Are you getting enough exercise?

It is important to choose the right kind of exercise for your age and for your fitness levels. While it is important to make sure we get enough exercise, it is also equally important to make sure you do not overdo it in one go. One needs to build up gradually to an increase in exercise; it is definitely not recommended to start off with fast and vigorous exercise. If you suffer from any health-related conditions, it is always advisable to check with your health consultant first. According to NHS Choices, if you are between the ages of 19-64 you should have about 2.5 hours of moderate aerobic exercise such as cycling and fast walking every week. This can be broken down into 30 minutes of aerobic exercise a day over 5 days. Muscle strengthening exercises are also recommended. 

What is aerobic exercise? There are different forms of exercise and aerobic exercise is very much recommended. Aerobic exercise is physical activity that increases the heart rate and breath rate to get more oxygen into the blood. 

Good examples of aerobic exercise are: 

  • Moderate cycling 
  • Fast walking 
  • Swimming
  •  Hiking
  •  Pushing a lawn mower
  •  Water aerobics 
  • Tennis – warm-ups 

Aerobic exercise should be started off gradually, for a few minutes a day, and then build up to 30 minutes. Another form of exercise that is recommended on a regular basis for 18 years plus are muscle strengthening activities at least 2-3 times per week. These are usually done repetitively and are often focused on a group of muscles. Muscular strength is needed to maintain physical strength and health. 

Here are some examples of exercise that increase muscle strength: 

  • Gardening such as digging and shovelling 
  • Lifting weights 
  • Using your own body weight for lifting yourself up 
  • Specific exercises for strengthening specific muscle groups 

If you are already fit and have been exercising for a long time, then you may like to engage in more strenuous activity but please note this is not recommended for people who are just starting out with exercise after a break from having done any regularly.

Examples of vigorous exercise include: 

  • High speed movement classes such as fast aerobics 
  • Running 
  • Football 
  • Hockey 
  • Netball 
  • Tennis

Golden Rules for Exercise If you have any health condition, consult with your professional health practitioner first.

  • Do not overdo it! 
  • Take it slowly to begin with and build up gradually to a little more each week. 
  • Do exercises that are comfortable for you and do not push yourself too hard too fast. 
  • Make sure that you have mineral water to hand as exercising eliminates essential minerals from the body.
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