Important Distinction Between Physical Activity and Exercise


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Decades of conflicting health, fitness, and weight-loss messages has lead to major confusion about what Latinos and all Americans need to do to be healthy.

Every Body Walk! is clarifying health messages by redefining physical activity.

“We could be raising the first generation in modern society to end up with statistically shorter life expectancies  than their parents,” said Mark Fenton, adjunct associate professor at Tufts University. “And it won’t be because of some infectious disease. It will be the diseases of sedentary living, like diabetes.”

Walking or Running

Which sounds more doable on a daily basis: walking or running?


Regardless of fitness level or weight status, complex biological and molecular processes occur within our body when we walk, which improve our health and reduce our risk or chronic disease.

Regardless of weight status, walking works to help you and your family stay healthy.

“An important distinction is between physical activity and exercise,” Karim Kahn, MD, Ph.D, University of British Columbia said. “Most people have this perception that exercise involves running, being in a gym and working out. I say to them that walking to the car or walking to a meeting is fantastic.”

It’s all about moving more and sitting less.

This redefined health message is important for populations that are less physically active and that experience more negative health outcomes, like Latinos.

Do it for Life

There is an urgency in preventing childhood obesity with physical activity.

Thus, it is critical to change the way health professionals, community leaders, teachers and parents talk about physical activity for health, especially for Latino kids, who have fewer safe places to walk, bike, play or exercise.

In order to ensure Latino and all families have safe places to walk and play to remain their healthiest, health messages need to focus on physical activity, like walking, for health promotion and disease prevention across the lifespan.

Watch and share the video below to learn more about directing health messages towards moving more and sitting less.

Check out these infographics on walking.

Share this with friends, family, and colleagues to start modifying health messages around “doable” physical activity, like walking.

By The Numbers By The Numbers



of Latinos live within walking distance (<1 mile) of a park

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