We all know that exercise is important for our general health and well being. But not everybody is aware of exactly how much exercise we need, and how to incorporate exercise into our daily lives. In this post, we elaborate on the benefits of exercise, on the type and amount of exercise adults and children need (sneak preview: 150 minutes per week), and we introduce our own Alpha sports program at HQ!
Here are some of the ways in which exercise benefits your body and brains:
- It helps to build and maintain strong muscles and bones.
- It can help with weight loss and reduces the risk of obesity by increasing your metabolic rate and thereby letting your body burn more calories.
- It can be an energy booster and reduce feelings of fatigue. It also helps to improve your sleep and relieve the symptoms of insomnia.
- It can improve brain function and protect memory and thinking skills by promoting the flow of blood and oxygen to the brain.
- It helps to improve your mood and relieve feelings of stress and anxiety.
- It can help skin health and combat skin aging, by producing natural antioxidants and stimulating blood flow.
- It reduces the risk of cardiovascular and chronic diseases such as breast and colon cancer.
Levels of Exercise
Three levels of exercise can be distinguished in terms of intensity:
1. Light Intensive/Light Physical Activity
Light physical activity refers to activities you do regularly as a part of your everyday life. These types of activities typically burn about 150 calories a day for the average person. But the number can vary greatly depending on your body size and the specific type of activity.
The following are examples of light physical activity:
- Taking the dog for a walk, or gardening for 30 minutes.
- Walking to and from work (15 minutes each way).
- Playing an easy game of ping-pong for 20 minutes.
- Doing the dishes.
- Playing music.
The health benefits of a light physical activity level may include better blood cholesterol levels, reduced body fat, improved blood pressure, and improved metabolic health. You will also experience improved quality of life and typically have a lower risk of developing chronic disease.
2. Moderate Intensive/Moderate Physical Activity
A moderate exercise program refers to participating in some type of endurance exercise for at least 20 to 60 minutes, three to five days per week. Your moderate physical activity may also include strength training and stretching exercises.
Examples of a moderate exercise program include:
- Jogging for 30 minutes, three days per week.
- Walking briskly or cycling for 30 minutes, three to five days per week.
- Weight training, one set of eight exercises, two days per week.
If you follow a moderate exercise program, you’d experience all the benefits of light physical activity and also gain improved physical fitness in the form of increased heart health, improved muscular strength and endurance, and greater flexibility. Moderate exercisers experience an even greater improvement in overall health, quality of life, and reduction of chronic disease risk.
3. Heavy Intensive/Vigorous Physical Activity Level
A vigorous exercise program refers to exercising for 20 to 60 minutes most days a week, which may include aerobic exercise, interval training, strength training, and stretching exercises.
Participating in a vigorous exercise program entails performing all of the following activities:
- Running or playing football for 45 minutes, three days a week.
- Doing intervals, two days a week.
- Weight training, three days a week.
- Vigorous dancing, three days week
Following a dynamic exercise program would help you experience all the benefits of light physical activity and a moderate exercise program. You’d also see a greater increase in fitness. Additionally, there is a greater reduction in chronic disease risk for those who follow a vigorous exercise program.
How much exercise is recommended for adults?
For adults, proper exercise means engaging in moderately intensive and heavy intensive activities 2.5 hours a week. Exercising 2.5 hours a week may seem like a lot, but with just over 20 minutes a day you are already getting the full 2.5 hours. Get out one stop earlier if you use public transportation and walk that stretch, or park your car a bit further away from your destination to get a few extra steps in. Take the stairs instead of the elevator or escalator. If you do these often, you’d definitely see the difference in your fitness level.
Adding some muscle or bone strengthening sports to your schedule, such as running, cycling, aerobics or intensive group sport twice a day means you will soon meet the guidelines for exercise. Jumping, walking, and dancing are also effective bone strengthening activities.
Doing a number of exercises with weights to train different muscle groups will strengthen your muscles. You can get your weights at your nearest Alpha pharmacy, use bottles of water as makeshift weights, or join a gym.
How much exercise is recommended for children?
Children should ideally do moderate or heavy intensive exercise for an hour every day. They should also do bone and muscle strengthening activities three times a week. They can do this by joining a school sports club or local sports club, and by playing outside every day.
Come exercise with us at Alpha Pharmacy!
We know you want to keep fit and we also know that this is easier when you are motivated. This is why we are working out a sports program tailor-made for you at our Corporate Headquarters. Contact us and we would inform you of when this program will commence and how you can go about it.
It’s neither too early nor too late to take good care of your body through regular exercise. You too can keep fit!
Disclaimer: This article is strictly for educational purposes and is not in any way intended for use in diagnosis or treatment of any medical condition. Always see your Doctor when you need medical attention or your Pharmacist when you need professional counsel on drugs and drug-related matters.
For professional advice on drugs and drug-related matters: Visit the closest Alpha Pharmacy to you or call +2349062547022.