Physical Fitness Physical Activity And Exercise

Physical fitness is the outcomes or traits that relate to the ability to perform physical activity. Physical activity is any bodily movement produced by skeletal muscle that results in caloric expenditure. Exercise is a subcategory of physical activity—physical activity that is planned, structured, and repetitive. Exercise has been shown to be effective in improving physical fitness and quality of life. The purpose of an exercise or physical activity program is to improve overall health. In part, physical activity determines physical fitness, but many other factors have a role in physical fitness and these will be covered in the section on wellness programs.

Exercise can be broken down into three main categories: aerobic or cardio-respiratory exercise, strength training, and stretching and flexibility activities. Most people can benefit from a comprehensive program that includes all of these areas, but some people choose to emphasize one area over another, based on individual needs and preferences.

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