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Exercise: A physical activity done for fun or bodily exertion done for the sake of developing and maintaining physical fitness

Training: Training differs in that people may engage in exercise as an occasional activity for fun while training has specific goals of improving one's capability, capacity, and performance. Training concentrates on goals and focuses on raising overall physical fitness.

When we are trying to lose weight, change our body composition or improve our physical abilities for any reason are we exercising or training? I think it falls into the category of training which involves having specific goals, a specific plan and measurable progress markers. To be successful we need to adopt a training mentality, which means that there has to be a total mind body commitment to the exercises we do. We can not simply mechanically go through the motions while thinking about other things. For the period of each workout we need to concentrate on that and that alone to get the maximum benefit from the time. When we exercise with the needed level of concentration there is no need to worry about a TV show, a book or even the isolation of an iPod or MP3 player, the time simply evaporates and suddenly the workout is completed.

I am in no way trying to discourage anyone from going to a gym or doing anything else for exercise, exercise is a vital component in maintaining both physical and mental health. The difference is while training includes exercise, exercise is also something which has a place of its own in our lives. When I go kayaking I am exercising but I am not training, I train to improve my ability to kayak to make it more enjoyable. When I go out and do intervals or long rides on my bike I am training, however hooking the trailer to the bike to go get groceries falls into the category of exercise.

Exercise is for fun, training is the work we do to increase our ability to have fun.

Questions or comments.

It is called WORK-ing out for a reason.

I said getting fit was simple, I did not say it was easy.

Cardio burns calories, strength work burns fat.

Eat well to lose weight, exercise to get fit

You can not build a six pack using twelve packs

Often when we seek a magic bullet for fitness we end up shooting ourselves in the foot.

"I think calories are little germs in food that all moms are afraid of" Dennis the Menace

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