ASPT Top Tip - Exercise vs Physical Activity #ASPTblog #4
So do we know the difference between exercise and physical activity? Both of these are different but a lot of people presume they are the same. Both can quite easily be changed very subtly to improve health and fitness too. Let's define the two for starters...
Exercise is as a form of physical activity that is planned, structured and done to improve at least one aspect of physical fitness.
Physical activity is activity that is part of your daily life.
Now each of these can be improved to create a healthier you. It's important to understand where you could make improvements. Exercise for example. You can go to a fitness class, take part in a race, go for a run, swim, go to the gym... What we are doing is consciously making a decision to bring about a training adaptation.
Now for physical activity how could we improve this? We could walk around the supermarket instead of buy online, we could do the gardening instead of pay for it to be done, we could get off the bus one stop early, we could walk up the stairs and not take the lift. Again we start to understand it and see the differences between the two.
Now exercise and physical activity play such key roles in people's lives. Let's take an elderly person for example, 80+ years old... This person is likely (not in all cases) to participate in little to no exercise. That I would say is reasonable too. Now for them, their physical activity may be absolutely paramount to them living an independent life. If they walk to the shops each day to buy a newspaper and the total trip is 1km then suddenly take that away and that is a lot of physical activity lost for that person per day. Potentially, quality of life may deteriorate. That 1km per day may be the very thing keeping them active and able to move.
On the flip side of this, let's take a professional cyclist in the Tour De France. Their level of exercise is some of the most intense in the world. Typically they'll be In the saddle for 4, 5, 6+ hours per day. The exercise level is huge. The physical activity level, minimal to none. They won't be caught walking around the supermarkets for their weekly shop, they'll take the lift over the stairs and they'll rest as much as they can when they're not riding a bike.
Two very extremes in examples there but it gives you an idea. Have a think about your level of exercise and physical activity. See what changes you can make to create a healthier you. Invest in your body as it is yours and yours for life.
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