Difference Between Physical Activity and Exercise

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Physical activity is generally the movement if the body that involves stretching and contraction of the muscles. All the activities during the whole day including walking, housework, climbing stairs are few examples of your physical activity. An exercise is a special form of body activity which is done with an intention of getting health benefits and gaining fitness level. Swimming, working out at gym or fitness club, running, cycling and sports like football, tennis, basketball are the different forms of exercise.

Difference Between Physical Activity and Exercise
Difference Between Physical Activity and Exercise

Understanding the Major Difference:
To understand the major difference between exercise and physical activity, you need to understand that most of the physical activity on a regular can be of light to moderate intensity. However, there are few health benefits that are only accomplished with heavy and vigorous physical activities. Running or jogging offer great cardiovascular gains than the easy walk at the garden. The enhanced fitness level does not only depend on the type of physical activity you perform but also depends on the intensity and the duration of the activity. Therefore, it is really important to exercise within the target heart rate while doing the cardio exercise in order to reach a specific level of energy.

Understanding The Intensity:
Now the question arises, how can you decide when an activity is supposed strong and moderate in intensity? If you are able to speak while exercising, then it is moderate. But if you end up stopping to catch a breath while speaking, then it’s surely vigorous. It all depends on the different fitness level during any activity. Like ballroom dancing is moderate in the intensity as compared to aerobic dancing which is considered vigorous. It’s only about the choice of the physical activity but also how much exertion the activity requires.

Difference Between Physical Activity and Exercise

An exercise program should include some elements specially designed to enhance each component of physical fitness.

Muscular Strength: To increase your muscle strength effectively, start lifting weights using weight machines or free weight such as dumbbells and barbells.

Flexibility: Try to work towards improving your flexibility level through the different stretching exercise that can be done as a part of your workout or with pilates or yoga that involves stretching.

Cardio Respiratory Strength: Improve respiratory endurance and your involvement in aerobics through different activities like jogging, brisk walking, cycling, running, rowing, swimming or skiing. When you reach your intensity targets, either set them higher for the next time or switch to completely different physical activity to challenge yourself.

Muscular Endurance: Improve your muscular endurance with conditioning exercises such as calisthenics or weight training and also with activities like swimming and running.

Summary:
All the above mentioned fitness components can be addressed with an active lifestyle. For that, a proper fitness program can give you great help to achieve even better results. For the beginners increasing your physical activity on daily basis is a great start. Try parking your car few blocks away from your destination and get into some brisk walking, stretch while sitting at office, use stairs than the elevator to add little intensity to your basic physical activity. However, if you are looking to achieve certain fitness goals then you would need to incorporate planned, well structured and strenuous activities in your daily schedule to attain even your health and fitness goals.

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