT, but putting sitting activities in the same pile as activities that significantly rise your heart rate and build muscles is just plain stupid.
Hi, Galina. I didn’t catch that. I guess he’s simply refer to tennis and dancing as recreation rather than exercise.