"Het is belangrijk om te sporten."
Translation:It is important to exercise.
Is sporten always the only word for exercising?
And does it also mean to play sports?
No, we also use 'trainen'. Sometimes we use 'bewegen' as well: 'Bewegen is goed voor je', but better stick with 'sporten' ('sporten is goed voor je'), because 'bewegen' doesn't always work.
When playing a sport we say 'spelen'. 'Ik speel basketbal.' 'Jij speelt voetbal.' There's a different way to say this as well: 'Ik zit op basketbal.' 'Jij zit op voetbal.' Note that when you are saying the latter, you are not playing that sport right now. Also, 'spelen' only works with games. If the sport isn't a game, e.g. gymnastics, use 'doen aan'. 'Ik doe aan turnen.' 'Jij doet aan atletiek.'
Exercising is usually translated to: oefenen. See also google translate: https://translate.google.nl/#en/nl/exercise actually sporten is not a good translation of exercising, because you can also excercise things like a language, writing etc. things outside the sports world.
Exercise can be used like that, but its most common meaning is physical activity, which is what it means in this context. But does sporten include the whole range of physical activity that in English would not be sport but still be exercise? For instance running, (non competitively), dance, yoga etc.
"sporten" is vaguely defined in the dutch language, for me it is everything that makes you sweat, so including running (Definitely) and dance (rock and roll, jive), but so much ball room dancing, not yoga. And chess, checkers, playing cards are for me are no real sports but some say they are.
Yes. It's really a matter of taste. However, I myself prefer to use 'om'.