Following up on the theme that food is information - exercise is information, too.
Exercise is Information
Like it says in the Food Is Not Fuel article about food, the exercise you do prompts your body to specific reactions.
The exercises you execute, the number of times you do them, how hard, how much rest, etc. - it's all information to your body. It's a prompt to a reaction. Your body can only adapt to the stresses it encounters.
- How much endurance do I need?
- How much strength?
- What range of motion?
- How much flexibility?
- How much muscle should I add, remove, or maintain?
Your body won't adapt to non-existent stresses. It won't adapt to sporadic stress, either. It adapts over time to consistent bouts of stress. This is why (in general), marathon runners get endurance but not strength, powerlifters strength but not aerobic adaptation, jumpers get power, etc. Your body will adapt to the information you're giving it about the things it must adapt to. Enough information, enough times, and it will make changes. Not enough, or the wrong kind, and you won't get where you want to go.
Remember your exercise - and how you conduct yourself in your daily life - is telling your body what it needs to do to survive and thrive. It doesn't matter what you want it to adapt to, but what your physical actions tell it that it must adapt to.