Working out for health or for performance

Recently I’ve been thinking alot about exercise and why people exercise. 

First off, if you are an elite you most likely aren’t working out for health reasons but for performance. Just like if you have a serious exercise goal you want to reach then you might not listen to your body, you might push past your limits to reach that goal. You might skip sleep, maybe not eat enough or maybe eat more than you need for example if you are bulking of doing strongman training. Just because you are exercising doesn’t mean it’s going to make you healthy… infact if you over train without eniugh rest time or push your body incredibly hard you are more likely to get sick or injured but people do it anyway to reach their fitness or exercise goal. 
In my current university course we’ve been reading alot about exercise and one of the recurring topics is daily exercise and movement for health. 

To be healthy it is recommended c.a 10 000 steps a day or c.a 30-60 minutes of activity and movement. To be healthy, daily movement is what is recommended. For example if you just do 30-60 minutes at the gym or go out running but then for the rest of the 23 hours you are still then you’ll get better at what you do but if you want to be optimally healthy it would be best to do maybe 20 minutes of walking 3 times a day or atleast combine the gym visit with movement throughout the day for example taking stairs, walking, cleaning etc 

I’m the type of person who does 40-60 minutes at the gym and usually I walk there and sometimes walk home but for c.a 22 hours a day i am still. Though somedays there is extra moment such as walking to the store and food shopping, cleaning and meal prepping as well as always taking th3 stairs. I would say I’m active but am so lazy because I can honestly spend 3 hours in bed just watching series even if I am rather restless.

What I wanted to get at though is that if your aim with exercise is to be healthy then the recommendation is daily movement . It’s better to be active throughout the whole day than to just do 40 minutes at the gym and nothing else. HOWEVER it’s better you go to the gym than doing nothing at all.

 But you would be surprised what being active throughout the day and moving a little every hour can do for your health. For example if you have a desk job, get up and walk to your colleagues or get up and fill your water bottle every hour!

And to those who do have an active job, then you don’t have to go to the gym everyday unless you have a performance goal you want to reach. But if you workout for health reasons then just having an active job and strength training a few times a week is enough (i.e having muscles and doing some form of resistance training is so important especially the older you get!).

Working out should also be fun but I think it’s important to ask yourself whether you are working out for a goal or whether it’s for health reasons? Because if its for health reasons (but in actuality you do it to compensate for eating or because you feel guilty) then you dont need to do both a 2 hour walk/run and strength training in the same day to be healthy.

Workout to be functional. So that you can live life, have strength and stamina and energy. 

ALSO I need to note. That if your workouts leave you feeling absaloutly exhausted and you don’t do anything apart from workout because you are so tired then you aren’t working out for health reasons. When I was exercising due to guilt and compulsion I would be so exhausted for the rest of the day that I wouldn’t even meet friends or clean or anything as I would be so tired. But now when I exercise for health reasons I have energy to do so much more… I have energy to socialize, to clean, to go for walks, to do things apart from just study and workout.  

But ALSO I know that I don’t have to go to the gym everyday. Going for a walk is enough and resting is important!!!

Also note, if your goal is example to run a marathon then you might not do as much “regular” exercise the days you do a long run but then you’re working towards a goal and not health reasons!

2 Comments Add yours

  1. adkinsdomain says:

    I’m so glad you brought up this point. I am like you, I work out for an hour but the rest of the day I am at my desk or in class. I get some walking in between classes but usually my daily steps are only around 3500. I have been trying to improve on this.


  2. Scout Dawson says:

    I love walking. I enjoy strength training but admit I haven’t done any for years, due to my limited amount of free time.

    But walking, I love it. I walk everywhere, if the time/distance allows for it, the more scenic the route the better!

    Even on days where I feel lazy I stand up and try to do *something* at least once every couple of hours, just to get the blood flowing. If I sit down without moving all day I ache all over when I do finally get moving.


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