What is the difference between an “active lifestyle” vs. exercise? When I ask my patients if/what they’re doing for cardiovascular (CV) exercise, I commonly hear responses such as “I walk a lot at work” or “I clean my house and do yard work for exercise” or “I play golf” or “I work in a warehouse so I’m constantly moving”. Although these activities keep us moving, they do not provide the same benefits as CV exercise. For instance, work and house cleaning will rarely increase our heart rate non-stop for at least 20 min, thus we don’t attain the same benefits as CV exercise provides. Some of these benefits include decreased risk of heart disease, pain, inflammation, and stress; improved sleep quality; weight loss; improved mood; and increased circulation and endurance. Listed below are examples of living an active lifestyle vs. exercise:
Examples of Active Lifestyle/Work:
Taking care of kids
Being on your feet all day at work
Walking around at work
Exercise for Fitness:
Frequency: 3-5 times a week
Intensity: 60-85% Max Heart Rate (sweating, breathing heavily, difficult to hold a conversation)
Time: 20-60 minutes continuous or intervals
Examples: swimming, biking, running, elliptical,
walking (any activity that uses large muscle
groups/ full body movements).
Intensity: Pace of a brisk walk
Time: Accumulation of 30 minutes
throughout the day.
Examples: gardening, dancing, using the stairs
Exercise for Endurance:
Heart Rate is maintained at 60-70% for 45-60 minutes of continuous exercise.
The focus is to build endurance for daily activities. Another benefit of endurance training