This has been bugging me for years.

“Everyone” knows there are three elements to fitness:

  • Cardio
  • Strength
  • Flexibility

And somewhere along the line, the need to delineate simple body movements into three separate and distinct things confused people and made a bunch of people sit down and give up on doing anything.

So, let’s get this straight: you don’t need separate “cardio” and “strength” and “flexibility” programs.

If your goal is to lose weight, eat better.

If your goal is to reshape your body, start by dialing down your stress and increasing your joy. And then/simultaneously add exercise that you love. If that happens to be more cardio-oriented or hitting the weight stacks at Equinox, yay for you. Otherwise, here are some ideas:

  • Yoga
  • Swimming
  • Carrying your kids
  • Doing body weight exercises
  • Pilates (especially with props)
  • Lifting things in your life that need to be lifted and not using modern technology (remote controls, cars, etc) wherever possible
  • Pump this car at Legoland, like I did last year….

There’s more to life than “strength training” or cardio” in a gym. Your body can’t tell the difference between a class at the gym and swimming at the beach. And research shows that it doesn’t matter if you get your exercise as a weekend warrior or in daily increments. The body was meant to move. So move it, and don’t worry about which of the three “categories” you checked off a list.

Your biology doesn’t have a checklist that looks like the above. And there is nothing special that happens once you achieve a certain number of “cardio points”.

I’ll be back tomorrow to explain more about flexibility. But in the meantime, let the notion of categorization fall from your brain. It’s very 1980s and it won’t benefit your health, your life or your time.

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