The difference between exercise and physical activity is….

One of the most important distinctions I learned in school was the difference between PHYSICAL ACTIVITY and EXERCISE. Many times I hear patients say they do not need to exercise because they have an “active” lifestyle and job. However, there is a difference between the 2!

Physical activity is “any bodily movement,” while exercise is a “subset of physical activity that is characterized by a planned and purposeful training.” Taking the time and energy to plan and dedicate to exercise, raise your heart rate, and challenge your musculoskeletal system makes a huge difference for the body and mind.


One research article I found described exercise as a “drug.” It has varied doses (volume, intensity), frequencies (sessions), and types (aerobic or resistance) which must be considered in choosing exercise for an individual. Physical activities such as cleaning around the house, construction site work, yard work, side projects, are all “activities” and are not considered “exercise.” Now why is this important?

You can be physically active in day-to-day activities and still live a sedentary lifestyle. Now, the benefits of exercising regularly are in connection to exercise and not just physical activity. This includes decreased risk of developing congestive heart disease, hypertension, COPD, type 2 diabetes, obesity, insulin resistance, rheumatoid arthritis, chronic fatigue syndrome, cancer and depression. It also has benefits of increased learning, memory, and sleep!

If you do one thing for your health, start, or maintain, or rejuvenate your exercise routine! Challenge your system (body and mind) in order to better your health. Make an appointment with Dr. Casey today for exercise advice and planning!

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“The kids have to get to school, then I have work, then we have a board meeting, then the kids have practice, and dinner needs to be cooked and….” When is there time for exercise? Time for you? Time