Medisys Physical Activity Guide
Exercise falls into 3 basic groups:
Rhythmic activities such as walking, running, swimming, cross-country skiing, skating and aerobics all increase your heart rate. Like any muscle, the heart gets stronger. This type of activity also pumps more oxygen and blood throughout your body, increasing your energy and burning calories to help you maintain a healthy weight.
These activities such as lifting weights, climbing stairs, doing push-ups and sit-ups, help strengthen your muscles and bones. When you build leaner muscles in your body through strength exercises, this improves your metabolism and reduces body fat. Therefore, strength activity worked into your fitness plan will help you lose extra weight faster.
Taking a few extra minutes to slowly and smoothly stretch out your muscles when they’re warm will increase joint mobility. This will keep you agile as you age. Flexibility activities like yoga and Tai Chi are not only relaxing and good for your spirit, but they are excellent for flexibility. If this is already starting to sound hard, don’t worry – that was just a little information. Any new physical activity you introduce into your life is going to help you. It may be as simple as parking your car or getting off the bus 10 minutes from where you are going – or taking the stairs instead of the escalator. The key is to get started. Health experts recommend that adults should be active 30-60 minutes most days of the week to stay healthy. Depending on the intensity of your activity, you can put in more or less time. Pressed for time? Simply do more vigorous activity.
Here are some guidelines for illustration:
Light walking or shoveling snow 60 minutes a day.
Brisk walking, cycling, dancing 30-60 minutes a day.
Running, aerobics, swimming 20-30 minutes a day. To get the best health benefit from exercise, you should aim for a minimum of 30 minutes of moderate intensity exercise 5 days a week. Moderate intensity means your heart rate is at 55-69% of its maximum during the exercise.