A sound mind is in a sound body
a proverb of Greek origin
HOW FIT ARE YOU?
Do you lead a sedentary life, slumped in a chair all day? If so, you could be seriously our of shape and badly in need of exercise. Use these symptoms to identify your level of fitness:
- you feel out of breath after walking up a flight of stairs
- you feel exhausted, weak or shaky after just a few minutes of hard exercise
- your heart continues to beat fast for 10 minutes after exercise
- you have poor muscle tone
- you have trouble getting to sleep at night after you exercise, and feel abnormally tired the next day
- you feel tired and run-down most fo the time
- you get cramp in your side after a very short run
It’s time to get started on an exercise program!
(from “Oxford Learner’s Pocket Word Skills” by R.Gairns and S.Redman)
- sedentary – involving a lot of sitting and not much exercise: 1) I have a sedentary office job, and I’m not very happy about it. 2) Leading a sedentary lifestyle is becoming a significant public health issue.
- slumped – having your head low and shoulders forward: 1) I spent the evening slumped in front of the TV. 2) He sat slumped over his desk.
- out of shape – not in good physical condition (≠ in shape): 1) I can’t believe how out of shape I am. 2) I haven’t had any exercise for weeks, and I’m really out of shape.
- out of breath – breathing fast and with difficulty, for example because you have been running (= short of breath): 1) She was out of breath from climbing the stairs. 2) She’s always short of breath when she climbs the stairs.
- shaky – feeling weak or unable to walk or move without shaking: 1) His hands were shaky. 2) I have noticed my hands are shaky when pouring a cup of coffee.
- run-down – so tired that you do not feel well: 1) Evie had been working too hard and was feeling run-down. 2) My doctor said I was looking run-down.
- cramp – sudden severe pain in a tired muscle that becomes very tight: 1) I’ve got cramp in my foot. 2) Several runners needed treatment for cramp and exhaustion.
- to get started on sth. – to begin doing sth.: 1) We couldn’t wait to get started on the next job. 2) It’s already 6:00, so I’d better get started on dinner.
EXERCISE: countable or uncountable?
The uncountable noun exercise means physical activity done in order to stay healthy and make your body stronger. If exercise is used as a countable noun, it means a physical action that you repeat several times in order to make a part of your body stronger or more healthy. Compare:
Try to do 20 minutes of vigorous exercise every day. (uncountable)
Let’s do the deep-breathing exercises. (countable)
You should take/do more exercise. (uncountable)
Roll over and repeat the exercise on the other leg. (countable)
EXERCISE, SPORT, TRAINING or WORKOUT?
Sport (uncountable noun) is all types of physical activity that people do to keep healthy or for enjoyment. The word sport is mainly used with this meaning in Britain. The word is usually used as a countable noun to mean a game, competition, or activity needing physical effort and skill. Compare:
The school is keen to involve more young people in sport. (uncountable; sports in general)
Football is a popular women’s sport in the US. (countable; a game)
She used to do/play a lot of sport when she was younger. (uncountable; all types of physical activity)
My favorite team sport is rugby. (countable; a game)
So, in British English, sport can mean the same as exercise: I do a lot of sport = I do a lot of exercise.
Training (uncountable noun) is physical exercise that someone does regularly in order to practice for a sport or to stay healthy: 1) I am in training for the marathon. 2) He is in training for a competition. The word can also mean the period of time that a sports team spends practicing together before the season begins or before a match: 1) The athlete injured his knee badly in training. 2) We do lots of different exercises during training.
A workout (countable noun) is an occasion when you do physical exercise: 1) Always wear good shoes for your workout. 2) This will be a light workout.
Gym/exercise equipment is equipment that can be used for exercising. Here are some pieces of exercise equipment you can commonly find in a gym: