As a Soldier, it is important to be physically active as well as physically fit to be prepared for combat. The terms physical activity and physical fitness are often used interchangeably. However, there is a difference in these terms.
Physical activity involves day-to-day actions that keep the body moving and blood flowing, whereas physical fitness consists of workouts that elevate heart rate and perspiration. Both physical activity and physical fitness are equally important to a healthy lifestyle.
For those looking to increase their daily physical activity amount, it may be helpful to insert small bouts of activity spread throughout the entire day.
- Take the stairs as often as possible
- Park as far away from the door as possible
- Go for a family walk after dinner (don’t forget the dog!)
- If sedentary at work, take small “walking-breaks” at least once per hour
Whether for personal fitness goals or in preparation for the APFT, service members are often searching for new ways to increase their physical fitness. When creating a new workout, it is important to remember the FITT formula. The factors in this formula can determine the success of a fitness plan. Consider a few recommended guidelines regarding the FITT formula:
Frequency: 3-5 times/week
Intensity: target heart rate range
Time: 20-30 minutes
Bottom Line: Although both are essential for a healthy lifestyle, there is a difference between physical activity and physical fitness.