So, you had a sudden life-changing moment and you want to break away from many years of inactivity. You have a million ideas in mind.
You bought a new pair of running shoes, probably some new sportswear too. You also bought a skipping rope for good measure.
With your exercise playlist ready, you’re all set to sweat.
But first, some basic stuff
The World Health Organization recommends 150 minutes of exercise duration for all healthy adults regardless of race, gender, ethnicity or income level. It also applies to those with non-communicable diseases like diabetes or hypertension.
Here are four things you may want to keep in mind.
01Moderate-intensity aerobic activity gets you breathing harder and makes your heart beat faster. You’ll also notice that you start breaking a sweat. One way to tell is that you'll be able to talk, but not sing.
Examples include brisk walking, cycling, water aerobics, ballroom dancing or pushing a lawn mower.
- Do at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity aerobic physical activity throughout the week or do at least 75 minutes of vigorous-intensity aerobic physical activity throughout the week or an equivalent combination of moderate - and vigorous-intensity activity.
- Aerobic activity should be performed in bouts of at least 10-minute duration.
- For added health benefits, increase your moderate intensity aerobic physical activity to 300 minutes per week, or engage in 150 minutes of vigorous-intensity aerobic physical activity per week, or an equivalent combination of moderate - and vigorous-intensity activity.
- Do muscle-strengthening activities involving major muscle groups on 2 or more days a week.
02Vigorous-intensity aerobic activity requires a large amount of effort. It causes rapid breathing hard and a substantial increase in your heart rate. You will not be not able to say more than a few words without pausing to take a breath.
These include jogging, running, fast swimming, competitive sports, heavy shoveling or digging, cycling 10 miles per hour or faster or hiking uphill with a heavy backpack.
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03Muscle-strengthening activities should work all the major muscle groups of your body (shoulders, arms, chest, abdomen, legs and hips).
To gain health benefits, muscle-strengthening activities like lifting weights, working with resistance bands, doing push-ups) need to be done to the point where it's hard for you to do another repetition without help.
04Physical activity is a way of life, and exercise (planned, structured movement), is just a part of it. There are many different and practical ways to be physically active like getting off the bus two stops before your final destination, walking from the metro to Dubai Mall instead of taking the bus or picking up your grocery instead of getting stuff delivered to your home.
World Health Organization’s exercise recommendation for healthy adults aged 18–64 years:
The hardest part is acknowledging that you’ve been inactive and that you need to change. Start small and work your up to increasing your physical activity per week.
You can do it!