What is Physical Activity?
Physical activity can be defined as any movement of the body that requires energy expenditure. This includes any motion you do through the day excluding sitting still or lying down. For example, walking to class, taking the stairs, mowing the lawn, and even cleaning your house can be considered physical activity. Exercise is a type of physical activity but not every physical activity is exercise. Exercise is a planned, structured, and repetitive activity for the purpose of improving or maintain physical fitness.
Why should I be physically active?
The fight against obesity:
More than one-third of U.S. adults (35.7%) are obese. In simplest terms, obesity is excessive fat accumulation that impairs health. Obesity has a wide range of medical complications;
- Pulmonary disease
- Gall bladder disease
- And many more.
The cause of obesity in two people is rarely the same – genetics, lifestyles, and even viruses all play a role.
Fighting obesity can be influenced by certain risk-factors. The modifiable risk factors related to obesity include physical activity, excess caloric intake, and low socioeconomic status. There are also non-modifiable risk factors; age, heredity, ethnicity/race, culture, and metabolism.
Obesity is a growing epidemic in our nation. The change starts with us. Using this physical activity guide can give you the proper steps towards an obese free neighborhood, city, and nation.
What the experts say:
Performing physical activity on a regular basis will help to improve overall health and fitness, as well as decrease the risk for many chronic diseases (Center for Disease Control, 2010).
- HEALTH: The World Health Association defines it as, “Health is a state of complete physical, mental and social well-being and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity”
- HEALTH-RELATED FITNESS: The American Academy of Sport Medicine defines health-related fitness as a set of attributes one already has or works towards. This develops through physical activity and aids in the performance of daily function with vigor and without fatigue.
- CHRONIC DISEASES: A condition that impairs daily living, decreases longevity and quality of life. Some examples include cancer, heart disease, diabetes, and Alzheimer’s disease.
What does this mean for you?
- Benefits of Physical Activity
- Reduced risk for cardiovascular disease, type II diabetes, certain cancers, and other chronic health conditions
- Help with weight control
- Strengthens bones and muscles
- Improves mental health, mood, and energy level
- Better quality life