PHYSICAL ACTIVITY GUIDE


Whatever your age Physical Activity plays an important part in your health and well-being. Some people think it is only sportsmen and women who need to build Physical Activity into their lives. However, EVERYONE needs to keep their bodies working well in order to be healthy.
Women stretching

STAMINA, STRENGTH, and suppleness.

Physical Activity is necessary to stimulate the body’s own natural maintenance and repair system. Your bones, joints, and muscles – especially your heart – will actually stay younger if you keep them busy. If you are not Physically Active you increase your Health Risks in many ways.

RISKS TO YOU: Coronary heart disease, strokes, high blood pressure, breathlessness, flabby body, little energy, stiff joints, osteoporosis, poor posture, overweight.

RISKS TO YOUR FAMILY: Lack of energy for your sexual relationship; lack of energy for your children and grandchildren; a poor role model.

If you are already PHYSICALLY ACTIVE and use some parts of your body in your work you may need to find opportunities to use other parts in different ways to maintain a balance between STAMINA, STRENGTH, and suppleness. If you are developing a MORE WESTERN LIFESTYLE, living in a town, using labor-saving devices, and riding in cars, buses, and trams rather than walking, you are MORE AT RISK of becoming UNFIT. You need to find opportunities to develop STAMINA, STRENGTH, and suppleness.

If you are ALREADY PHYSICALLY ACTIVE continue being so and use more variety of movement.

STAMINA

You need a well-developed circulation to the heart and lungs to give you the ability to keep going without gasping for breath. With stamina, you have a slower, more powerful heartbeat and will be able to cope more easily with prolonged or heavy exercise.

STRENGTH

You need well-toned muscles to give you the ability to do physical work. When your shoulder, trunk and thigh muscles are toned-up they will work well and you will not experience strains and injuries as often.

SUPPLENESS

Developing good mobility in your neck, spine, and joints will prevent you spraining ligaments and pulling muscles and tendons. You will also be less likely to experience aches and pains from stiff joints.

One good feature of a Western Lifestyle is that more people are WALKING and CYCLING to work and some are even JOGGING. Providing you build up to jogging gradually it can be good for you. However, if you have access to a pool vigorous SWIMMING can provide STAMINA, STRENGTH, and SUPPLENESS to the greatest effect.

Have a look at this chart which analyses some Physical Activities and choose which ones are appropriate to your way of life and your needs:

ActivityStaminaStrengthSuppleness
Climbing stairs******
Cycling (hard)*********
Dancing (folk/ballroom)*****
Dancing (disco)********
Digging (garden)*********
Football***********
Gymnastics********
Housework (moderate)****
Jogging*********
Swimming************
Walking briskly****
Walking (over hills)******
Key: *No real effect; ** Beneficial effect; *** Very good effect; ****Excellent effect.

ACTION PLAN TO PHYSICAL ACTIVENESS

• If you are not physically active IDENTIFY WHEN you could be more physically active and HOW (e.g. put more physical effort into housework; walk briskly, get off the bus or tram one stop earlier; choose to climb the stairs even if there is a lift, play sports).
• START SLOWLY – don't do too much too soon. Listen to your body: if you experience dizziness, nausea, pain and extreme tiredness you are doing too much too soon.
• If you are comfortable with what you are doing increase the amount of exercise and BUILD IT UP GRADUALLY.
• AIM at half an hour of MODERATELY INTENSE Physical Activity FIVE or more days a week.
MODERATELY INTENSE Physical Activity means you should get slightly out of breath. This is healthy. If your muscles are working better so is your heart.

MORE IS BETTER – EVERY DAY

  • What you will achieve:
  • You will be LESS at risk from major illnesses and minor ailments such as colds. 
  • You will have MORE ENERGY to spend on living. 
  • You will FEEL MORE HEALTHY.

Here’s what some people said when they had become MORE Physically Active:
“I feel better; I sleep better” 
“As a husband, once I started taking an active part in the housework, my wife and children appreciated me more” 
“Being more active gives me more energy” 
“My family saw how I benefited very quickly; now they join me for brisk walks”
There is a direct relationship between your level of physical activity and how much energy you use up from the food you eat. If you eat more than you use the surplus energy is stored as body fat. This means you will become overweight which in itself increases your risk of disease and disability. This risk is increased even more if you also use tobacco and drink more than the recommended number of units of alcohol. Read on to find out about creating a Healthy Lifestyle by making decisions about eating a MORE HEALTHYdiet
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