When we add ‘ing’ to a verb in the continuous tense (present past, or future), we treat it as a verb.
I am listening to the radio.
Mom was washing dishes.
We will be making pasta tonight.
However, outside the continuous tense when we add ’ing’ to certain verbs they become nouns. Such words are called gerunds
Swimming is a good exercise
Shania likes reading magazines in her spare time
We will go fishing on the weekend.
Let’s go for shopping after lunch.
Mike fell on the track at the beginning of the race.
Rita scolded Maria for calling her so late.
Janet enjoys cooking on Sundays.
I prefer traveling by road than by air
Peter doesn’t mind making everyone’s breakfast in the morning