As a general rule, a healthy adult should aim for at least 30 minutes of physical activity every day and up to 300 minutes per week. If your busy schedule doesn’t allow you to take out 30 minutes at a stretch for physical activity, try taking three 10 minute walks each day. What is most important is making regular physical activity a part of your lifestyle.
Aim for at least 150 minutes of moderate or 75 minutes of vigorous aerobic activity per week. Even a combination of moderate and vigorous would be perfect, but ensure to spread it throughout the week. You can opt for brisk walking, mowing the lawn and swimming as a part of your moderate aerobic activity schedule, while activities such as running or aerobic dancing would be ideal vigorous aerobic exercises.
Doing strength training exercises at least twice a week with enough weights to tire your muscles is recommended for staying in a healthy condition. Try to cover all muscles and perform around 15 repetitions. Activities such as rock climbing, resistance tubing, weight lifting, etc. are effective strength training exercises.
Minimizing sitting time is also essential to reduce your chances of developing any metabolic problems. Even if you’re physically active, ensure you don’t keep sitting for long durations.
Yes, climbing stairs is an example of practical, everyday physical activity that provides many health benefits. You burn off 65 calories for every 15 minutes you take the stairs.
Air pollution and exercise can be an unhealthy combination, especially if you’re suffering from asthma, diabetes, heart or lung conditions.
The main reason for the increased risk is that during outdoor exercising, you’re likely to inhale more air, breathe more deeply into your lungs, and breathe through an open mouth instead of the nose. This provides the air pollutants a clear passage to reach deep into your lungs as they are less likely to be filtered off by the nose.
However, research has established that long term benefits associated with exercise outweigh the risk associated with exposure to air pollution.
You can minimize your exposure to air pollution during physical exercise by following these:
Avoid exercising outdoor during the afternoon time as the air pollution is at its peak at this time of the day. Also, you should restrict your workout duration and intensity when an air quality alert has been issued.
Try to avoid exercising in areas which are 500 meters from the main road, especially in urban cities, or next to outdoor smoking areas as such places will always have higher air pollution levels. Go to a clean and green park for your exercise instead.
Shift your exercise sessions indoors, especially on days when the air quality is poor. Taking a fitness class, running on an indoor track or going to a local gym are some the best options.
Keep a check on the air pollution levels in the area around you. Plan your outdoor physical activity only after contacting the pollution control agency nearby you and knowing the quality of air.