What Is Physical Activity and Fitness?
Did you know:
- Exercise is a form of physical activity.
- But, physical activity does not require exercise.
What's the difference?
Physical Activity Is More than Exercise
- Exercise is a structured program of activity geared toward achieving or maintaining physical fitness. It is actually a sub-category of physical activity.
- Physical activity is any form of exercise or movement of the body that uses energy. Some of your daily life activities-doing active chores around the house, yard work, walking the dog-are examples.
Both can include aerobic and muscle strengthening activities:
Aerobic Activities: Activities that make you breathe harder and make your heart and blood vessels healthier. These include:
- Water aerobics
- Aerobic exercise classes
- Bicycle riding (stationary or on a path)
- Some activities of gardening, such as raking and pushing a lawn mower
- Golf (without a cart)
Muscle Strengthening Activities: Activities that build up your strength. These activities work all the different parts of the body-your legs, hips, back, chest, stomach, shoulders, and arms. These include
- Heavy gardening (digging, shoveling)
- Lifting weights
- Push-ups on the floor or against the wall
- Working with resistance bands (long, wide rubber strips that stretch)
What Is Fitness?
Fitness includes cardiovascular functioning, which is improved by aerobic activities that get your heart and lungs working faster. It also includes muscle strength, flexibility, and balance.