your new year’s promise: are you training or exercising?

The new year provides us with an opportunity to evaluate our health and make a fitness plan or give ourselves a fitness challenge. Why not? You may want to lose 10 pounds, feel better in your clothes or eliminate low back pain. First, you have to think through what your current fitness plan includes (or doesn’t). You have to determine your approach: train or exercise? And, what’s the difference? What is going to give you more lasting and sustainable results from your fitness?


Training means you have a program and you have a plan. You rarely deviate. You plan your days around it. Exercising means you engage in your fitness with fewer constrictions and metrics. Both have tremendous merit.

When you train, you approach your training like you do anything of which you are passionate: your children, your job, church etc. You set measureable goals. You give yourself planned “breaks” or “cheats days.” You realize it may be a sacrifice. Yet, what in your life is something for which you are proud that didn’t require hard work? A good training program will always include rest days. Rest is just as important as the work in a gym or whatever your chosen method of fitness. A simple fitness plan may include training, nutrition and rest. For example, you might train 3 days a week for one hour, increase vegetable intake to 1 cup three times a day and get 7-8 hours of sleep. The training portion is planned: there is a warm up, a conditioning, strength and a core portion. All have specific movements, like push ups, or jumps and have repetitions and outcomes associated with them. They are all achievable.

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If training doesn’t sound right for you, it may be time to simply exercise. Science tells us over and over that exercise can “clear your head” and “de-stress.” We should feel good about our exercise even when it isn’t associated with a firm measurable goal in mind. Exercising can include days when you go to the gym with no plan, just to do something because you know “something is better than nothing.” You know you need to be safe and pain-free in all of your movements. You focus less on the outcome and more on the progress. Embrace it. No guilt attached.

So, in 2015, what will you do? Which is right for you? Training or exercising?

  • The latest from Adrien
Adrien founded Fitness on the Run in 2004 out of her home after a successful career in policy and public affairs communications. After spending 15 years developing her own personal definition of wellness and watching thousands struggle with theirs, in January 2019 Adrien founded Alexandria Wellness, the home for the Concierge Wellness Program and Corporate Wellness with Adrien Cotton. Over the course of 15 years, “FOR” was home to more than 2,000 clients, 30 instructors, and hundreds of inspirational success stories. Adrien is now, more-than-ever, passionate about helping women view their fitness as a journey, not a quick fix. Adrien’s recipe for success herself has evolved from a rigid training plan of sweaty and heart pumping workouts to some days getting in her 10,000 steps, consciously breathing, her 7.5 hours of sleep, and her beloved 5-Minute Flow. Adrien believes the most important ingredient is making small changes for big results, even if it’s one new habit formed each month. Still passionate about fitness, Adrien’s clients appreciate her ability to make sessions seriously challenging without a “beat down,” a healthy mix of strength and metabolic (cardio) work and ultimately helping her clients gain real strength in mind and body. She believes we all benefit from being curious about our bodies and that change, or improvement, is within reach despite what your “inner voice” or others may tell you. Adrien is bubbling with excitement to help women learn the importance of a comprehensive approach to wellness, weight loss, and contentedness with yourself, and that every person has the right to feel good about themselves. Most days, you can find her helping clients with their wellness, listening to success stories, and bragging about her twin 13-year-old children and “fittest man in Alexandria” Bill Cotton. Adrien prides herself on her practice of mindfulness, meditation, and putting it all into perspective.

Alexandria Wellness offers achievable answers for anyone who is tired of chasing fitness and health without a clear plan, someone who has struggled and is not satisfied with their fitness and wellness or someone who is open to maximized healthful longevity and fitness along with healthful weight loss. Adrien and her team offer help with food guidance, body acceptance, sleep and stress issues, and insist you have fun along the way.

Schedule your free 30 minute consult here!

Alexandria Wellness
215 North Payne Street
Alexandria, VA 22314




  1. […] most Americans, New Year’s Resolutions (NYR) don’t work. Last month in this post we talked about the science behind NYRs. Short term plans and gains seem to fall short of […]

  2. […] exercise, not train, right now. If you are training for any metric or goal, DIG DEEP. (See blog on training versus exercise from […]

  3. […] most Americans, New Year’s Resolutions (NYR) don’t work. Last month in this post we talked about the science behind NYRs. Short term plans and gains seem to fall short of […]

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