Many people often think that physical activity and exercise mean the same thing, but they are different, especially when it comes to keeping the weight off and being fitter.
So what’s the difference?
Physical activity is ANY activity (including exercise) that you do throughout the day that involves physical movement. Examples are things like your job, hobbies, gardening, shopping, walking, housework and climbing stairs.
Exercise is a specific form of physical activity that is planned, structured, repetitive and intended to improve or maintain your health and physical fitness. Types of exercise include swimming, cycling, running and weight training.
Where possible, exercise should be an essential part of any weight loss programme as it helps you lose fat, maintain muscle mass and stop you regaining excess body fat.
You also get the extra bonus of being healthier and it improving the following main components of physical fitness:
- Cardiorespiratory (aerobic) fitness
- Muscular strength fitness
- Muscular endurance fitness
- Flexibility fitness
- Body composition (how much fat you have compared to lean body weight)
Why intensity is important
Intensity is important in terms of how many calories you burn up and how effective it is at helping you lose excess body fat, improving fitness and having a good body composition.
Intensity also varies depending on your current fitness levels. For example, if you were to swim non-stop for 20 minutes, the harder it would be to do (at a perceived higher intensity) if you were unfit. As you get fitter, the same exercise becomes easier to do and the intensity level feels lower.
The GutBusters weight loss programme include exercise classes, and also give you the information to help you exercise effectively to achieve your goals.