Physical activity is essential for an active, healthy life. But what is physical activity?Physical activity includes any planned, structured, or unplanned bodily movement that uses energy. For example, moving around your home or workplace during the day counts as physical activity. Even if you are sitting at a desk doing work on your computer, the act of fidgeting could count as a form of physical activity.
Being active will help children grow strong and healthy, reduce risk of chronic disease in adults, increase mental health and well-being, and help to manage weight. What’s more is that being physically active can help people feel happier and more satisfied with their lives. Let’s take a look at some things we can do to complete extended periods of physical activity.
What is Physical Activity?
Being physically active includes any planned, structured, or unplanned bodily movement that uses energy. For example, moving around your home or workplace during the day counts as physical activity. Even if you are sitting at a desk doing work on your computer, the act of fidgeting could count as a form of physical activity.
Benefits of physical activity
Regular physical activity is good for you. Regular physical activity is good for you.
- Physical activity is believed to:
- Improve your mental health and wellbeing
- Improve your memory
- Improve your social support network
- Reduce stress
- Improves posture
- Increase physical energy and stamina
- Improves blood flow to the muscles
- Helps maintain blood sugar levels
- Reduces body fat
- Maintain strong bones and teeth
Being physically active may help you to achieve your weight loss goals, as exercise helps to burn calories.
It has been proven that regular, intense exercise can help you to lose weight, as it causes your body to burn more calories than it eats.
The ability to complete extended periods of physical activity
Physical activity is a useful way of achieving extended periods of physical activity, as there is a greater degree of flexibility in determining what is considered “extended periods”. One article from the American Heart Association sets out the following framework:
It should not be less than 30 minutes but more than three hours per day.
It should not be less than 150 minutes per week, but more than three hours per day.
The importance of exercise
It is widely recognised that exercise benefits the quality of life of people all over the world. However, this is not always understood by families, and that is a good thing.
So, let’s take a closer look at what we can do to get the most benefit from our daily physical activity.
If you live in a town or city and your job is close to home, walking and cycling to work is a good option.
Walking and cycling to work not only gets you moving around, it saves you time. It will also help you lose weight, since you burn calories while you’re at work. This will also help you burn away some of the extra calories you eat at lunch or during a meeting.
However, walking and cycling is not a free-for-all. Both exercise types are much more intense than doing nothing at all.
Taking breaks at work
Employers are increasingly aware that just sitting in a chair is not enough. To prevent health problems in the long-term, individuals should take breaks and work in different positions to increase muscle strength, flexibility, and endurance. A regular walking or cycling routine
Active people will typically spend about 15 minutes each day in physical activity, making it easy to complete an extended period of physical activity. However, they may choose to vary their workout routine to suit their fitness level.
According to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), 15-minute walking sessions three times a week are all that is needed to reap the benefits.
Fidgeting at work
The act of fidgeting while sitting at a desk can count as physical activity. This is because our bodies are built to move and adapt to the environment around us. If we are inactive for a long period of time, our body’s innate ability to control its movement will become weaker. This means that we need to move around to stay healthy.
You don’t have to do anything different. It’s really just a matter of being aware of your body and how you are moving. For example, you could:
Sit at your desk, placing your feet flat on the floor. Sit upright, looking straight ahead. Sit on a chair that reclines so that you can lean forward. For example, on the left-hand side of your desk. Sit comfortably in a chair.
Many people think they cannot do physical activity because they work in an office or sit at a desk for the majority of their day. One solution to this is to install a standing desk. These desks are adjustable and allow you to shift the desk a few inches from side to side so you can stand up every 15 minutes or so. Sitting in a chair all day will negatively impact your health, so it is a great idea to take a few minutes out every hour to get up and move around.
Hiking is one of the best forms of physical activity because it is free and helps you see things you never would have seen otherwise. Getting up off your seat can be very uncomfortable at first, so it is important to take it slowly to get your body used to this new physical activity.
Take a walk during your lunch break
If you need some extra exercise, try taking a 15-minute walk during your lunch break. If you leave your desk at your desk and step out of your office, this could lead to some good exercise.
If you want to complete an extended period of exercise, you can make your lunch break walk a little longer. Try stopping off at the cafeteria to get a healthy snack. The walk that you take to the cafeteria can count as part of your exercise.
If you have access to stairs in your office, then try using them when you are at your desk. Stairs should provide a good exercise opportunity.
If you don’t have access to stairs, try using an up and down stairwell, if there is one available.
It is possible to be active for extended periods of time without putting yourself at any risk or burning yourself out. This is a subject for a future blog post, but I will share some tips that may help. If you are new to exercise, remember to listen to your body and don’t push yourself too hard. Make sure to warm up and stretch before you start your exercise program.
Golfers should be aware that hitting the links can cause some muscle tension. It is okay to take breaks. Walk to the bus stop or in the park before you start your bike ride. Get off your bike and walk if you feel your legs are getting tired. Complete your activity as soon as possible if you feel that you need to slow down.