- The government guidelines state that each adult should try to spend at least 150 minutes per week taking part in physical activity of a moderate intensity, or at least 75 minutes of activity at a vigorous intensity. This can be broken down into manageable chunks (of 10 minutes for example). Some activity is better than none, more is better.
- Physical activity is movement that is part of your regular routine. Common examples of this could be domestic chores, hand-washing the car, gardening, walking to school or to the shops and more.
- Exercise tends to be activity we take part in in sessions, and that has a definitive beginning, middle and end. Examples of exercise are running, walking, weight lifting, yoga and more.
- There are four different types of exercise:
- Aerobic – Exercise that increases your heart-rate, makes you feel warmer and results in having to take deeper breathes such as fast walking, running, cycling and swimming
- Strength – Exercise which sees you having to resist a force. Can include bodyweight exercise, and exercises using weights, kettlebells or resistance bands. Could also include digging in the garden and carrying shopping bags. We are recommended to do at least two activities that help us build strength per week.
- Flexibility – Movement that involves using your muscles to hold positions or move in such a way that makes and keeps joints and muscles moving well through their whole range of motion. Examples are yoga and stretching.
- Balance – Movement that sees you having to keep your balance. This can help prevent falls. Examples include pilates and dancing.
Some forms of exercise combine types. For example swimming is aerobic but because you are resisting the force of the water while you’re swimming is also a type of resistance activity. And yoga and pilates can see you not only having to stretch (improving flexibility) and balance, but also can see you having to complete bodyweight moves that are a form of resistance exercise.
For more information about exercise and some great sources of information, go to Nhs.uk/live-well/exercise.