If you want to improve your physical fitness, but you find the idea of exercise overwhelming, it may help you to know exercise and physical activity are not the same thing—yet both are beneficial to your health.
Exercise is a physical activity that is planned, structured, repetitive, and purposeful. Physical activity includes any body movement that contracts your muscles to burn more calories than your body would normally do so just to exist at rest. Although learning to enjoy and plan structured exercise into your routine would definitely improve fitness, it is not the only way to improve fitness.
Everyday physical activities such as performing housework, walking, or taking a hike keep your body moving and still count toward the recommended amount of weekly physical activity.
Most importantly, no matter what your current fitness level, you are able to improve your physical fitness—and, therefore, your heart health—by increasing physical activity and/or exercise as you are able.