A plaque remaining from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem.

Above, a 1934 plaque from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem. Discarded as trash in 2006.

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Entry from June 23, 2012
“The best exercise is the one you will do” (exercise adage)

People often ask, “What’s the best exercise—jogging or lifting weights?” “The best exercise is the one you will do” is the answer given by many fitness professionals. If someone doesn’t like jogging or lifting weights and won’t do it regularly, then it’s not the best exercise for that person.

“The best exercise is the one that is liked best” has been cited in print since 1961. “The best exercise is the one that you’ll do” has been cited in print since 1980.


Google Books
The Girl’s Book of Physical Fitness
By Jean Campbell Pattison Vermes
New York, NY: Association Press
1961
Pg. 30:
As for which form of exercise is best for you, a British doctor puts it neatly: “There can be no best exercise for everybody at all ages and in all circumstances. The best exercise is the one that is liked best.” A Philadelphia doctor recommends hiking, running, tennis, jumping, and walking to school as good ways for young people to keep fit.

11 May 1965, Wisconsin State Journal (Madison, WI), “Exercise, Go Hundry, or Get Fat” by Ida Jean Kain, sec. 1, pg. 10, col. 7:
The best exercise is the one you enjoy the most.

Google Books
The Weighing Game & How to Win It; without getting sick or going broke
By Ottone Riccio and Dolores Riccio
Emmaus, PA: Rodale Press
1974
Pg. 38:
The best exercise is the one you enjoy and are capable of doing well.

Google Books
Toward Fitness:
Guided exercise for those with health problems

By Robert C. Cantu
New York, NY: Human Sciences Press
1980
Pg. 29:
It has been said that the best exercise is the one you most enjoy, as it is the one you will most likely continue to pursue.

12 November 1980, Morning Advocate (Baton Rouge, LA), “Exercise,” pg. 4C, col. 6:
The bottom line, it seems, is that there is no right exercise for everyone. The best exercise is the one that you’ll do.

Google Books
The Canyon Ranch Health and Fitness Program
By Kathleen Moloney
New York, NY: Simon and Schuster
1989
Pg. 80:
The best exercise is the one that you are the most likely to do consistently. Jogging is wonderful, but if you hate to do it, you’ll eventually stop.

Google Books
You Can Be Fit!:
A simple guide to understanding fitness and nutrition

By Steven M. Horwitz
Arlington, VA: Foundation for Chiropractic Education and Research
1993
Pg. ?:
The best exercise is the one you enjoy the most and will do consistently!

Google Books
The Forever Mind:
Eight ways to unleash the powers of your mature mind

By Priscilla Donovan and Jacquelyn Wonder
New York, NY: W. Morrow
1994
Pg. 88:
Do it your way. Covert Bailey, the author of Fit or Fat, says, “The best exercise is the one you’ll do.”

Google Books
Sports Injuries Sourcebook;
Basic consumer health information about common sports injuries

Edited by Heather E. Aldred
Detroit, MI: Omnigraphics
1999
Pg. 285:
What is the best exercise for the senior patient?
I find that the best exercise is the one that your patient wants to do on a regular basis.

Google Books
Smart Guide to Relieving Stress
By Carole Bodger
New York, NY: Cader Books
1999
Pg. 129:
The best exercise is the one you will do. Whether it is walking on a treadmill at a gym or taking a tour of the neighborhood, or whether it is lifting barbells or doing floor exercise, make exercise your own.

New York (NY) Times
April 7, 2007, 9:01 pm
A Q&A With Dr. Elizabeth Nabel
(...)
Q. Asking about prevention, what’s the role of physical exercise? Is there a better one to decrease the risk of a heart attack (walking everyday, workout, running, etc.) – Mario Nobrega (Brazil)

A. Regular physical exercise is very important for good health. Thirty minutes daily of moderate-intensity physical activity will improve overall health, help prevent heart attacks, and improve heart health after a heart attack. Moderate-intensity activity includes brisk walking – like walking when you’re in a hurry to catch a bus or if you’re late for an appointment. But the activity doesn’t need to be walking – it can be gardening, mowing the lawn, dancing, biking, swimming – any physical activity that you enjoy or need to do. It can be different each day and whatever can be fit into one’s lifestyle will work. The 30 minutes doesn’t have to be done all at once; it can be done 10-minutes at a time. Some experts say “the best exercise is the one that you will do.”

Posted by Barry Popik
New York CityExercise/Running/Health Clubs • (5) Comments • Saturday, June 23, 2012 • Permalink


Indeed. exercise is not all about lifting weight or participate on the latest trend exercise. For me it’s all about willingness to do and move that lazy muscles.

Posted by russel | robot lawn mower  on  07/30  at  05:59 AM

I really enjoy reading the post, thanks for sharing I really like it, I already bookmarked it, thank you guys.

Posted by adis kadiric  on  09/07  at  01:52 PM

Thanks for sharing with us decent reading material ideas, I’ll definately check some of this stuff out!

Posted by Plano Personal Trainer  on  10/18  at  03:22 PM

All those people who jump on fitness fads should see this. They think nothing works but it’s really their fault for choosing something they didn’t really want to do in the first place.

Posted by Zada Green  on  10/24  at  07:03 AM

I agree with this article. I am a freelancer and Im lazy when it comes to regular jogging at the park. The best exercise for me is shopping.smile

Posted by my knee surgery  on  10/29  at  01:17 AM

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