dreamstime_xxl_13562669Two terms used in wellness discussions are physical activity and physical exercise. They often are used interchangeably, but they are not the same. Both terms refer to voluntary movements that burn calories. Physical activities are activities that get your body moving such as gardening, walking the dog, raking leaves, and taking the stairs. Exercise is a form of physical activity that is specifically planned, structured, and repetitive, such as weight training, tai chi, or group exercise classes.

Of course, physical activity and exercise are both important and can help improve your ability to do the everyday activities you enjoy. The biggest difference is that physical exercise usually results in a more rigorous level of effort and, thus better results.

Incorporating both physical activity and exercise into your day-to-day life is best.

Incorporating both physical activity and exercise into your day-to- day life is best. Sure, you can go to the fitness center and take an exercise class three times per week, but if you are completely sedentary the remainder of the week you probably won’t attain or maintain the level of fitness you desire. Therefore, in addition to structured activity that physically challenges you, find ways to simply be active throughout each day. By combining the two you’ll feel better and your body will respond accordingly.