Do you ever think about trying to become more physically active? Physical activity is paramount as a means to stay healthy, but do you know what to do or for how long you should be active to reap any benefits? Avenue Physiotherapy has some pointers!
The Canadian Physical Activity guidelines recommends 150 minutes of moderate-to-vigorous activity per week to gain health benefits. This amount is important for both the prevention and treatment of many chronic diseases that are threats to our global health, such as cardiovascular disease, type II diabetes, and osteoporosis– to name a few! Performing 150 minutes of moderate to vigorous activity per week can reduce the risk of most major chronic diseases by 25 to 50%!
Still, despite the rewards for being physically active, according to a recent consensus statement from the British Journal of Sports Medicine, approximately 4 of 5 Canadian adults do not meet these guidelines.
Now, maybe you’re thinking 150 minutes of activity spread out throughout your week is an attainable and realistic goal for you but are unsure about what moderate-to-vigorous activity means… Let’s clear the air with easy to follow examples to help you start living healthier today!
Performing 150 minutes of physical activity at a moderate intensity, you will feel increased breathing and sweating but will still be able to carry out a conversation at that pace and you could sustain the activity for 60 minutes without too much trouble. Examples of moderate activities are brisk walking, low movement racquet games (doubles tennis), water aerobics, resistance exercise and mowing the lawn.
Or, if you are performing 150 minutes of physical activity at a vigorous intensity, you will feel more ‘out of breath’, sweat more, will have difficulty maintaining a conversation, and you could only sustain the activity for about 30-45 minutes. Examples of vigorous activities are jogging, hiking, swimming lengths, high movement racquet sports (squash, singles tennis), field/court games (soccer/basketball), cross-country skiing and shovelling.
If 150 minutes sounds overwhelming to you because you are not all that active, fear not! Studies have shown that going from inactive to somewhat active (75 to 90 minutes per week) has significant health benefits in reducing your risk and/or helping to better manage chronic diseases. Essentially, anything is better than nothing!
If you are interested in becoming more physically active, talk to your Physiotherapist for exercise ideas and to assess you for safety considerations prior to staring up your new exercise plan!