Exercise is defined as 'activity requiring physical effort, done especially as training or to sustain or improve health'. The difference between exercise and physical activity, such as washing the car, is that exercise is measurable. Once you can measure something, you can then progress it. You can run faster or for a longer duration on a treadmill, or you can progressively increase the amount of weight you lift. You cannot really do this with washing the car.

There are many benefits of exercising:

  1. reduce bodyweight, and the body's overal fat percentage
  2. improve cardiovascular fitness (stamina)
  3. reduce blood pressure
  4. reduce an individual's resting pulse rate
  5. increase muscular strength
  6. improve the body's posture as skeletal muscle is toned
  7. improve overall flexibility
  8. improve muscular endurance
  9. enhance the blood circulation system
  10. speed up the body's metabolic rate (the rate at which the body burns calories)
  11. improve muscular tone
  12. speed up the rehabilitation of an injury or muscualr imbalance
  13. reduce LDL cholesterol levels
  14. regularise sleeping patterns
  15. decrese stress levels
  16. guard against the onset of coronary artery disease
  17. improve self-confidence and self-esteem
  18. retard the onset of osteoporosis, through weight bearing exercise
  19. overcome outside stresses and reduce the body's susceptibility to infection or illness
  20. to develop the body's potential