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.
Read the whole thing.
Exercise is not supposed to be fun. If it is, then you should suspect that something is wrong.
That quote is from an essay by Ken Hutchins posted at the Efficient Exercise website.
When I was a young man in my 30s, I was jogging 20 miles a week and ran a couple marathons (26.2 miles). I enjoyed it and didn’t do much else for exercise or overall fitness. I thought I was in pretty good shape. You can get away with that when you’re 35, but not when you’re 50. At 57 now, I can’t think of any single recreational activity that can help me maintain the overall strength, functionality, and injury resistance I want and need as I age.
I’ve come to view exercise as a chore, like flossing/brushing teeth, changing the oil in my car, and sleeping when I’d rather not. I’ve got my current exercise chore whittled down to an hour three times a week. OK, sometimes just twice a week.
Skyler Tanner takes a thoughtful and in-depth look at the exercise versus recreation dichotomy at his blog. If you have comments, more people will see them at his site than here.
Steve Parker, M.D.
Exercise is not supposed to be fun. If it is fun, then you should suspect that something is wrong.
The quote above is from an essay entitled “Exercise vs Recreation” by Ken Hutchins, posted at the Efficient Exercise website. Skyler Tanner works at Efficient Exercise and his blog is one that I follow. We have a strange connection. Skyler grew up in Fountain Hills, AZ; I live about 20 miles from there. He lives in Austin, TX, now; I lived there for eight years.
Here’s another quote from that essay:
One pound of human fat can support the energy demands of running 35-45 miles, probably more. This would require the average man to run for 6-8 hours. He would burn the calories he could easily ingest in as many minutes.
Hutchins’ essay is thought-provoking. It may change the way you think about exercise.
Steve Parker, M.D.