Physical Activity Vs. True Exercise
“Physical activity” and “exercise,” are terms that describe different concepts. Yet they are often confused with one another, and the terms are sometimes used interchangeably.
Physical activity in daily life can be categorized into occupational, sports, conditioning, household, or other activities.
Exercise is a subset of physical activity that is planned, structured, and repetitive and has as a final or an intermediate objective the improvement or maintenance of physical fitness.
While some of us make exercise part of our daily routine, others are still struggling to find the motivation to start and the dedication to follow through. It’s easy to skip a round of weight lifting and intense cardio because you have house work to do. Justify it by saying you have been scrubbing house for 2 hours.
While I have nothing more than kudos to you for getting up and active and polishing those floors. Yet sadly house work, gardening, shopping and even an evening round in the bedroom, do not burn as many calories or benefit your body as much as one would think.
The average 150lb woman burns 144 calories in 30 minutes of sex, yet can eat 144 calories in one cup of oatmeal or 1ounce of walnuts.
Deep cleaning your house for over an hour? Only a mere 136 calories.
To effectively lose weight and build muscle you will need to incorporate actual exercise into your routine. Even committing to start with a simple 10 minutes a day will do a world of change to your body. Exercise is a directed, purposeful physical activity with specific goals. For instance, exercise can include a cardio workout, weight-training and stretching routines. By incorporating purposeful exercise into your general physical activity, you can ensure that you are getting exactly the work out you need for optimum health and weight loss.
Another factor that differentiates exercise from general physical activity is the intensity of the activities. For instance, you will get more health benefits from a workout on an elliptical machine than you will from a stroll around the shops downtown. When taking time to exercise, you should also pick a target that you want to achieve. Example when doing cardio, you need to be meeting your Max Target Heart rate. When doing weight training, make sure you complete a specific number of reps. For weight loss aim for 12-16 reps and to bulk go heavier and aim for 6-8 reps.
In the end, you will find that mixing both exercise and increased physical activity will work together to improve your health and help you lose weight. The more you exercise, the easier and more pleasurable it will become, a habit will be formed. Over time, incorporating exercise will help you stay more active all the time, and enjoy a healthier and happier lifestyle.
So commit today, start with a simple 10 minutes/5 days a week/for one month of dedicated exercise and watch how you grow over the next month. Struggling what to choose? Let’s chat!