Movement, Exercise and Training: Important Distinctions for Fitness Success

Posted On Jan 08, 2024 |

Ready to move/workout/train more? Rather than thinking about what you SHOULD do, think about what is appropriate for what you are trying to achieve.

Movement, Exercise and Training: Important Distinctions for Fitness Success

Ever felt lost in the fitness maze, trying every trend without lasting success? Let's clear the fog. Today, we unravel the distinctions between movement, exercise, and training – so you can create your roadmap to real, sustainable fitness triumphs. Ready to navigate with purpose?

This is something I go over with clients often. In fact, it is one of the topics we tackle early on in my Back To Basics (B2B) Fitness Transformation Programs for women over 40, as we discuss incorporating mindful and intentional movement into our daily lives. 

Think of these three concepts as interrelated: 




When you start to think of scheduling each into your daily life, it is important to ask yourself: Is the type of movement I am engaging in appropriate for what I'm trying to do?

Let's look at each in more detail.


This is perhaps the most important of the three in that humans have been moving less and less as technology progresses to make our lives easier and easier. The dangers of a sedentary lifestyle have been reported on extensively and I won't go over it here. You already know. 

It can also be the easiest to implement since there's an almost unlimited amount of types of movement we can do.

We can pick what we find most enjoyable so there isn't that feeling of punishment, obligation, inconvenience or even pain that we may get with 'working out' or exercise. 

It can improve calorie burning, creativity, mood, sleep, pain levels, independence, self-confidence, and so much more. 

The more you move intentionally, the better you'll feel, and the more you'll want to move! 

Ways to add more movement to your life

The list is endless but here are a few suggestions:

  • change your mode of transportation
  • try outdoor meetings at work and walk there
  • move your garbage can away from your desk
  • walk or hike with friends
  • take the stairs
  • stand instead of sit, get a standing desk
  • play more with your kids (or grandkids)
  • clean stuff
  • dance while cooking
  • carry your groceries home 
  • tap your toes and/or raise your heels while sitting 
  • while waiting in line, stand on one leg, then the other, or shift from side to side.
  • stretch while watching TV
  • do some brief movements before getting into/out of the car, example: use the car to elevate your hands to do a pushup
  • go rollerblading in the park
  • try that dance step you love watching other people do in the privacy of your own home - have fun with it!

You get the drift.....


Exercise, or 'working out' is any movement done with the goal of improving some aspect of health or wellness ('tone up', lose weight, 'get off my butt' etc). It is often unstructured, rhythmic and/or repetitive, like the cardio you see people doing at the gym while watching TV, or large group fitness classes, just to name a few examples. 

It is easy to be engaged as you're being entertained by a TV screen,  music, or a popular group fitness teacher. 

I still take exercise classes. They are a lot of fun and DO have benefits. But it isn’t the main part of my schedule.


TRAINING is progressive (it gets more challenging over time), substantive, structured and meaningful plans designed to get you to a specific goal - e.g. improve balance, run a 5K, lose X% amount of body fat, learn a specific skill, etc. 

Progress in training is tracked and often assessed by coach or mentor, or even an accountability partner. 

You are likely to be more engaged in and therefore committed to training because the goals are yours and are specific to your life. 

(One of my training goals is: do a headstand without relying on the wall.) 

How much should you do of each? 

As far as movement is concerned, there are no hard and fast rules. The more the better. 

Please see my blog "Yes you can get fit even if you are an absolute beginner" for specifics on official recommendations and my own suggestions on how to schedule it in, and to stay motivated. 


In the world of fitness, it's not about what you should to, but about what you can and want to do. Specific, trackable goals are the compass guiding your unique journey. But it is also important to remember: it's the non-exercise movements that you weave into your day, the subtle dance of daily life, that truly define your vitality. 

Choose to move because you can, set goals that spark your fire, and relish the journey – your personalized path to sustainable fitness and a more free and independent life. 

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Ready to sculpt a life where movement isn't a chore but a celebration? Let's dance into this new fitness chapter together!

1) Download my Easy Start Exercise Guide

Want to plunge right in? Download my free guide where you will learn a do-it-yourself method anyone can use to build their own easy yet realistic exercise routines with NO EQUIPMENT, NO GYM MEMBERSHIPS OR FANCY CLOTHING REQUIRED.

2) Book a call with me and let's create a plan to get your health and fitness on track.

Categories: Move