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Don't Be an Active Couch Potato!

By Donna Stark

If you are interested in improving your overall health and fitness level, you have probably sat down to read a thing or two on exercise. And you have probably also learned that staying physically active and getting at least 30 minutes a day of exercise is generally enough to make all the experts happy, right? But what does that mean? Staying physically active and exercising for 30 minutes? Isn't that two different ways of saying the same thing? Well, yes ... but also, no. Sure, you are staying physically active when you exercise, but staying physically active isn't the same thing as exercising. Confused yet? Don't be!

Differentiating the Two

There are many articles that mention the terms "physical activity" and "exercise," and although they sound like the same thing, they aren't. It's important to know the difference between the two so that you can structure your days accordingly and reach all of your health and fitness goals. Take a look.

  • Physical activity - Any type of movement that requires energy and the use of your muscles. In other words, every movement that your body makes. Making your bed, walking to the mailbox, and shopping for groceries are good examples of physical activity.
  • Exercise - Exercise, on the other hand, is planned, structured, and intentional physical activity. The sole purpose of exercise is to maintain or improve a person's health and fitness levels.

See? It's not that confusing, is it? The problem though, is that many people don't incorporate both into their daily lifestyle.

A Healthy Lifestyle Needs Both!

You've heard the term "couch potato" before, but have you ever heard the term "active couch potato"? It's a name that describes someone who does their 30 minutes of exercise every day but after that, lives a sedentary lifestyle. These "active couch potatoes" are faithful to their 30-minute exercise routine but then they go to work and sit at a desk all day. And when work is over, they go home and sit on the couch all night. Even though they fit in their daily exercise, the rest of their time is spent sitting. The good news is that they are exercising, but the bad news is that the amount of sitting they do can still cause a lot of damage to the body.

So what's the magic recipe? The key ingredients to optimal health and fitness are both exercise and physical activity! Here are some suggestions on how to add more movement to your days.

  • Create a standing workstation
  • Take breaks during the day and walk
  • Spend time biking, hiking, or swimming on the weekends
  • Do daily chores around your home, don't save it all for the weekend

Don't Be a Potato

You definitely don't want to be a couch potato but you also don't want to be an active couch potato either. So start planning more movement into your days and get ready for all those extra benefits that will be coming your way!

To learn more about your health, wellness, and fitness, see your local chiropractor at The Joint Chiropractic in Lakewood, Colo.

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