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Your Physical Education

Your Physical Education

By Sara Fleming

My name is Sara Fleming and I’ve been a strength coach, personal trainer, and trainer educator for over a decade. My friend Nancy Johnson Chavez, a 35 year veteran of the fitness industry, and I started this podcast to have some discussions on what fitness really is and how you can lead a fit and healthy life without killing yourself in the gym or going on a starvation diet.

We will be taking a walk through my book, Fitness without Fear, as well as addressing a number of other topics that we’ve encountered through our years of working in the fitness industry.
Currently playing episode

Episode 4: Part 3: Physical activity and exercise

Your Physical EducationMar 11, 2022

Episode 4: Part 6: Body composition and ongoing assessments
Mar 11, 202213:16
Episode 4: part 5: Pain
Mar 11, 202212:18
Episode 4: Part 4: Cardiovascular fitness and strength
Mar 11, 202211:01
Episode 4: Part 3: Physical activity and exercise

Episode 4: Part 3: Physical activity and exercise

Physical activity is an important concept.

The World Health Organization (WHO) recommends a minimum of 150 minutes of moderate-intensity physical activity per week for adults of all ages. Higher levels of physical activity can provide additional benefits for both adults and children alike, but it is important to note that even small amounts of physical activity are better than none. Recent research has demonstrated that it is not just sustained physical activity that benefits our health but reducing the duration of sedentary periods throughout the day regardless of activity level. This means regularly getting up from the television or office chair, actively moving, and sitting and standing with active, engaged posture.[i]

Physical activity is simply any movement produced by skeletal muscles that results in energy expenditure. Walking, cycling, playing sports, gardening, and household chores are all examples of physical activity. Exercise is planned physical activity used to develop physical fitness. Exercise differs from general physical activity in that it is planned, structured, and repetitive and has as an objective the improvement or maintenance of physical fitness.[ii]

The CDC defines physical fitness as “The ability to carry out daily tasks with vigor and alertness, without undue fatigue, and with ample energy to enjoy leisure-time pursuits and respond to emergencies. Physical fitness includes a number of components consisting of cardiorespiratory endurance (aerobic power), skeletal muscle endurance, skeletal muscle strength, skeletal muscle power, flexibility, balance, speed of movement, reaction time, and body composition”. [iii]

Ultimately, it is physical fitness that allows us to be more physically active throughout our day without fatigue or risk of injury. We develop physical fitness through exercise. A deconditioned or weakened person is simply not able to get up and move around as often as a more fit person. The prescription for curing these problems is regular exercise that builds strengthand aerobic fitness.[iv]Regular physical activity improves posture, movement, strength, flexibility, cardiovascular fitness and reduces risk of disease.

[i] Petros MARAGKOUDAKIS, “Physical Activity and Sedentary Behaviour,” Text, EU Science Hub - European Commission, June 20, 2017,

[ii] C J Caspersen, K E Powell, and G M Christenson, “Physical Activity, Exercise, and Physical Fitness: Definitions and Distinctions for Health-Related Research.,” Public Health Reports100, no. 2 (1985): 126–31,

[iii] Read “Does the Built Environment Influence Physical Activity?: Examining the Evidence -- Special Report 282” at NAP.Edu, accessed April 24, 2021,

[iv] Louise J Geneen et al., “Physical Activity and Exercise for Chronic Pain in Adults: An Overview of Cochrane Reviews,” The Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews 4, no. 4 (April 24, 2017): CD011279–CD011279,


Mar 11, 202211:48
Trailer: Physical Education
Feb 23, 202201:36
Episode 4: Part 2: Diet
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Episode 4, part 1: Endurance, sleep, and stress
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Episode 3: Why Cardio?
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Episode 2: What is Strength?
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