Physical Activity and Exercise? What is the difference? What should I do?

Some people may wonder what the difference is between physical activity and exercise. Physical activities are activities that get your body moving such as gardening, walking the dog and taking the stairs instead of the elevator. Exercise is a form of physical activity that is specifically planned, structured, and repetitive such as weight training, tai chi, or an aerobics class. Including both in your life will provide you with health benefits that can help you feel better and enjoy life more as you age.

The Step Alive Fall Prevention Center of Excellence recommends structured 3 level (Low, Medium, and High Intensity) balance and mobility courses designed to give you the appropriate tools to daily increase your strength and coordination so you are more steady on your feet. Several gyms in our area and Findlay’s ’50 North’ offer many different classes including individualized training sessions. We are happy to make our recommendations to you based on your skill level.

We have developed with these organizations a detailed and extensive physical therapy program concentrating on specific activities and progressions of these activities to address the following five goals:

  1. Increasing Center of Gravity Control
  2. Reinforcing Fall Prevention Strategies
  3. Improving safety awareness
  4. Vestibular Retraining (if appropriate)
  5. Increasing overall strength and endurance
physical activity and exercisephysical activity and exercise

According to the U.S. Surgeon General's Report on Physical Activity and Health, inactive people are nearly twice as likely to develop heart disease as those who are more active. Lack of physical activity also can lead to more visits to the doctor, more hospitalizations, and more use of medicines for a variety of illnesses. With this in mind the Step Alive Fall Prevention program concentrates on getting people back to enjoying their lives and being more active. Some people are afraid that exercise will be too hard or that physical activity will harm them. Thru the use of Tai-chi principles of balance and coordination we will get you back into a regular exercise routine thru safe principles and regimes. Even moderate exercise and physical activity can improve the health of people who are frail or who have diseases that accompany aging.

Scientists have found that staying physically active and exercising regularly can help prevent or delay many diseases and disabilities. In some cases, exercise is an effective treatment for many chronic conditions. For example, studies show that people with arthritis, heart disease, or diabetes benefit from regular exercise. Exercise also helps people with high blood pressure, balance problems, or difficulty walking. It can also elevate your mood.

Keep in mind that also exercising regularly will strengthen your leg and foot muscles increasing your coordination and balance thus preventing falls and serious injuries.

physical activity and exercise

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