Wellbeing: Healthy LIfestyle Facts: Physical Activity vs Exercise

I just learned a new buzz word in the fitness industry: active couch potato. We have all heard the term couch potato and what comes to mind for me is someone who does not move much, watches a lot of TV or plays endless video games or surfs the web without moving for long periods of time. An active couch potato is someone that does a minimum of 30 minutes of cardiovascular exercise and spends the majority of his/her waking hours sitting. This could be behind a desk, at a computer, in a meeting, on the phone, in the car or on a couch. The latest research is saying that yes exercise is essential for our physical and emotional well being and exercise alone is not enough. We also need to look at how much time we sit or are inactive. Here are a few ideas to assess where you are at on this one;

  • Take an inventory-How did you spend your last 24 hours? How much time did you spend sleeping, sitting, moving, exercising (don’t forget eating and sitting in a car also count as sitting.)
  • After you have done this write down more specifically what your movement looked like. Was it physical, intentional, deliberate? What was your perceived exertion on a scale from 1-10?
Just doing these two things will give you a really good base line on your current level of activity and how much time you sit or are not active. This information alone will help you figure out places in your life where you can walk instead of drive, take the stairs, get up from your desk and walk around the block, take a walk after dinner instead of camping in front of the TV or computer and if you are not building in cardiovascular exercise for 30-60 minutes 6 days a week you may want to consider a plan to work up to this. Keep in mind that there is a difference between physical exercise and movement. Movement is anything that uses our skeletal system and also uses energy. Exercise is planned, intentional and designed to get your heart rate up, your blood pumping and your breathing rate increased. I recommend a perceived exertion rate of 5 or 6 on a scale from one to ten and for very fit people possibly 7.
In my health coaching business I spend a great deal of time helping people get on a clear path with their eating. The next component for a healthy lifestyle is fitness and wellness. I hope this information helps you with your intention for lifestyle change and is supportive of best practices.
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In health, fitness and wellness
Laurie Bagley MS in Outdoor Adventure Leadership is a mother,  ACE certified health coach, entrepreneurial business owner VeraHeart coach and teacher. Her businesses,Health Pure Living and Strong Bodies Strong Individuals, focus on assisting people reach their health/wellness/fitness and financial goals. She is also the 6th woman to summit Mt. Everest from the North Col route and has written a book called SUMMIT .
life coach