Do you have to carry heavy weights or run till your head falls off to count as exercise? Well, the answer is easier than you think. Better yet, you’re probably getting a lot of it already.
You’re Probably Exercising Every day, Just That You Don’t Know About It
If you’re doing any activity that brings your heart level above your resting heart rate, you are technically “exercising”. Or an easier way to put it is if you are not “resting”- that is considered exercise.
This means mopping the floor, doing the dishes, going for a stroll, or even buying groceries count towards exercise. This is fine for the coach potato. But for most, it is not enough.
Train, Instead of Just Exercising
Under nomenclature, exercise is too weak a term to describe a change in one’s physical activity. What you should be doing rather, is to train your body instead.
Everyone should have an objective when it comes to physical fitness. This means you should plan a routine to either maintain or improve your current physical status. If you cannot do a 2.4km without stopping, train for it. If bench pressing 100kg is difficult, aim to make it easy.
This does not just give you bragging rights but also opens a gateway for you to perform better at work, in bed, play sports, raise children, and so much more.
Regardless of If you’re already exercising daily or if you’re a greenhorn. The question here is: “How do I start?” or for the veteran, “Where should I go from here?”
Train To Be Better Than You Were Yesterday
If you fail to plan, you plan to fail. If you do not aim higher than what is intended, you will fall short of the expected outcome. You should always aim to be better than you were yesterday, last week or last training block.
|Activity||PB #1 (1/10/2023)||PB#2(21/10/2023)||PB #3 (3/11/2023)|
You just need to have incremental increases to see improvement. This allows time for recovery, reduces injury rates and therefore makes you a much more efficient machine.
Better yet, you can and should join open public competitions like the Spartan Race or HYROX. These events not only test your physical and mental capabilities, but it is also made for office athletes. The everyday people with extraordinary choices in life to be that physically fit. If you aspire to join the ranks of athletes worldwide, you can join powerlifting competitions or even a full marathon.
How Much Exercise Do You Need?
According to the Centre for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC), it is recommended that at least 150min of physical activity each week should be done minimally. Breaking that down, you are looking at around 30min of ZONE 2 cardio per day for 5 days a week, with 2 bouts of muscle strengthening activity (body weight lunges, assisted push-ups, assisted pull-ups.)
Our Health Promotion Board also recommends the same 150min per week of physical activity but with a less stringent target. With short 10 min bursts throughout the day to accumulate 150min a week, or just 75min of vigorous activity per week.
Words like “vigorous” & “ZONE 2” mean nothing if there was no basis for them. So, to define it, you should perform the stated recommended amount of exercise so that you feel slightly out of breath but still able to hold a conversation. Or in terms of heart rate, around 60-70% of your max heart rate.
Not Enough Time? Just Start Walking
Walking is a great start for all. It is low impact, it trains your ZONE 2 cardio, improves posture, improves plantar fasciitis, and so much more. We, humans, are designed to walk, not run. Therefore, we should use it to our advantage.
A simple walk to the bus stop, walking up the stairs, taking more time to walk instead of complaining of the inconvenience of a destination being far, try covering some of that distance with walking. Your heart and body will thank you.
By walking, you can hit your 150min a week easily and you can also enjoy our bustling city.