Man in yellow shirt delivering package to young woman.

Your Job is NOT Your Exercise

Your job is NOT your exercise!

While a job may be physical, you still need to exercise

There is a huge misconception that as a fitness instructor I “exercise all day long.”  Or this delivery person is exercising since he has to pick up packages and walk them to their destination.  In both cases these are jobs, they are not exercise.  Some may argue this point so let’s dive in a bit deeper.

Desk job vs. physically demanding job

Let me give you a real-life example of how the body works and how you cannot consider your physical job exercise.  I know someone who worked a “desk job” for several years.  That person then got a new job that required much more time on their feet and some physical lifting and moving of objects.  Low and behold, the person lost some weight in the first month of working at the new job.  So now you are thinking wait a minute she just said it was not exercise but it seemed to be just that since this person lost weight while making no other lifestyle changes.  Stay with me here because that was just the beginning.  Over the next several months, while the job was still physically demanding there was no further physical change for this person.

The body is smarter than the average bear

This person saw a change because they made a change in the amount of physical activity they were doing during their 8 hours of work, but that all stopped just as quickly.  The body adapted to a “new normal”,  it expected to see that level of activity each day and “rewired” itself to survive at that level.  Now if that person stopped that physically demanding job and went back to being at a desk, you guessed it, there is a very good chance that person would put back on the lost weight because they were no longer moving the same amount.

Increase your heart rate with exercise every week

I’m sure you’ve heard this, probably from me, you need to increase your heart rate with exercise for 150 minutes per week.  You need to do something that is not your everyday routine and do a variety of activities to keep your body guessing.  We don’t want our bodies to be able to “rewire,” we want them to constantly be wondering what we’ll be doing next so they never get too comfortable.

So, I’m sorry to have to break the news to you, but it’s true, you still have to exercise, even if you have a physically demanding job.

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