In this pandemic, we all have more time. One way to use this time is to do things that help improve your physical and mental health. One of the best ways to improve physical health is to exercise. The health of our heart and lungs, our ability to remember things, reduced risk of chronic diseases, and countless other benefits.
However, when it comes to daily exercise, there are many misunderstandings. Many people often confuse physical activity with exercise. But what is the difference?
What is Physical Activity?
According to ACE Fitness, physical activity is defined as skeletal muscle exercise that requires energy, which means that any exercise you do is considered physical activity. Examples of physical activity include housework, gardening, playing with children, and climbing stairs instead of elevators.
No matter what exercise you do every day, these exercises will have a positive impact on your overall health. Physical activity can also range from simple to advanced.
What is Exercise?
Unlike physical activity, exercise refers to a planned, structured and repetitive movement aimed at improving physical fitness. Exercise can be seen as a subcategory of physical activity, a more specific form. For example, running on a treadmill, lifting weights, swimming, etc. are all different sports.
Remember, just like physical exercise, the intensity of exercise can vary, but most exercises start at a moderate intensity. Exercise also helps to improve health and is divided into five specific areas:
- Cardiovascular training
- Muscle strength
- Muscle endurance
- Body composition
Each of these exercise components focuses on making everyone physically and mentally healthy. Important aspects of a healthy lifestyle should include regular aerobic exercise, strength training, and even stretching exercises. Although these can be integrated into a physically active lifestyle, certain exercises can help you achieve greater physical and mental health benefits.
Exercise vs Physical Activity
Most of your daily physical activity is considered light to moderate intensity. However, certain health benefits can only be achieved through more vigorous exercise. One example is to improve the condition of the cardiovascular system. Running or jogging is more beneficial to the cardiovascular system than a leisurely walk.
In addition, improving your physical fitness depends not only on your level of activity, but also on the intensity and duration of your continued exercise. Take aerobic exercise as an example, you need to reach a certain intensity in order to gain benefits from the exercise.
The three terms physical fitness, activity and exercise look very similar, but the difference lies in the way they are used. A lifestyle that includes physical activity can include all the components of fitness, but an exercise program can help you achieve positive results related to performance.
In order to maintain good health, physical activity is a good starting point. In order to achieve fitness or additional health goals, you need to incorporate more vigorous and organized exercise into your daily activities.
To break it down more simply:
Physical Activity = Health Results
Exercise = Fitness Results
Take a moment to evaluate your situation within 24 hours and keep track of your level of activity by recording your fitness log. What are you doing from getting up to going to bed? Have you noticed that you exercise regularly during the day or live a sedentary lifestyle?
Include your daily activities, for example, going to the gym, working in the garden, walking the dog. Looking at your day as a whole can help you determine what else to include in physical activity and exercise. The combination of physical activity and exercise can bring many positive results, but it is always important to balance each of them.
Physical Activity & Exercise: Components of Physical Fitness
Ideally, the exercise plan should include elements designed to improve each component:
- Cardiorespiratory Endurance: Improves respiratory endurance, your ability to perform aerobic exercise through walking, jogging, running, and other activities such as cycling, swimming, skipping rope, rowing or cross-country skiing at extremely fast speeds. Once you reach your distance or intensity goals, you can increase them or switch to other activities to continuously challenge yourself.
- Muscular Strength: You can increase muscle strength more effectively by lifting weights with free weights such as barbells and dumbbells or weightlifting machines.
- Muscular Endurance: Improve endurance through activities such as rhythmic gymnastics (physical training), strength training, and running or swimming.
- Flexibility: Improve your flexibility through stretching exercises or disciplines such as yoga or Pilates that include stretching exercises.
Although all these components of fitness can be addressed through an active lifestyle, exercise programs can help you get greater benefits.
How to Become More Physically Active?
Increasing the amount of physical activity in daily life is a good starting point, such as parking a few blocks from the destination and walking a short distance. However, to truly achieve your fitness goals, you should include a structured and energetic plan to help you achieve more health and fitness goals.
Consider adding fun activities to your weekly activities, especially those that involve the whole family, such as cycling, hiking, and walking in the area. It’s all on weekends. Instead of spending only one day cleaning every two weeks, try to include daily housework that lasts 10 minutes or less.
If you are interested in technology, please think creatively about what to do without it. Keep yoga mats, resistance balls or resistance bands in the living room so that they can be easily used while watching TV. There are many ways to increase your daily physical activity.
When evaluating your daily activity log, you should develop a detailed plan, which includes:
- Increase your daily physical activity
- Structured and planned exercise routine
The lack of one of the forms of exercise and conscious physical activity can have serious and adverse effects on your health, fitness, and general well-being. Don’t be a TV addict, switch immediately and add these two elements to your life to get the life-changing benefits of physical activity and exercise.
Physical activity refers to any physical movement that leads to energy utilization. On the other hand, exercise refers to planned, conscious, repetitive and organized physical activity to achieve health and physical benefits to the body.
Both together with diet is the most effective means to promote health and helps improve the quality of life. Try it yourself!