Physical activity and exercise are often used interchangeably, but did you know that there are certain fine differences between the two? According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, exercise is actually a subset of physical activity. Teri Mosey, an exercise physiologist and instructor for Health and Fitness Certifications, explains that what may be considered as exercise for one person, may qualify as physical activity for another. The difference between physical activity and exercise is also influenced by individual factors such as physical fitness level and health condition. Read on to find out about the differences between physical activity and exercise, and the various exercise and physical activity benefits!
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention provides the following definitions for physical activity and exercise:
According to David Bassett, Jr., PhD, a professor in the department of exercise, sport, and leisure studies at the University of Tennessee, physical activity includes routine activities such as climbing the stairs, doing housework, or walking. In fact any bodily movement which results in a contraction of the muscles can be classified as physical activity. Working out at the gym, running, cycling, engaging in sports, or swimming all count as exercise if they are performed regularly and with the underlying aim to improve or maintain your health and fitness level.
If you are looking for concrete weight loss and overall health improvement results then exercise is the way to go. Keep in mind that overtime, sustained and regular exercise will be considered as physical activity by your body. Individuals who exercise regularly often complain about a decrease in their weight loss progress after they have been exercising for some time.
This is because when you expose your body to a new form of physical activity such as brisk walking, or cycling to work every day, your body will consider it as a challenge and take time to get used to this new form of rigorous physical activity. However, your body will soon adapt to the challenge of performing the new bodily movements and for you, these activities will become routine physical activities instead of exercise.
How can you ensure that your body benefits consistently from your regular fitness schedules? Implement the following guidelines to maximize the benefits from your exercise program: