Search This Blog

Friday, September 21, 2007

Which is better: Physical Activity or Exercise?

Certainly, on can always opt to have an effective option other than the strictly controlled exercise. Make small changes in your activities. Walk up or down stairs in place of going via the elevator, walking after lunch at the office instead of sitting around and gossiping with friends. The list is endless.

You will be surprised at how much calories you will burn just by incorporating some moving activities in you daily life. It is not that hard. It will not require you to set aside half an hour to one hour a day, three times a week. Let us see what guidelines we have to follow.

Let’s see first the difference between incorporating physical activity into the daily routine compared to exercise. The physical activity can be done as part of the daily lifestyle whereas for the exercise, you have to set aside a certain time.

The physical activity can be done at home, at work or anywhere else and there is no need to buy equipment and outfits. So, there is practically no cost. Often times, the exercise has to be done in the gym and you may have to buy equipments and outfits. In addition there will be fees to pay.

You burn off small quantities of calories often with physical activity while with exercise, you burn off larger quantities of calories but less often. With physical activity, there is little risk of injury while with exercise, you could twist your ankles or incur other injuries that may stop you from exercising until you heal.

Household chores burn calories. For example digging in the garden will burn 6 - 7 calories per minute. You will burn 11 calories per minute that you’re shoveling dirt and 5 -6 calories per minute that you’re painting the kitchen walls.

Walking is a physical activity everyone can do. As a matter of fact, on any given day, we do some walking. Programs have recommended trying to increase an extra thousand steps a day. This will burn an extra 50 calories and may not mean much to you. But think about it. How many calories will that be after a year? Right, over 18,250 calories.

So, what’s the moral of the story? Get walking, that’s what. Is there proof that this works? You bet! The Diabetes Prevention Program did a study on this very issue and found that the participants who put on an intensive lifetime lifestyle intervention program did better than those who did not walk.

The participants were even encouraged to increase their walking to more than ten thousand steps per day. This is the equivalent of five miles. They wore pedometers that kept track of the number of steps they made on any given day.

Remember that each step you take spends energy so walking a mile after lunch will help achieve the balance between food intake and energy output. This will certainly ward off weight gain and diabetes. Granted this will not take us back to pre-industrialization age but it will help us get nearer the goal of getting the energy level better and reduce the risk for weight gain and diabetes.

I know what I’m blogging about next time. Have you guessed? Yes, that’s right. I will talk about exercise. Only then will we be able to see the complete picture on the differences between physical activity and exercise. We have some ideas, but let’s give exercise a chance.

For more information about diabetes, please visit this site:

Free Diabetes Alert

No comments: