How often do you feel the dread when you think about “having to exercise?” The word “exercise” holds a great deal of power. So much power that it can hold you back.

 If I may provide an all too well-known situation that happens in sport to illustrate the power of perception. Consider the team that continually loses to the same opponent, season in, and season out, despite being better in some seasons, even, being athletically comparable or better, but they continue to lose to that team.

“They got your number,” are the words describing this situation.

Similarly, perceptions attached to words like “exercise” or “physical activity” commonly has some people’s number. The baggage attached, maybe, strings of previous attempts to become active, the popular press illustrating “exercise” with trim and athletic bodies, gymnasiums, facilities populated with precision movements, leaving the perception of exercise as not for me—never for me?? The choice of how we reference activity, our journey, has consequences. For me, I refer to my journey as “being active,” “getting in my activity.” It works for my getting active journey.

The impact of the terminology you use to reference your journey— there is power in how we frame it. Think of all the things you do that are active.

  • Did you clean your house over the weekend?

  • How many times did you climb the stairs while you were doing the laundry?

  • Did you walk your dog or take your children (grandchildren) to the park to play?

These are all positive activities and they count in the active journey.