Definition of Terms

Physical activity is a broad term that encompasses all forms of muscle movements. These movements can range from sports to lifestyle activities. Furthermore, exercise can be defined as physical activity that is a planned, structured movement of the body designed to enhance physical fitness. Regimented or purposeful exercise consists of a program that includes twenty to sixty minutes of activity at least three to five days a week. Some examples of this type of activity include walking, running, cycling, or swimming.

Exercise may be classified in one of two categories, anaerobic and aerobic, depending on where energy is derived from. There is a distinct difference between the two, and specific training techniques are used to enhance both. Anaerobic exercise does not require oxygen for energy. This is due to the intensity and duration of anaerobic events, which typically are high intensity and last only a few seconds to a minute or two. These activities range from a tennis serve to an eight-hundred-meter run.

Aerobic exercise does require oxygen for energy. This is observed during exercise that is less intense but of longer duration. This energy system is primarily used during events lasting longer than several minutes, such as a two-mile run or the Tour de France bicycle race. The potential does exist that one can use both systems, as in soccer, where a match requires ninety minutes of continual activity with short intense bursts of effort.

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