Physical exercise is any bodily activity that enhances or maintains physical fitness and overall health or wellness. It is performed for various reasons.
Training can be the process of teaching or learning a skill or job or improving physical fitness by exercise and diet
Hopefully you fall into one of these categories. Are you exercising for health, to improve fitness level, to help with weight control/loss or to experience strength gains? Or are you training your body for physiologically adaptations, for an upcoming event or to improve speed, endurance and/or strength.
Obviously both definitions can be interchanged but it's likely that you use one or the other words to describe your active lifestyle. You either go to the gym to train or to exercise.
I find that many people struggle with the two definitions because of past experiences. Perhaps once you were training for an event but you got injured or the event is finished. However, you still want to train and live the lifestyle of training for an event. Rarely does the athlete consider "exercising" when he/she once "trained" for an Ironman or 10K. Perhaps training has a purpose and a clear goal whereas exercise is ongoing for many reasons other than a finish line or an event.
There are countless benefits of training and exercise but ultimately we NEED to exercise for the rest of our life. Sure, mowing the lawn doesn't sound like exercise but according to the American Heart Association and MANY other national exercise coalitions, you don't have to train for a marathon, Ironman or triathlon JUST to reap the benefits of exercise.
I strongly encourage people to "train" because it gives meaning to what you are doing. You can set short and long term goals and you don't feel as if you "have to do it". However, in an effort to "want to do it" you must design a schedule that works for you. I find that training for an event requires discipline and time management but in the process you learn a lot about yourself and you find yourself overcoming a lot of obstacles and doing things that you never thought you were capable of doing.
Life brings obstacles as well as exciting opportunities. The purpose of your exercise or training routine is to be consistent. If you find yourself negotiating with yourself to get out to bed to exercise, constantly battling with injuries/localized pain or if you find yourself tired, frustrated, moody or overly emotional from your current training/exercise routine, something needs to change. Although consistency is important in an effort to benefit from the many physiological effects of a balanced exercise routine, missing a day because you are tired isn't the end of the world. My advice to you, design a schedule that works for you so that you can train your body to adapt over time and in the next few weeks and/or months you will look back and be amazed at what you have accomplished overtime. Athlete or not, I encourage you to establish reasonable short term and long term goals and design a plan that will help you meet those goals in a fun (and perhaps challenging) way.
What are your 3 short term and 3 long term exercise goals? Do you have a balanced and reasonable plan to help you meet those goals
I have always used Monday as my recovery day and it seems to work well for most athletes who are training for an event. If you think about the rest of the population, who exercises, Monday is a day to hit the gym HARD because of the weekend of No-exercise, being lazy and perhaps partaking in poor food and drink choices.
When I design training plans for my athletes (and for myself), it is important to discuss training goals as well as life commitments. Maybe you are a stay at home mom and Wed and Thurs work best for your "long or hard" workouts. Maybe you have meetings all day on Friday and you would rather use Friday as a recovery day to rest up for the weekend. Maybe your favorite aerobic classes are Mon, Wed and Fri and Sunday is a great day to enjoy the outdoors or catch up on housework or errands.
Looking ahead, I will be interning Mon - Thurs for 8 hrs a day. Fri is "school" and Sat and Sun are designated to making sure I complete all of my weekly tests, quizzes, projects and assignments. As you can see, I am going to be an intern 7 days a week. I have always used Monday as my recovery day but considering that I am going to be super busy and having to think on my feet and absorb a lot of info Mon - Thurs, I decided that Thurs would be a better "recovery" day for me. Not only will I look forward to a day off (or active recovery if I feel like) from exercise on Thurs. but I will be on my last day of interning for the week and I won't feel totally exhausted and overwhelmed with my internship (which is my #1 priority). With 3 days of training ahead of me (Fri, Sat, Sun) I will have much more balance over my life and hopefully I won't feel tired, exhausted, stressed and overwhelmed.
"Life is like riding a bicycle.
To keep your balance you must keep moving."
"Just as your car runs more smoothly and requires less energy to go
faster and farther when the wheels are in perfect alignment,
you perform better when your thoughts, feelings, emotions, goals,
and values are in balance."