When we talk about “working out” that always seems to conjure up images of big exercise machines in sterile workout facilities. But the truth is, the mode of exercise is not nearly as important as the intensity of exercise when it comes to improving your fitness. See, your body doesn’t know or care whether you’re on a treadmill, a basketball court or the top of a mountain…as long as your heart rate is up, you’re improving your aerobic fitness and reaping all the killer benefits of exercise.
This means we need to transform the way we think about “working out.” It doesn’t have to be in a gym or even planned. Weight lifted doesn’t have to be traditional dumbbells/bars – hay bales or heavy hoses are just as effective. And you don’t have to sweat a truckload in order for it to “count” (in a later post I’ll explain why sweating is not a good indicator of exercise intensity).
Try to think of things you might do that are physically challenging enough to increase your heart rate and make you breath hard. Let’s say a project you’re working on at your house requires a lot of heavy lifting or continually climbing up and down stairs. Or how about a drill on duty, or a sport you play off duty? It’s up to you to decide whether the activity is challenging enough to be considered exercise and could “count” as a workout (last week I discussed how to know if an activity is really exercise). But remember, your body doesn’t discriminate against hard work that’s outside of a workout facility…it only cares about effort! Regardless of your physical surroundings, a good effort will improve fitness.
For some of you, that means you can ditch the treadmill workout you so dread and go do something else that you enjoy. For more explanation about that, read this post.
Is there anything you do that you will now count as your workout since you’ve gained this knowledge? Let us know in the comments!
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