Want to know the secret to living healthier and happier lives? Aim for at least 150 to 300 minutes of moderate aerobic physical activity per week. Weight management is just one health benefit of regular exercise. You’ll be able to prevent heart disease, Type 2 diabetes and other chronic conditions too.
Do you want to unlock the secret to living a healthier and happier life? Believe it or not, being more active can positively impact your overall health and wellbeing.
Before we look at the health benefits of physical activity, let's find out how much we should aim for, to qualify as “being active”.
There are two things you should note for physical activity: how much you move and how vigorously you move.
Ideally, we should aim for at least
150 to 300 minutes of moderate aerobic physical activity per week.
What's moderate physical activity? It's an activity that elevates your heartrate and makes you breathe slightly harder than normal — for example, brisk walking or light jogging.
During the activity, you should have enough breath to talk but not sing.
Beginners can start with a shorter duration, maybe with a 10-minute brisk walk around your estate every evening, or choose the stairs over the escalator at the MRT station.
Both are good moderate-intensity aerobic activities to add to your daily routine if you're just starting out or if your schedule is too packed to fit in a full 30-minute workout.
Vigorous physical activity takes that to the next level. When doing a vigorous activity, your breathing rate and heartrate elevates, and you'll realise you can't talk and sing.
Some examples of vigorous activities would be running for the bus, dance-aerobic sessions, high-intensity exercise classes such as HIIT (high-intensity interval training), and playing football with your
Now that you know how much activity to work towards, let's check out what sweet benefits you stand to gain by moving more!
Looking to manage your weight? The more you move, the more energy you expend, this helps burn off calories. Together with a healthy, balanced diet, regular physical activity is an effective way to manage your weight.
If you're obese or overweight, losing those extra kilos will significantly reduce your risk for Type 2 diabetes. As a bonus, it also gives you an excuse to hit your favourite malls for new clothes (nice!).
Healthy weight management will reduce your diabetes risk, but did you know that the very act of being more active will also cut that risk? Hence, regular exercise is a great way to reduce your health risks as you burn more calories.
Besides diabetes, regular exercise also keeps other lifestyle-related chronic diseases such as heart disease, high blood pressure, and stroke at bay.
Additionally, exercise boosts your immune system, which means you'll fall sick less often. You might just be the last office warrior standing come flu season.
Being physically active — regardless of your body weight or BMI — improves your overall health and well-being.
Feeling down? Lift your spirits by breaking sedentary behaviour and head outside for a brisk walk, or jog around your estate for high-intensity activity. Exercise releases endorphins, the feel-good hormone that helps you combat the blues.
To start reaping the benefits of exercise, get started today. Do consult your doctor before starting any exercise regime, and practise caution when exercising. Remember, safety first!
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This article was last reviewed on
22 Nov 2023
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