Daily physical exercise requirements for healthy adult / What is “Physical Activity”?

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Daily Physical activity as a measure of health

What is Physical Activity?

“Physical activity,” “exercise,” and “physical fitness” are terms that describe different concepts. However, they are often confused with one another, and the terms are sometimes used interchangeably. This paper proposes definitions to distinguish them. Physical activity is defined as any bodily movement produced by skeletal muscles that results in energy expenditure. The energy expenditure can be measured in kilocalories. Physical activity in daily life can be categorized into occupational, sports, conditioning, household, or other activities. Exercise is a subset of physical activity that is planned, structured, and repetitive and has as a final or an intermediate objective the improvement or maintenance of physical fitness. Physical fitness is a set of attributes that are either health- or skill-related. The degree to which people have these attributes can be measured with specific tests. These definitions are offered as an interpretational framework for comparing studies that relate physical activity, exercise, and physical fitness to health….

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1424733/

How much physical activity do we need daily for optimum health

The amount of activity or exercise we need daily for optimum health is dependent on many factors. Age is a big factor as well as current level of fitness and health. Doctors will usually recommend 30 minutes of walking every day and the pace can be determined by your individual level of fitness.

“Exercise” should be considered an activity to return to an optimal level of health. “Physical activity” is what we do on a daily basis that should maintain a consistent level of health. In the same sense that a “diet” is something we go on to lose weight but eating healthy food consistently is what maintains a healthy weight and avoids the need for repeated lifelong dieting. Physical Activity is to Eating Healthy as Diet is to Exercise.

Can a necessary level of Physical Activity be gained from gardening to maintain health and fitness?

Gardening burns approximately 1234 kilojoules per hour. This can be compared on the same scale to Motor-Cross, Yoga, Horseback riding, Swimming, Table Tennis, Raking, Volleyball, Bicycling, Dance, Bowling, Archery and Golf. These are all activities that could be considered advantageous to maintaining a consistent level of health and fitness. http://www.fatsecret.com.au/fitness/

Physical fitness and health are natural and positive side effects of designing, constructing and maintaining permaculture systems and is a self regulating aspect of the People Care ethic.

Physical & Mental Health

Doctors are beginning to focus more on “Social Prescribing”.

“…Dr James Cavanagh, from Brook Green Medical Centre in Hammersmith, has so far referred around 10 patients onto the scheme and says that it allows them to ‘go forward with their lives’. ‘I have at least three patients whose families have come to me and said it’s made an enormous difference to their relative – they’re happier and more confident…”

http://www.gponline.com/gps-prescribe-gardening-help-mental-health-patients/mental-health/article/1348669

Observation summary

The sustainable benefits of permaculture goes beyond output and abundance. It can be, in itself, a vehicle for physical and mental health. Maintaining positive health as an act of self sufficiency ultimately creates healthier communities which in turn creates greater abundance.

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