Differences Between Physical Activity and Physical Exercise. – There is a lot of slip-up about the differences between physical activity and physical exercise. It is also common to confuse both terms with sports.

1. Introduction:

If you are looking for a quick answer, here are the definitions and some examples:

  • Physical activity is any bodily movement such as walking, dusting, or getting in and out of a chair
  • Physical exercise is a planned, structured and tiresome activity that seeks an apparent objective as a goal. Common examples comprise running, dancing, or riding a bike.
  • Sport is a physical exercise where you strive. So it can also be running, dancing or cycling, but there have to be rules to follow and classification to determine a winner.

However, the differences between physical activity, physical exercises and sports go further.

It is common for professionals in the sector to find answers like these when they ask their clients or patients.

– Do you do any exercise regularly?

– What do you mean? Because I move, I move a lot.

To avoid this confusion, in The Wiki Guide, we explain more extensively what each of these activities consists of and the differences between training and exercise.

2. What is physical activity?

As its name suggests, physical activity is any activity that involves body movement with the consequently associated energy expenditure.

This is like the big bag from Mary Poppins because, to think about it a bit, we don’t stop doing physical activity from the moment we get up until we leave our body at rest.

The type of movement that we develop is not relevant. What defines physical activity is the movement that, in addition to walking, can be demonstrated by walking around the block to buy a newspaper, bread or some goldfish. In all three cases, will carry out a physical activity.

We could say that physical activity is multidisciplinary if we focus on the fact that it can include anybody’s movement. In some cases, and regardless of energy expenditure, it will be less expensive than in others. Still, all activities that involve our motor system and imply energy expenditure are physical.

Types of physical activity

Types? Those that are needed since there are many examples of physical activity.

Since we have agreed that the impression of physical activity is like Mary Poppins bag, physical activity can be:

  • Dusting
  • Sweep
  • Walk the dog for five minutes
  • Take a walk to the window shop
  • get up and sit down
  • To cook
  • Stroll through the workplace to the photocopier on the second floor – taking the elevator or not.
  • Set the table or remove it
  • Make the bed

However, the initial question did not refer to this type of activity and made it with intention. It is no longer about moving around a lot like that, haphazardly. Now you have to plan.

3. What is physical exercise?

If we are going for physical exercise, the Mary Poppins bag is useless. We should pay more attention to a classic nature observation briefcase, for example, where we will organize the gear, the day in which we will use it, planned, and the observation routines will be repetitive.

That is precisely exercise, planned, structured and repetitive activity that seeks a clear objective but can be variable. Indeed that is the spark of it!

Characteristics of physical exercise

Physical exercise brings together five initial ingredients :

  • Design
  • Planning
  • Routine
  • Durability
  • Goal

Depending on the objective that you finally want to achieve and the time you want to invest in achieving it –whether in the short, medium or long term– will establish a personalized design to advance along the path and reach the goal.

Using a straightforward metaphor… We already know that many roads lead to Rome, but the important thing is to get going and be clear that you have to go through the Coliseum.

With physical exercise, a personalized route is established so that everyone knows Rome in the way they like best.

In reality, planning and routine, no matter how hard they insist on having a grey meaning with a cadence of rainy afternoon and confinement, are creating opportunities to get the most out of the planned.

The routes can vary, in the same way as the times to perform the physical exercise can design the planning. With interchangeable routines that do the training, the goal is more different.

It is what has good planning that is not subject to specific and immutable rules.

Types of physical exercises

Take note of the most common physical exercise examples :

  • To run
  • Train at the gym
  • Bicycling
  • Swim
  • Fitness
  • Dance
  • etc.

There are many examples of physical exercises. Sometimes, they combine to give more colour to that exercise that helps us feel better physically and mentally, such as Zumba, sh’bam, afroaerobic, etc.

4. What is sport?

And we came to the third activity that we referred to at the beginning.

Here the qualitative leap is remarkable, and the confusion is reduced to a minimum because the difference between physical activity and sport is apparent.

When asked: do you do any sport? The answer leaves very little room for doubt, imagination, or digression.

5. Difference between physical activity and sport:

Practising sport implies competing, and this essential characteristic makes the difference because competing means both the existence of regulations and submission to them.

The competitions are actual as varied as the interests of the competitors who carry them out. No one doubts that the league among colleagues is not the same as a grand slam tournament, derby, or weightlifting competition. And yet, people who practice activities of this type, regardless of their context, practice sports.

6. What is the difference between physical activity and physical exercise?

Very easy.

Performing physical activity is very common; you unconsciously practice it daily.

As you probably know, you want to become more aware of your physical and emotional development and well-being little by little. So, you get to work and look for professionals to help you design and plan a personal exercise routine and set goals for yourself, either for the sheer pleasure of exercising or for the competition bug. Then you get to the next level: sport.

If you like physical exercise so much that you practice it and want to be the one to plan and design the routines, then find out about our training at  The Wiki Guide. We have the physical trainer course you are looking for!