WHAT ABOUT PHYSICAL ACTIVITY
Physical fitness is defined as your ability to carry out tasks without undue fatigue. In other words, it’s more than being able to run long distance or lose a lot of weight at the gym. Being fit is not defined only by what kind of activity you do or how long you do it or what level of intensity. These are important measures of fitness but they only address single areas, overall fitness in composed of 5 main components:
- Cardiorespiratory endurance – this is the ability of the body’s circulatory and respiratory system to supply fuel during sustained physical activity.
- Muscular strength – it is the ability of the muscles to exert force during an activity
- Muscular endurance – it is the ability of the muscle to continue to perform without fatigue
- Body composition – refers to the relative amount of muscle, fat, bone and other vital parts of the body
- Flexibility – it refers to the range of motion around the joints. Good flexibility in joints can help prevent injuries to all stages of life.
EFFECTS OF PHYSICAL ACTIVITY ON HEALTH
- Controls weight
- Combats health conditions and diseases
- Improves mood
- Boost energy
- Promotes better sleep
- Can be fun
It is not all about going to the gym or going on long runs, physical activity is any kind of movement which will increase your heart rate. So do something that you enjoy, go swimming, take up a salsa class. Do something you enjoy and that you are going to stick to.
Just to give you some guidelines for adults aged between 18 years to 64 years on how much physical activity we should be getting everyday
- At least 150 minutes of moderate intensity aerobic physical activity throughout the week or at least 75 minutes of vigorous intensity aerobic physical activity throughout the week or an equivalent combination of moderate and vigorous intensity activity. That amount can be broken down evenly throughout the week.
- Aerobic activity should be performed in bouts of at least 10 minutes duration.
- For additional health benefits, adults should increase their moderate intensity aerobic physical activity to 300 minutes per week or engage in 150 minutes of vigorous intensity aerobic physical activity per week or an equivalent combination of moderate and vigorous intensity activity.
- Muscle strengthening activities should be done involving major muscle groups on 2 or more days a week.
These are the minimum requirement for physical activity to achieve the health benefits.
PHYSICL ACTIVITY – WHAT COUNTS?
ow do we determine our physical activity then?
Physical activity simply means movement of the body that uses energy. Walking, gardening, briskly pushing a baby stroller, climbing the stairs, playing soccer, or dancing the night away are all good examples of being active. For health benefits, physical activity should be moderate or vigorous intensity.
You can choose moderate or vigorous intensity activities, or a mix of both each week. Activities can be considered vigorous, moderate, or light in intensity. This depends on the extent to which they make you breathe harder and your heart beat faster.
With any of these moderate or vigorous activities, it will depend on what intensity you are doing at yourself, for instance somebody maybe doing some aerobics but at a lower intensity. It is what you put into it.
This guideline below gives you an idea at what intensity you are workout:
|LEVEL OF INTENSITY||PHYSICAL CUES|
|Light||Easy||Does not induce sweating unless it is a hot and humid day. There is no noticeable change in breathing patterns.|
|Moderate||Somewhat hard||Will break a sweat after performing the activity for about 10 minutes. Breathing becomes deeper and more frequent. You can carry on a conversation but not sing.|
|High||Hard||Will break a sweat after 3 to 5 minutes. Breathing is deep and rapid. You can only talk n short phrases.|
Only moderate and vigorous intensity activities count toward meeting your physical activity needs. With vigorous activities, you get similar health benefits in half the time it takes you with moderate ones. You can replace some or all of your moderate activity with vigorous activity. Although you are moving, light intensity activities do not increase your heart rate, so you should not count these towards meeting the physical activity recommendations. These activities include walking at a casual pace, such as while grocery shopping, and doing light household chores.
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