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Types of physical activities and exercises that help maintain physical health and fitness

Types of physical activities and exercises that help maintain physical health and fitness

First, we need to clarify what is meant by the following terms:

  • Physical Activity
  • Physical Exercise

The following definition has been taken from the document Benefits and Risks Associated with Physical Activity produced by American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM)

“Physical Activity and physical exercise are often used interchangeably, but these terms are not synonymous. Physical Activity is defined as any bodily movement produced by the contraction of skeletal muscles that results in a substantial increase in caloric requirements over resting energy expenditure (1,2).

Physical Exercise is a type of Physical Activity consisting of planned, structured, and repetitive bodily movement done to improve and/or maintain one or more components of physical fitness (1)

So, in simple terms, Physical activity is any form of activity requiring effort for bodily movement such as walking, household chores and play

Physical exercise is a planned, STRUCTURED, movement of the body for physical fitness and health.

Below are some examples of physical activity and physical exercise:

Examples of physical activity and physical exercise

Table 13 Examples of physical activity and physical exercise

1. Caspersen CJ, Powell KE, Christenson GM. Physical activity, exercise, and physical fitness: definitions and distinctions for health-related research. Public Health Rep. 1985; 100 (2): 126 – 31.
2. Rockhill B, Willett WC, Manson JE, et al. Physical activity and mortality: a prospective study among women. Am J Public Health. 2001; 91 (4): 578 – 83.