Physical activity

Physical activity can be broadly split into three categories: low-intensity, moderate-intensity and high intensity.  Having said that, we need to know how to differentiate them, what are they and what are their main benefits for your health.  Finally, just how much physical activity should you engage in during the course of a day or a week. You should be well hydrated and if you suffer from any health related issue you should inform your GP.

To understand exercise intensity it’s helpful to know your maximum heart rate (MHR), which you can estimate by subtracting your age from 220 — so a 50-year-old has a MHR of about 170 beats per minute, for example.  

Running friends
Group of friends after a run

Low intensity 

Low-intensity activity is that which gets you to about 40 to 50 percent of your MHR. So in the case of a 50 year old person your heart rate would get up to 85 beats a min.  A heart-rate monitor like the Oura Ring or any Garmin watch is obviously the best way to monitor your heart rate, but  the easiest on-the-go way to check your exercise intensity is the talk test: if you can talk and sing whilst exercising without running out of breath, you’re exercising at a low intensity. 

Examples include;

 – a casual walk

 – a stretch session

 -a cycle through the countryside, or using a treadmill at the gym.  

We can also include  incidental exercise, everyday movements such as bringing in the shopping,  walking upstairs or doing housework, which burn a surprising number of calories.

One of the common denominators of the so called” Blue zones“, where a high percentage of people live to be 100 years old and beyond, is the daily level of low to moderate intensity activities.  It is a continuous physical activity that includes walking down to the village for some groceries, collecting some fresh eggs and vegetables from the farm nearby, gardening, going up the stairs and down again,  doing housework or looking after the farm animals, etc.  There are many chores that keep the body and mind occupied and engaged all day long.

Moderate intensity

Now, with moderate intensity we are going to noticeably increase your heart and breathing rate.  You may sweat, but you are still able to carry on a conversation. You can talk, but you can’t sing.  Your heart rate should be 50 to 70 % of your maximum heart rate.

So we will engage in 150 mins per week, that can be spread over 5 days, perhaps 30 mins per day, or  during 3 days, 50 mins per session.

Kayaking
Kayaking in a great physical activity

The following activities will fall under this category,

  • Brisk walking outdoors, mountain hiking or jogging indoors on a treadmill       
  • Cycling under 10 miles per hour on level ground or with a few hills.
  • Football, basket ball or volleyball games with friends
  • Swimming at a leisurely pace
  • A moderate weight training circuit
  • Water aerobics
  • A game of tennis with friends
  • Tending to your garden or vegetable patch
  • A yoga class

High intensity  

If you’re short on time, 75 minutes of vigorous physical activity per week is all you need. This is the type of exercise that requires a large amount of effort and increases breathing and heart rate significantly.  It should leave you feeling pretty much huffing and puffing! 

Cycling steep hills will get you huffing and puffing.
Cycling steep hills will get you huffing and puffing…..

We can use the same activities as for moderate high intensity but we have to crank them up a notch!

  • Running
  •  Walking/hiking steep inclines
  • Sprints (running, biking, swimming, rowing, etc.)
  • High-intensity interval training (HIIT) or a Tabata
  • Heavy strength training, kettlebell  or crossfit session
  • Plyometrics or calisthenics
  • A super slow set which can serve both strength and aerobic training
  •  Martial arts training
  • Advanced  yoga class

What are the benefits of physical activity?

  •  Lower rates of all mortality
  •  Decreased risk of diabetes, heart disease and cancer
  •  Better breathing control and asthma prevention
  • Stroke prevention 
  • In a fasted state this physical activity can help mobilize fatty acids and may enhance fat loss
  • Aids in creating stronger bones and gaining muscle mass
  • Healthy body composition and weight management are positively affected
  • Improves mood, well being  and lowers risk of depression
  • Reduces stress
yoga practise
Regular Yoga practise is benficial for your body and mind.

To help you bounce back faster than ever the use of supplements can be amazing in supporting muscle protein synthesis, recovery and the body-s healthy response to exercise related inflammation. Try this Kion Recovery Bundle, with 8 essential amino acids, super essential Omega 3EDA, and Flex a unique bioavailable blend for your muscle and joint health.

In Summary!

There is no need for any fancy equipment, or to spend hours on end in the pursuit of it.  As we have seen, just 30 mins a day of physical activity can help you be healthy, feel more energetic, sleep better, make you sharper and in general be happier.

Start at whatever level you feel comfortable with, be consistent and keep gradually increasing the time or intensity of your physical activity.

Above all enjoy!!!  Endorphins are a powerful feel good by product !

DISCLAIMER The material on this website is for informational purposes only. As each individual situation is unique, you should use proper discretion, in consultation with a health care practitioner, before undertaking the protocols, diet, exercises, techniques, training methods, or otherwise described herein. The author and publisher expressly disclaim responsibility for any adverse effects that may result from the use or application of the information contained herein.