Athletes train themselves to be exceedingly good at the task they are specializing in. Most people in any population are however, not professional athletes in a sports field. So what tasks do these people, most likely including you reading this, specialize in?
Well, in our daily life, we walk to transport ourselves from place to place, sit for periods at a time to eat, use the computer and watch entertainment, occasionally run not to miss public transport and squat or bend to pick up items. Most of us are not professional sports athletes – we are the everyday-athlete, and these are our everyday-athlete tasks.
In recent years in Singapore, there is growing mass awareness of the link between physical activity and health. The ActiveSG and Health Promotion Board’s various campaigns in the arena of exercise and nutrition outreach has resulted in affordable and subsidised pricing for gym/pool usage, fitness packages, and food centres offering no/less oil/sugar choices. It is now not uncommon to hear people opt for brown rice mix, and/or mention the word exercise or some semblance of physical activity in their weekend plans (i.e. weekend warrior). You also know fitness is a big thing in a country when people are no longer shy about wearing exercise tights and activewear, or seeing others in them.
For these masses who have started working out, exercise is now a familiar word. Gyms however, often brand their services as fitness training. Oxford’s dictionary defines fitness training as: Exercise undertaken to improve or maintain one’s physical fitness and health. Is there a difference?
When you work out, are you Training or are you Exercising?
Answer the following questions:
1. Are you working out with purpose and intent?
2. Is there a goal that you are working towards?
3. Do your work outs serve to bring you closer to that goal?
If your answers to the above are a resounding yes, then I encourage you to view yourself as training, versus just exercising.
We train consciously, and we use exercises to edge us closer to our goals.
It’s more than just semantics or word play. It’s a shift in mindset. And it applies to everyone, including you and athletes.
What are your goals?
What drives you to go to do the exercises?
With purpose and intent, we start to put more thought into what we ask of our bodies. We plan, or we ask people like personal trainers to program for us, exercises in a training regime that are specifically chosen to level us up towards our goals.
Imagine you hear your good friend say they are going to train this weekend, versus that they are going to exercise this weekend. There is a big difference in your perspective of how they were going to spend that time, and consequently of how you view their commitment to their goal.
Try it out for a week.
Let people know you are training, instead of going out to exercise. I guarantee there will be a shift in how they view you, and how you perceive your own workout. (; It might be easy for someone to try and nudge you to change your plans to sync with theirs if you were just exercising, but not if you said you were training. That’s one more step towards keeping our resolutions, promises to our health and steps towards our goals.