Written by: Caylee Cook, Sport Science Institute of South Africa
Last week we asked you to join your fellow Capetonians in moving up, moving out and moving for your health, all in preparation for the Woolworths/MySchool Move for Health 6km Fun Run/Walk in proud association with SANParks happening on the 3 November 2019 at the Western Province Cricket Club alongside the Landmarks Half Marathon (landmarks21.co.za). More than that, we hope that by experiencing the incredible feeling of wellbeing that physical activity and healthy lifestyle choices provides, you will maintain it by continually seeking out ways to stay active and in the process encourage those around you to do the same. But in order to do this, we need to understand a bit more about physical activity and healthy lifestyle choices. Today’s article does just that.
We have all been told many times that we should be doing more physical activity, we read headlines such as: “Today’s children are not active enough” and “global decline in physical activity levels contributes to obesity”. But have you ever wondered; how much physical activity is enough? What is the minimum amount of activity we should be doing, and what types of activities?
Well, some of the World’s top researchers and health practitioners have provided guidelines to show us just how much time we should spend being physically active and at what intensity the physical activity should be done. But to understand the guidelines, we need to understand what each intensity of physical activity means. Intensity is a word that is used to describe how much energy we need to use for a certain activity and can classified as light, moderate or vigorous physical activity. Light physical activity includes activities such as walking slowly or doing housework (e.g. hanging up washing), it requires more energy than sitting, but won’t cause your heart to beat faster and won’t make break a sweat. Moderate physical activity requires more energy than light intensity, it causes your heart to beat a bit faster, you might have to breath harder and break out in a light sweat. Examples of moderate intensity activities are walking briskly, doing a nature walk or riding a bicycle. Vigorous physical activity requires a lot of energy, it will make your heart beat very fast, cause you to be out of breath, and start sweating. Examples of vigorous intensity activities include running fast, cycling up a hill, manual labour and weightlifting.
Now that we understand intensities, lets’ have a look at the guidelines:
|Age||Physical activity guideline|
|3-5 years||Spend at least 180 minutes per day doing a variety of types of physical activity.
Of those 180 minutes, 60 minutes should be at a moderate or vigorous intensity
|5-17 years||An accumulation of at least 60 minutes of moderate or vigorous intensity physical activity per day|
|18-65 years||An accumulation of at least 150 minutes of moderate or vigorous physical activity per week. For example:
• 50 minutes 3 days a week
• 30 minutes 5 days a week
• 20 minutes 7 days a week
|65+ years||An accumulation of at least 150 minutes of moderate or vigorous physical activity per week|
Important to note:
- These guidelines provide the minimum amount of physical activity we should be doing, but the more we do, the more health benefits we will see. However, we always need to listen to our bodies, if we are too tired, we should stop, rest and try again tomorrow.
- Physical activity can be accumulated throughout the day, meaning that you don’t always have to do all your physical activity in one go.
- If you have a medical condition and are unsure whether it is safe for you to be physically active it is a good idea to ask your health care provider before partaking in physical activity.
- It is never too late to start, even if it means starting slowly, and working your way up to these guidelines.
Are you busy thinking about ways to you can start to meet (and exceed) these guidelines? Well why not get started with us, as we begin the 6 week training programme for the Woolworths/MySchool Move for Health 6km Fun Run/Walk in proud association with SANParks. So grab your kids, your partner, your friends, your colleagues even your dogs, lace up those running shoes and lets work towards meeting and exceeding these guidelines together!
TRAINING WEEK 1
|Week 1 23 – 29 Sept||RUNNING PROGRAMME||# repeats||WALKING PROGRAMME
(in stepcount or time)
|Warm-up||15 min WALK EVERY SESSION|
|Mon||2 min jog/ 2 min walk||6||Prepare mentally and practically for weeks ahead|
|Wed||2 min jog/ 2 min walk||6||Rest|
|Fri||3 min jog/ 2 min walk||5||Rest|
|Sun||BRISK 20 min walk||20 min|
|Race date||Sunday 3 November 2019|
|Race Location||Western Province Cricket Club|