Research shows there are huge physical and mental health benefits from being physically active. It can help reduce symptoms of depression and anxiety, it can help prevent/protect against cancers, heart disease and diabetes, as well as improve general well-being. It can also be beneficial during and after treatment for cancer. In short, being physically active is great for us!
Did you know our lifestyles are becoming more sedentary? And evidence shows higher amounts of sedentary behaviours are associated with increased heart disease, cancers and diabetes?
How much time do you spend sitting every day?
Types of activity
Cardiovascular activity (aerobic exercise); This type of activity increases heart rate and helps improve cardio respiratory fitness.
Resistance training (strengthening exercise); this type of exercise improves strength and muscle size.
Intensity of activity
These are typically referred to as:
Moderate: This level of exercise/physical activity will raise your heart rate, make you breathe faster and feel warmer. One way to know you are working at this level of intensity is if you can still talk, but not sing.
Vigorous: This level of activity makes you breathe hard and fast. You know you are working at this lever of intensity if you can’t say more than a few words without pausing for breath.
Very vigorous: This level of activity/exercise is done in short bursts of maximum effort, broken up with rest. It’s also referred to as High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT).
Very vigorous intensity:
lifting heavy weights
sprinting up hills
To get the benefits from these exercises, you should do them to the point where you need a short rest before repeating the activity:
Carrying heavy shopping bags
doing exercise using your own bodyweight, e.g. Push-ups
Cardio/vigorous intensity (Most moderate activities can become vigorous if you increase your effort):
Jogging or running
riding a bike fast
sports (like football, rugby, netball or hockey)
Cardio / Moderate intensity:
riding a bike