We're increasingly living in a world where physical activity is losing its place from our day-to-day lives. Many people's view on exercise is that it is something miserable that has to be very, very hard to do you any good. It isn't.
In fact, there's a well established theory that mild to moderate physical activity is, for most people, the best way to better health.
The intensity at which you workout can be described as strenuous, moderate or mild. What constitutes a strenuous, moderate or mild exercise workload for you will depend on your current fitness. However, as a rule of thumb, exercise of moderate intensity will make you a little warm or sweaty, and slightly out of breath, but no more than that.
Recommended activity levels:
- Adults should do a minimum of 30 minutes moderate-intensity physical activity, five days a week.
- You don't have to do the whole 30 minutes in one go. Your half-hour could be made up of three ten-minute bursts of activity spread through the day, if you prefer.
- The activity can be a 'lifestyle activity' (in other words, walking to the shops or taking the dog out) or structured exercise or sport, or a combination of these. But it does need to be of at least moderate intensity.
- People who are at specific risk from obesity, or who need to manage their weight because of a medical condition, need 45-60 minutes of exercise at least five times a week.
- For bone health, activities that produce high physical stresses on the bones are necessary.
Safety is of utmost importance while exercising and it is important to avoid illness and injury:
- Start slowly and build up intensity over several sessions.
- Eat sensibly
- Don't get dehydrated. Consume 300ml to 500 ml in the 15 minutes before your workout and 150ml to 250 ml every 15 minutes of exercise.
- Warm up and stretch
- If you're unsure about how to exercise because of any health problem, consult your doctor. However, a health condition may not rule out exercise. In fact, there are many conditions for which certain exercises are positively beneficial.
Pregnant women should also take medical advice about exercising.