Eric Krueger

Exercise Has Been Wrongly Advertised To Us

Exercise is one of the most important things you can do for your health, but it's a poor weight-loss strategy. It's for this reason that so often people start exercising, don't see results, and quit.

You use diet to control your body fat level and boost muscle growth, and you use training to gain and maintain strength and muscle. Many people get this mixed up. They think that they work out mostly to burn calories and fat, which often leads them into the hamster wheel of exercising like mad to cancel out all of their eating—an unrewarding, unsustainable, and often unhealthy lifestyle that often ends in a total wipeout. -- Bigger Leaner Stronger by Michael Matthews, (pg. 118)

The choice of words Matthews uses - "Training" is intentional. Exercise is often though of as a short-term task to be pushed through to achieve some small goal (loose a few pounds/ run a certain distance). Training is longer term. Therefore the difference between exercise and training can roughly be thought of as the difference between short-term vs. long-term thinking. This is important to understand when deciding on your fitness goals.

"Exercise is physical activity done for its own sake—to burn calories or improve energy levels or mood—whereas training is a systematic method of exercising done to achieve a specific, longer-term goal, like increased strength, muscle definition, or athleticism." -- Bigger Leaner Stronger by Michael Matthews, (pp. 217-218)

You should strive to develop a training routine; but, regardless of the classification, there are a ton of benefits to physical activity. Body benefits include improved bone density (through osteogenesis), insulin response (through improved mitophagy), Vo2 Max, muscle mass, and BMR. Brain benefits include improved ability to learn (through secretion of BDNF), reduced anxiety and better sleep (through reduction in cortisol levels), and improved mood and focus (through BDNF and an increase in dopamine production).

Notice that weight loss isn't on this list. Many of the above benefits have subtle effects on how your body manages weight, but generally weight loss is controlled through diet, not exercise. This short video always inspired me on this topic (and inspired this post).


Enjoyed? You can subscribe to my blog. Comments? Send me a message.

#exercise #health #word smatter