It is common knowledge that exercise – or even just light to moderate physical activity – is good for our health. But what exactly constitutes exercise? Read on more to find out.
Brief Recommendations of Physical Activity
According to Better Health, doctors recommend that one should participate in moderate intensity of workout on a daily basis, for at least thirty minutes.
Another question in your head could be, what constitutes physical activity then? Would walking around, or doing housework be considered a moderate intensity workout?
To define it strictly, an activity is considered of moderate intensity when it causes your heart rate to increase, to over 60% of your maximum heart rate. A quick and easy formula to estimate your maximum heart rate is to subtract your age from 220. Hence, if housework increases your heart rate (not because of fear) to that level, it can be considered a moderate intensity workout! However, the fitter you are, the harder it is to make your heart beat faster. This means the activity you engage in will probably need to be even more intense, such that it can be considered even an activity of moderate intensity – this means a jog around the block is probably unavoidable.
With the advent of many smartwatches in the market now, it is easy for one to monitor heart rate! Grab yourself one and you can now be sure if you are engaging in at least thirty minutes of moderate intensity workout, on a daily basis.
Benefits of exercising regularly
You may have heard your doctor, dietician or even your spouse say it a million times, but why exercise is important? Here are 10 benefits of regular exercise.
1. Lifts our mood.
Exercising will make you happier in general. It also helps to reduce stress!
2. Boost our immune system.
As supported by Health Line, being active reduces the chances of falling sick or being infected by virus! Since your body’s immunity is overall strengthened with regular activity.
3. Improves cholesterol level and lowers our blood pressure.
To those with higher blood pressure, you might want to consider exercising regularly. Exercising could be the medicine you're looking for!
4. Improves quality of sleep.
A Productive or Lethargic day pretty much depends on the quality of our sleep. Quality sleep is the way to go! When you exercise, you are more likely to sleep better.
5. Brain function improves.
Having a better memory, and being able to make decisions faster sounds pretty cool right.
6. Stamina improves.
You would not always be panting when you are chasing for the train or bus. Or even just rushing back from lunch break.
7. Gains better control of your body.
Exercising makes you more aware of your different muscle groups and body parts. That is the first step of controlling them well – it makes one less careless and less prone to falls as well!
8. Improves mental strength.
Cultivating the discipline to lead a more active lifestyle is not exactly an easy task. But when you get there, it is a sign that you have become a more resilient individual.
9. Slows down ageing.
According to Family Doctor, getting your heart pumping increases the rate of circulation. This reduces the chances of aging!
10. Feel more energetic post exercise.
When one exercise, endorphins (which is the same substance released in our body to make us feel happy) are released! Hence, you will naturally feel more alive afterward (maybe post cleaning up your perspiration).
Ways to increase physical activity
How to increase physical activity in your lifestyle then? Firstly, start off with something small and sustainable. We understand that exercising is not an easy task, especially after a long day of work. Perhaps, start with activities that you will not feel extremely attempting – including a walk in the park, yoga, or even following home workout videos – since they are in the comfort of your home. Only when you are comfortable with the routine and feel that you are ready to challenge yourself further, do you increase the intensity.
This also brings us to the next question, how to increase motivation to exercise?
Secondly, attempt an activity that may spark joy in you, and it will make it less torturous. For example, if you are into music, attempt to follow workout videos with music that you like, and perhaps exercises like body pump or even spin classes. When you feel that you are enjoying the process, this will naturally increase your motivation to continue doing it.
Finally, when you are coping and even enjoying the routine of a more active lifestyle, you can start developing an interest to find out how to work out in a way that is the most efficient and effective for your body. This is when you may consider browsing for fitness tips online or engage a professional to tailor programs that are best suited for your body, while accounting for age, your current fitness levels, health conditions, and preferences.
Top three things for you (tldr):
At least thirty minutes of moderate intensity workout per day is highly recommended
The fitter you are, the more intense your workout has to be, in order to achieve moderate intensity
Find something you enjoy to encourage yourself to be more active in the first place, and then research for more fitness tips to increase the efficiency of your workouts
Looking to kickstart a healthier lifestyle? Get in touch with our certified freelance personal trainers today for a no-obligation consultation!