Physical activity is any activity that involves major muscle groups, including routine daily activities such as shopping or climbing stairs. Exercise includes any activity done with a goal of improving or maintaining physical fitness.

Physical fitness can be described as the ability to carry out daily tasks with vigor and alertness, without excessive fatigue, and with ample energy to enjoy leisure time pursuits and meet unforeseen emergencies.

Many Americans have little or no physical activity in their daily lives. Approximately 24 percent of adults in the United States do not engage in any leisure time physical activity, while only about 49 percent perform the recommended amount of physical activity (at least 30 minutes of moderate physical activity five or more days per week) [1].

There are three main types of exercise:

  • Aerobic exercise
  • Resistance training
  • Stretching exercise

Learn more >