I think, for a novice, they need to just begin engaging in some sort of physical activity they enjoy. If someone were to tell them that they were about to engage in “a complex behavior that involves many steps and a series of skills to adopt and maintain,” they would never begin. I also think there is a natural evolution of an activity. It may start out simple, but as a person adapts and his/her confidence and stamina grows, he/she will be more willing to increase his/her skill and accept a more complex routine. Physical activity can BECOME complex, but it does not necessarily have to be that way. I believe there are stages and the exerciser ultimately makes the choice.
I must confess I am still struggling with the analysis of the gait cycle, what accelerates, what decelerates, contracts, releases, how to see the heel strike and how the foot then rolls up over to the outside, then the inside and out the big toe. So clearly, physical activity is very complex.
And yet ….. every child has mastered to art of walking (to a certain degree) before the age of 1.
I believe that we all have an inate ability to move correctly, and, if left to nature, things would not need to be that complicated. What I observe are the blessings and curses of modern life at work which replaces endless crunched-up immobility for the effortless fluent mobility we should inately know.
And once we are beyond the age of a child, we need to acquire as a skill which should just have come natural to us.
Great question, Joanne. I love people who make me think 🙂
That is an interesting statement. My response to that would be that I think it might make more sense to me to replace the word “activity” with the word “fitness.”
While there is a course of development in life that offers the opportunity to be active, the responsibility is thrust upon us by the demands of life. The statement is true in that physical activity takes practice. Every step we take is a step closer to the last step we’ll ever take. It makes sense to take our steps correctly; meaning that the physical skills we learn are only skills if they assist us in prolonging life in the sense of both quality and quantity. Going off of that, “physical fitness” makes more sense in the sentence than “physical activity” does, in my opinion.
I like that quotation.
Physical activity is movement of the body; on a cellular level there are certainly numerous, relatively complex things that must occur, for instance, for a single muscle contraction.
I think the description/definition above might be more applicable to “exercise”: because this is a more structured, pre-planned activity that requires systems and strategies for it to occur successfully on a consistently regular basis.