By: Chris Cooper, Wellness Director

Physical activity is a broad term. It refers to movement of the body by using the skeletal muscles that subsequently results in a caloric expenditure that is greater than your resting expenditure. Whether going from sitting to standing, walking, running, lifting, or carrying, all of these activities are considered physical activity. These activities are also referred to as activities of daily living.

Exercise, on the other hand, is a more structured, planned form of physical activity. Examples of exercise might include the following: scheduling ahead of time to go to the Wellness Center and walk on the treadmill for 15 minutes each day, or planning to take the Sit Fit class three times per week.

A person who regularly exercises is likely to be more “physically fit.” This means they are not only able to perform daily tasks with minimal fatigue, but they still have the energy to enjoy other leisure activities, such as socializing and dining with friends and family, or attending an evening event in downtown Sarasota. This type of health-related physical fitness is evident by improved cardiovascular and muscular endurance as well as improved balance and flexibility that enables a person to move with less effort and minimal, if any, assistance.

While all physical activity is beneficial and encouraged for maintaining health, structured exercise will not only maintain, but will help improve your physical fitness so that you may enjoy each day to the fullest.

Source: American College of Sports Medicine. Health-Related and Skill-Related Components of Physical Fitness. 10th ed., Philadelphia, PA, Wolters Kluwer.