Physical Activity VS Exercise – What’s the Difference

Physical Activity VS Exercise

Being physically active is the key to a healthy lifestyle. We have 24 hours in a day and it is said that a person must at least exercise or indulge in an intense physical activity that makes your heart pump for about a minimum of 30-45 mins in a day. But how many of you actually do it? Most of the time you think that doing daily chores involves being active or it makes up for the exercise but is that true? So let us understand first the difference between these two terms- Physical Activity and Exercising!

Physical Activity and Exercise are related to each other and exercise can be indicated as a form of physical activity too and that is why even termed as physical fitness. But not every physical activity means that you are exercising. So in this article let us understand the difference and what happens in both. Keep reading to find out more.

Difference between Physical Activity and Exercise

The difference between Physical Activity and Exercise is, Excercise can be indicated as a type of physical activity which is planned properly and structured to reach and achieve your fitness goals. Whereas, Physical activity is the movement of the muscles in your body that requires strength and energy. Which one does not plan and it usually is a part of your daily schedule. Working, climbing stairs, swimming, walking, or just doing simple household work like cleaning the clothes, mopping the floor, ironing, or watering the plants can also be considered physical activities.

In physical activity, any movements done by the body which is not set, planned, and structured like exercise is known as physical activity. Physical activity varies from low to moderate intensity. Being active in this way affects your overall health and helps to keep your body active throughout the day by being involved in any work even for a shorter duration of time. For example, any work that involves daily household chores or certain daily tasks like cleaning, walking, gardening, catching a bus, going out during the break, etc is considered to be Physical activity.

Things or movements of your body which are planned, structured, set, repetitive, and focused action of physical activity is considered as Excercise. People go to the gym for having such focused and varied intensity of physical activity. It helps you to be consistent when it comes to your fitness goals. Because of that you also start paying attention to your diet and improve the performance and outcomes of your physical movements. While being focused on your fitness you also start being focused on other aspects of your body and mind.

What does Physical activity mean?

What does Physical activity mean

Generally, a person is involved in some of the other activities that have the involvement of their body movement throughout the day. It includes doing house chores, gardening, playing, climbing stairs, standing, or walking, these all are related to Physical activity (R).

Sometimes, because of the busy lifestyle and work-life, not everyone is able to set their time for a planned workout in a gym or at home and any other place Although one can still achieve fitness by increasing the intensity of their daily physical activities.

Daily fitness activities may not focus on building muscles or may not tone your body but it can help you to be active all day, to have good aerobic and muscular strength, cardiovascular strength, and mostly it can help you to avoid a sedentary lifestyle which invites a lot of diseases in the body. Your body requires energy to move and being active includes the movement of skeletal muscles which helps in improving the overall wellbeing of a person. Thus being physically active is beneficial.

What does Exercise mean?

What does Exercise mean

Exercise is related to physical activity and it is physical activity with moderate intensity. It has helped a person to achieve their fitness goals and stay focused. It helps to increase your body strength, cardiovascular health, flexibility, building muscles, building muscular endurance, toning of the body, etc. A person when focused- plans their fitness goals, structures them, and repetitive physical activity which requires a focused action to have the desired goals as it requires an amount of consistency to achieve it.

When you decide to Exercise you need to dedicate your time and effort same. Also one needs to pay attention to their diet as well in order to improve fitness. Exercise has a varied intensity and is done to improve the composition of the body. Using treadmills, dumbbells, swimming, stretching, and lifting weights are considered as a part of the exercise. There are certain advantages of exercising which include a boost in energy, helps in weight loss as you get lean, improves your mood and promotes better sleep, Also reduces the risk of several types of diseases.

Exercising also includes sports such as Tennis, golf, football, etc. Just exercising is not enough and diet is an important aspect which should be focused on while being on a fitness journey.

Key points that differentiate Physical Activity and Exercise

Differentiate Physical Activity and Exercise

1. Physical activity can be termed as the involvement of any kind of body movement which aids in losing some calories from your body. Whereas, Excercise is a part of physical activity which is planned and structured in an appropriate manner.

2. Physical activity keeps a person active and healthy throughout the day. Whereas a person exercises to improve certain aspects of their body like flexibility, muscular strength, endurance, to reach their desired fitness goals.

3. Physical activity cannot be measured y time, any activity small or big is a form of physical activity. You do exercise for a purpose, it can be to lose your weight or build body strength and that is why it needs to be planned hence, it is done at a specific time. Any exercise is termed to be productive no matter how much time you do, it should be done with minimum breaks for maximum results

4. The intensity of any physical activity can vary from high to low. While the intensity of the exercise is generally moderate to high intensity. Exercising also involves the use of certain fitness equipemnets like dumbbells, machines like treadmills, and others. In physical activity, it is not necessary to involve these.

5. To have some specific outcome physical activity does not require the involvement of a diet. This is why you may not notice much of a difference in your weight and health. Wherein, when you are exercising, it is said that 70% is the contribution of a diet that you follow and 30% is exercising that is why along with exercise, what you consume or feed your body plays an important role.


Your health should be your priority. Healthy you, is what will help you to achieve anything in your life. Being physically active is great but planning for your health and deciding what you want for your body and achieving it by exercising is what will fulfill your fitness goals.

Sometimes due to busy schedules, you may not have time to hit the gym but doing exercise for 30-45 mins every day can be beneficial in achieving what you desire and it will also be termed as a part of your physical activity. Hope this article has helped you to understand the difference between physical activity and exercise. Thank you for reading.

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