Friday, April 23, 2010

Exercise Vs Physical Activity

Do you know the difference between activity and exercise? There is a difference and it's important to understand.

Physical Activity: This refers to any bodily movements that result in the burning of calories. Anytime you're up and moving, you're being physically active.

Exercise: A subcategory of physical activity; it is physical activity that is planned, structured and repetitive. The intent of exercise is to increase your fitness level.

When you are physically active, you aren't necessarily doing it to increase your fitness level. For example, when you mow the lawn (with a push mower of course), you're doing it to cut your grass, not to get fit. But, if you put in an aerobics DVD, that's exactly your intent. See the difference?

Everyone needs to exercise and stay physically active throughout the day. You wouldn't want to work all day at your desk, take a 30 minute walk when you get home, then sit the rest of the night watching tv. That's just not enough movement. Try to add more activity all through the day. Walk the dog, do housework, play with the kids, etc, etc.

If you're new to all of this, try adding more physical activity in your day before you jump head first into a full exercise program. You'll be more successful at making it a lifelong habit if you take one step at a time.

The old stand by's like taking the stairs instead of the elevator and park further away from the doors at the store are easy ways to start. Think of some other ways you can add activity.

Here's an idea: wear a pedometer. You'll have a constant reminder to get up and move. Plus, it's a great way to see how many steps your taking, set goals and stay motivated.

Wear your pedometer for 3-4 days to see how many steps you take. From there, you can set some realistic goals. Shoot for a minimum of 10,000 steps per day.

Remember to aim for a combination of activity and exercise for best results. Be creative and have fun with it!