Tag Archives: Ken Hutchins

QOTD: Ken Hutchins on Recreation Versus Exercise

Recreation, not exercise

Recreation, not exercise

Perhaps the most destructive as well as most misunderstood concept in fitness today among researchers, the commercial health facilities, and the general public alike is  the confusion of exercise and recreation.

Ken Hutchins

Exercise Isn’t Supposed To Be Fun

MP900049602Melanie Thomassian’s recent blog post on physical activity reminded me of a Ken Hutchins essay called “Exercise vs Recreation.”

One of the key take-away points of the essay for me is that exercise isn’t supposed to be fun.  Ken wrote, “Do not try to make exercise enjoyable.”  Getting your teeth cleaned isn’t supposed to be fun, either.

Once I got that through my thick skull, it made it easier for me to slog through my  twice weekly workouts.  Another excerpt:

We accept that both exercise and recreation are important in the overall scheme of fitness, and they overlap to a great degree.  But to reap maximum benefits of both or either they must first be well-defined and then be segregated in practice.

Read the whole thing.

Should Exercise Be Fun?

Exercise is not supposed to be fun. If it is, then you should suspect that something is wrong.

That quote is from an essay by Ken Hutchins posted at the Efficient Exercise website.

When I was a young man in my 30s, I was jogging 20 miles a week and ran a couple marathons (26.2 miles). I enjoyed it and didn’t do much else for exercise or overall fitness. I thought I was in pretty good shape. You can get away with that when you’re 35, but not when you’re 50. At 57 now, I can’t think of any single recreational activity that can help me maintain the overall strength, functionality, and injury resistance I want and need as I age.

I’ve come to view exercise as a chore, like flossing/brushing teeth, changing the oil in my car, and sleeping when I’d rather not. I’ve got my current exercise chore whittled down to an hour three times a week. OK, sometimes just twice a week.

Skyler Tanner takes a thoughtful and in-depth look at the exercise versus recreation dichotomy at his blog. If you have comments, more people will see them at his site than here.

Steve Parker, M.D.