Since Monday is President’s Day, I thought I’d talk about something I remember about the president I learned in elementary school: The Presidential Fitness Award!
Oh the good old days when I had PE (physical education) every day… I will always remember my PE teacher in her stylish workout suits, and my brother getting the fastest mile in the school when he was in 4th grade. I think today we have a problem, now that elementary kids only get 1 day or less of PE class each week… but anyway, back to my post!
Most people know that exercise is good for them. We try to fit it into our already busy days and then feel guilty when we don’t. Health professionals have been telling us to do more physical activity during the day. Park farther away from the grocery store. Take the stairs. In other words, incorporate physical activity into your daily activities.
But what exactly is the difference between physical activity and exercise? And how much is enough? Hopefully these next 2 posts will will help clear those questions up for you!
Exercise and Cancer Prevention
All forms of physical activity are known to protect against some and possibly all cancers. Research so far is strongest suggesting exercise is good for prevention of colon, breast, and endometrial cancers. We also know that physical activity protects against weight gain, overweight, and obesity. All three are risk factors for cancer, as well as diseases other than cancer, like diabetes.
And for those of us who might have a little vanity, physical activity helps to maintain a nice physique and muscle tone!
Finally, and most importantly, is the positive attitude and self esteem that exercise helps to maintain.
Physical Activity and Exercise: What’s the Difference?
The difference between physical activity and exercise is pretty easy to understand. We define physical activity as daily activities that involve movement. They burn extra calories and include activities like dancing, raking leaves, walking, taking the stairs, etc.
Exercise is a specific type of physical activity that includes planned, structured, and repetitive bodily movement done specifically to improve or maintain physical fitness. Brisk walking, swimming, and lifting weights are examples of exercise.
My next post will address how much physical activity you should be getting to reduce your risk of cancer.