Are you active enough? How to define physcial activity?
Physical inactivity or sedentary lifestyle is the main risk factor leading to various medical conditions such as type II diabetes, cardiovascular diseases, breast and colon cancer as well as musculoskeletal dysfunctions (neck and back pain). Benefits of physical activity include weight management, stress reduction, improved sleep and quality of life.
Physical activity is any bodily movement that requires energy expenditure. World Health Organization (WHO) recommends adult aged 18-64 should do at least 150 minutes (2.5 hours) of moderate intensity physical activity or at least 75 minutes of vigorous intensity physical activity per week.
HOW TO DEFINE PHYSICAL ACTIVITY?
To calculate your maximum heart rate simply subtract 220 from your age. For example, if I am 45 yrs old, then my maximum heart rate is 220-45 =175 beat per min. Then, you can work out that moderate-intensity activity is 50-70% of maximum heart rate and vigorous intensity activity is 70-85% of maximum heart rate.
WHAT ARE THE TYPES OF PHYSICAL ACTIVITY?
1. AEROBIC / ENDURANCE EXERCISES
– Activities that make you breathe harder and your heart pumps faster
– Performed in bout of at least 10 minutes
– Eg. brisk walking, running, swimming, cycling
2. BALANCE EXERCISES
– Improve proprioception (joint sense)
– Prevent falls and lower limbs sprains
– Eg. Heel to toe walking, single leg stand, standing on wobble board, walking backwards or sideway
3. STRENGTHENING EXERCISES
– Performed on major muscle groups (quadriceps, gluteus, pectorals &/or trapezius) at least twice a week
– Using body weight, free weight (dumbbell, kettlebell), resistance machines or elastic bands as resistance
– Eg. Squats, lunges, leg press
4. STRETCHING EXERCISES
– Improve muscle flexibility and joint range of motion
– Eg. Downward dog yoga pose (hamstring and calf stretch)