The Difference Between Physical Activity and Exercise

Physical Activity vs. Exercise – Are they Different?

Want to know the difference between Physical Activity and Exercise? Well, both terms refer to the voluntary movements you do that burn calories. Here are examples:

Physical Activity is an activity in which you move your body – such as gardening, walking the dog, raking leaves 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.

Physical activity and exercise are both important and can help improve your ability to do the everyday activities you enjoy.

The bottom line? There are many ways to be active every day. Find something you enjoy doing, include it in your regular routine and try to increase your level of activity over time.

Exercise and Everyday Activities Go Together.

PHC Logo

Now we’ll explain our logo. There are 4 colors – one for each of four types of physical exercise. Balance, Endurance, Flexibility and Strength – which I like to call BEFS.

BEFS go together to make up the full range of what you need to stay physically fit. You don’t want to skip on any of these and it’s simple – let me explain how you can work them into everyday life.
We’ve included some Amazon products for each group we hope you find useful.


Balance exercises help prevent falls. Many lower-body strength exercises also improve balance.

Everyday exercises to improve your balance include:

  • Stand on tiptoe to reach the top shelf
  • Standing on one foot
  • Tai Chi

Balance accessories you might like:


Endurance or aerobic exercises increase your breathing and heart rate. These activities help you stay healthy, improve fitness and help you do everyday tasks.

Everyday exercises to improve your endurance include:

  • Push your children on a swing
  • Running the Vacuum
  • Dancing, biking, jogging, swimming


Stretching exercises help your body stay flexible and limber. This gives you more freedom of movement.
Everyday exercises to improve your flexibility include:

  • Look over your shoulder
  • Make the bed
  • Bend over and tie your shoes
  • Reaching into a cabinet


Strength exercises increase muscle and make a big difference in everyday activities. Using weights are sometimes called strength training or resistance training. This is what most people think of when they think of exercising.

Everyday exercises to improve your strength include:

  • Carrying shopping bags up and down stairs
  • Carrying your dog or cat
  • Bring groceries in from the car

What do you do to improve your health?

We hope this motivates you to become more active. Thank you for visiting us.

Wishing you the best of health!
Joan E.


Author: Joan E Wilder

We provide information and motivation focused on the importance of physical activity to our quality of life. It is our hope to help people invest in themselves by staying active throughout their lives. It's that important.

What are your thoughts?

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.