Health and Activity Helps to -
√ protect you from diabetes, high blood pressure, back pain, osteoporosis and heart disease.
√ control weight by using excess calories that otherwise would be stored as fat.
√ improve mood and reduce depression and stress.
Types of Activity
Aerobic means “with oxygen” and the purpose of aerobic conditioning is to increase the amount of oxygen that is delivered to your muscles which allows them to work better. Any activity that raises your heart rate for an extended period of time will improve your aerobic conditioning e.g. swimming, brisk walking, jogging, racket sports, bicycling, aerobic dancing and using aerobic equipment e.g. treadmill.
Dancing is a weight-bearing activity and helps tone muscles, improve flexibility, makes your heart stronger and your lungs work better.
To become more active throughout your day, take advantage of any opportunity to get up and move around, for example:
- Park the car at the most distant point in the car park from the entrance to the building.
- Walk the dog more often.
- Walk while you talk on a mobile phone.
- Play actively with the kids.
- Walk the stairs instead of taking the lift.
- Get out of your chair whenever you can at home and at work.
- Use household chores as an exercise class.
- Garden regularly.
- Walk or ride a bike to work
- Get off the bus before your usual stop and walk the rest of the way.
Exercising in water helps increase flexibility. You can do shallow-water or deep-water exercises without being able to swim.
Probably the best activity to burn calories and increase endurance is walking. Try walking for 30 minutes each day. The faster you walk the more calories you’ll burn.
You can bicycle indoors on an exercise bike, or outdoors on a road bike. You could use a recumbent bike where you sit low to the ground with your legs reaching forward to the pedals (the seat on a recumbent bike is wider than the seat on an upright bike). For biking outdoors, you may want to try a mountain bike which is heavier and has wider tyres.
Stretching and muscle-strengthening activities e.g. weight training, use calories and strengthen muscles and bones. Stretching helps increase flexibility and relaxation, keeps muscles from getting tight after doing other exercises and improves blood flow. Yoga and tai chi are examples of stretching activities.
Top Tips for Better Activity
- When you exercise early in the morning, it jump starts your metabolism and elevates it for hours meaning you’re burning calories all day long.
- Drink lots of water before, during, and after exercise.
- Do not do hard exercise for two hours after a big meal.
- Wear the right clothes e.g. lightweight and loose fitting tops, good support bras for women, supportive athletic shoes for weight-bearing activities.
- Start slowly allowing your body time to get used to new activity.
- Allow time to slow down when coming to the end of your activity.
- Using heat therapy with a wheat bag over tight muscles before exercise helps increase blood circulation. Heat is generally used for chronic injuries or injuries that have no inflammation or swelling.
- Challenge yourself and celebrate every success.