Updated: Apr 15, 2021
You don't need anyone to beat the dead horse and tell you how much exercise can be amazing for your cardiovascular and physical health. Of course exercise is good for you. But I think somewhere along the line, we got exercise and "working out" intertwined. I personally think they are different.
Every workout is exercise, but exercise isn't always a workout. Exercise your body. Exercise your brain. You don’t have to work up a sweat to get exercise but you have to exercise if you want to have a healthy mind & body.
Working out is exactly what it sounds like, WORKING out. Working up a sweat. Pushing yourself and WORKING your heart rate up. You know when you've done a workout. You're sore the next day or the day after, you're gassed. THAT'S a workout.
That's also not for everyone. Not everyone has the time, or the motivation to put in a full on workout - not to mention, many people are still reluctant to go to the gym (thanks covid.)
I would go so far as to say that a majority of people don't particularly enjoy a WORKOUT.
So if we know that exercise is good for us - duh - and we're not a big "workout" person, how do we get our exercise? And how is that not a workout? Sounds like the same thing...
EXERCISE on the other hand, doesn't always have to be a "push yourself" workout. Exercise can be just walking around the house. Exercise can be taking the stairs instead of the escalator. Exercise can be standing instead of sitting. Exercise can be golf, a hobby or puzzle, even reading I would consider exercise.
DAFUQ U TALKING BOUT RIGGS?
Did you really say doing puzzles and reading can be exercise? Yes. Because you're using your mind. You aren't scrolling a social media feed mindlessly. You are exercising your BRAIN and that's a HUGE muscle. I know it's not a literal muscle, but why shouldn't we should treat it like one?
Challenging your brain and moving your body will do AMAZING things for your OVERALL health - mental and physical. We know how much the two are related and really go hand in hand.
So whether you are exercising by walking in circles around your house, taking the stairs, trying to beat your Grandmother's high score in Sudoku, or you're doing a 45 minute ass kicking sweat drenched HIIT session, it doesn't matter what you do. Just. Move.
Sitting idly on the couch and binging a Netflix show every once in a while is fine to unplug and escape, but don't neglect the other ways you can exercise your brain. Read an article that makes you think. Read a book that helps you escape. Exercise your brain and keep it active. This will no doubt have amazing long term impacts on your mental health overall.
Your blood will flow. Your heart will pump. Your endorphins will flourish.
The brain is meant to be exercised. The body is meant to be exercised. All you have to do is MOVE. Use your brain and EXERCISE your brain.
Next time you're feeling off, or bummed, or angry or pissed off - drop all your shit - and go for a walk. Stop thinking about the work thing and go read a few pages in a book. Break the thought cycle that's bringing you down.
Or just close your eyes and take some deep breaths.
That will chill your heart and your head.
Just move. Take care of your body and be kind to your mind. 🧠