There are certain words in the English language that are not only spelled similarly, but also have similar meanings. Understandably, a number of people would get these word pairs confused, using the incorrect term at the incorrect time. One such example of this is the “exercise regime.” It’s not an exercise regime that you have at your local gym. It’s an exercise regimen.
While not quite as annoying as say that you could care less, referring to your time on the treadmill as being a part of your exercise regime makes absolutely no sense… unless exercise serves as the governing body in your life, in which case you could use the term somewhat ironically.
A regime is defined as a form of government or the government in power. For example, you could talk about Adolf Hitler’s regime in Germany or Joseph Stalin’s regime in Russia. The term is usually used to refer to the government in a negative or pejorative way, and while not always true, it is usually used to refer to governments that exert a fair bit of power over the people.
A regimen, by contrast, is defined as a systematic plan of treatment or therapy. Many senior citizens have a regimen of medication and physical therapy, for example. Your trainer at the gym may put you on an exercise regimen. Someone trying to quit smoking may put himself on a regimen of nicotine gum and a community support group.
Don’t refer to your pushups and chinups as an exercise regime. It’s an exercise regimen.