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Still Under Tall (Physical Activity and Exercise...what's the deal?)

Thursday, August 06, 2015

We've been participating in this (and earlier) Challenges for some time now, and each day I read a comment or a blog on SP that pertains to how/what we count for our "Exercise Miles". Prior to each Challenge (on the Community Page) there is always a definition as to what "counts" for mileage. I always read it and I've been comfortable with the definition as presented. The definition is always posted on the Challenge Community Page, but always as part of the overall Challenge concept and some participants may overlook this thread in the excitement of beginning a new Challenge.

We are all familiar with the terms "physical activity" and "exercise", and I finally found a really easy explanation along with a wonderful graphic. It seems that the two terms are used interchangeably, yet there is a definite distinction between them.

"So, exactly how do we differentiate between exercise and being physically active? And is the distinction important? Here are some definitions that should help clear things up:

Physical activity is movement that is carried out by the skeletal muscles that requires energy. In other words, any movement one does is actually physical activity.

Exercise, however, is planned, structured, repetitive and intentional movement intended to improve or maintain physical fitness. Exercise is a subcategory of physical activity.

Research provides significant evidence that ALL physical activity positively contributes to overall health and well-being. Exercise also assists with the improvement of physical fitness, which consists of five specific components:
-Cardiorespiratory fitness
-Muscular strength fitness
-Muscular endurance fitness
-Flexibility fitness
-Body composition "

This graphic from the American Institute for Cancer Research visually depicts the importance of both daily physical activity AND structured exercise (in relation to cancer indicators). Here, the green reflects structured exercise, while the yellow reflects daily physical activity.



There are a lot of articles online that address this topic, but I found the information referenced above to be the most concise AND informative...especially that graphic! I wanted to share this because it really helped me understand not only the importance of physical activity, but also gave me a really clear definition of "exercise". The article gives me really clear parameters when it comes to reporting my daily "miles" to my Team.

Here is the link to the article and the graphic:
www.acefitness.org/acefi
t/healthy-living-article/6
0/5460/physical-activity-v
s-exercise-what-s-the/
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