The word exercise has many meanings. Too many meanings. So many meanings that it has almost lost all of its meaning.
So, I believe we would have a lot less fitness confusion and a more clear view of how to actually get fit if we broke it into three more distinct versions and assigned them some more meaningful names.
When we choose to walk to the store instead of driving there, we might be heard saying that we are “getting some exercise.” When we go to the gym or any fitness class, we go there to exercise. When we start training for a marathon, we again think or talk about it in terms of doing some sort of exercise.
While all of these statements are mostly accurate, at least to a certain extent, I think this line of thinking gets us in trouble. And not just semantic trouble that confuses people who are learning English as a second language but actual fitness-confusion kind of trouble. So I propose that we look at fitness in a different way.
To that end, let me introduce you to three (not so) new labels for exercise: Movement, Workouts, and Training. And in that order.