Corinne Austin | Personal Training

Exercise VERSUS Movement

Yummy Mummy Final Photos 020A few weeks back we had guests for dinner, and an interesting conversation was struck up by a seemingly common and legitimate question posed by one of the dinner guests and pointedly asked to me.

I was asked what I considered to be the ideal amount of exercise to do in a week.  And to be frank, my own answer shocked me.


For the first time in the twelve or thirteen years that I’ve been practicing and preaching exercise and it’s remarkable health benefits to the hoards, I found myself giving an entirely new answer.


In the past I would have answered with some kind of ‘we should be doing 30 minutes of exercise every day for a minimum of 5 days’ construct.  I would have originally gone on to say that some of this should be strength (resistance) training, some of it cardiovascular (running, cycling, swimming) training, and the remaining part should be some form of mind-body training (yoga, tai chi).


But this time, something quite different happened.  I replied with a new and original answer; one I hadn’t practised, or that I wasn’t even consciously aware that my thought patterns had changed so remarkably.  And what’s more, it was spoken from the heart – I really and truly meant what I was saying, and whole-heartedly believed that this new perception was the new way forward for the majority of the population.


You see, exercise doesn’t undo sedentary behaviour.  It doesn’t undo poor lifestyle choices.  It doesn’t undo the excess weight that we carry.  It doesn’t undo a crazy, busy, spinning-out-of-control life.


To be frank it’s simply no longer about how much exercise we should be doing.  Instead it is more about being aware of (and doing something about) how much we are not moving.


That’s right – we just are not moving enough.  We spend too long sitting or physically dormant, and our bodies are paying the price.  Our joints stiffen up, our muscles atrophy and weaken, our posture deteriorates, and our ordinary physical capabilities suffer.  And then there’s all the ways that our lack of physical functioning impede on the many other physiological, chemical, psychological, and biological (and more) processes that our body relies on movement for.  But that’s a whole another topic altogether!


They say technology has made things easier, but has it?  Life is more chaotic, bamboozling, and overwhelming today than it has ever been.  If technology has made things easier, more efficient, and more convenient, then why are we so much busier, and why do we not have more time for doing the things we need to do – like physical activity, movement, and cooking wonderfully healthy meals?


If we are to improve our health, one of the first steps we need to take is to just move more.  We should never be sitting still for more than 30 minutes at a time.  We need to become aware of how much movement we have or haven’t done in a day (come in the ‘fitbit’ and ‘pedometer’ craze) and planning how we can alter this to better accommodate our bodies needs.


Movement is a liberty that so many of us take for granted, and that too many are missing out on.  Movement is a necessity of life.  Are you moving enough?