Work Vs Workout

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Frequently, very frequently I hear this from my clients and others who come in for fitness consultations, “You don’t need to workout ‘coz you get enough while training others.” This statement always brings smile on my face and I never get tired and never waste my time to tell them, “This is my work not my workout.”

We engage in various professions and employment around Australia, which may range from very physical, moderate physical to sedentary type of works. Physical demanding works may include continuous lifting, heavy lifting, walking around or pushing objects etc. I’ve come in contact with lots of people from different walks of work and heard most of them saying that they get enough exercise from their job. Certainly, the physical demanding job gives the sensation of an exercise as most of the people relate exercise as breathing faster, exhaustion and perspiring. Well, it would be more worthwhile to relate the meaning of work, which is an activity that involves mental or physical effort in order to achieve a result, can be from employment of any other deed. The work done as a job might have similar repetitive mechanism for a couple of hours during the employment period. When you do the same thing repeatedly for long time, it becomes a physical activity rather than an exercise. An exercise is a set of physical activity that is executed in certain duration, in a specific form; range of motion and with or without an equipment like skipping, jogging, squatting, lunging, etc. It would be wrongful if we derive our working mechanism for couple of hours as an exercise because it will not provide the same result as we perform certain exercises for few minutes to hour or two.

Lets take an example of a football team. The professional players in a team who run and play vigorously for 90 minutes with one half time break in between. Playing football for a team is their job, and absolutely, they look very fit, strong and fast. We only see them playing but not training and preparing for the game. Without proper training and specific sport conditioning exercises, we will definitely compare them with the weakest teams we’ve ever watched. Thus, it’s not any different with the night filling jobs at Coles or Woolies, a team member in Bunnings Warehouse, a cleaner, a factory hand, AIN, or a fitness personal trainer like myself.

Today, fitness industry has become much fancier than ever before due to the exciting inventions of portable pedometers, calorie counters, etc. Pedometer is an instrument that estimates the distance travelled by recording the number of steps taken. Tucking a pedometer on the pants has become a fashion among the people who works physically and takes several steps on a day. I usually hear people saying and see posting on the social media timelines about the result of the pedometer at the end of the day covering long distances. Some don’t waste time to elaborate that they don’t need to engage long in exercising as they think they have enough at work by covering more than 10 Km. Ask yourself, will you walk that much distance if you go for training? Perhaps not, unless you are preparing for a long distance sporting event. Additionally, you wouldn’t walk at work like you are exercising. You could walk or take various steps in many forms, ways and tempo. It will be wiser if you don’t derive your fitness on the basis of the result of such pedometers you use at work.

In a gym and fitness environment the load comes in various shapes and weights and we call them equipment and use them for various exercising purposes. Dumbbells, Barbells, Weight Plates, Kettle bells, Ropes, Medicine Balls, etc. are the common terms of equipment varies in sizes, shapes and weight. Being a fitness professional, I have to deal with these weights for several hours a day while training and demonstrating my clients about the execution of exercises for couple of reps and to spot the heavy lifters. If I don’t know how to use these free weights equipment or if I’m not training myself, I consider them as just loads, which requires enough force to move them here and there. If there is such an instrument like portable pedometer that can record the amount of load that I lift during my work, I’m sure I lift tons a day. I still say, “This is my work, not workout.” I will say workout is a session of vigorous exercise for a certain period of time and I don’t do any while training my clients. If I don’t workout on a regular basis for myself, this lifting work will make me weaker instead of building a better body. Therefore, I pick at least five suitable days a week to train myself in order to keep myself fit, strong and active.

Thanks to the admirers of my physique who think I don’t need to workout because I look fit but I have to in order to cope up with my fitness goals, to stay strong and healthy. Whether you are working a sedentary or physical demanding work, workout is still significant to stay more active and strong. Both work and workout has to be done in order to balance your life from wealth to health or vice versa.

Sanjeet K Shrestha

Registered Exercise Professional

This article was published in +977 Magazine (Sydney, Australia)