Article contributed by Metta School Senior Teacher, Mr Muhammad Ridhwan Rahmat
The Importance of Physical Activity
Regular physical activity is important for all age and gender as it is critical to our health and fitness. However, an active lifestyle is not widely adopted by many Singaporeans. The 2010 National Health Survey by MOH indicates that approximately 39% of Singaporeans do not engage in sufficient physical activity. This leads to an increase risk of chronic illnesses such as hypertension, diabetes and even premature death.
What We Can Do
To prevent illness and weight management issues, we are encouraged to engage ourselves in moderate-intensity aerobic activity or strength exercises for 150 minutes a week. Increase in exercise hours has benefits such as;
- lowering the risk of premature death
- lowering the risk of chronic illnesses such as diabetes, stroke and coronary heart disease;
- increase in cardio and muscular fitness; and
- reduce depression and increase mental health.
How do we keep ourselves consistently active?
Here are THREE main activities:
- Lifestyle activities are activities that are carried out in daily life such as, taking the stairs, carrying groceries and spring cleaning.
- Aerobic activities, also known as “cardio”, includes jogging, running or swimming.
- Strength activity are activities that make use of weights and resistance to improve joint and muscular strength such push ups and squats.
Getting active does not mean you have to engage yourself in a gym session everyday despite your busy schedule. Follow the chart to make your everyday routine into an exercise routine.
Create a checklist to track your physical activity level for a regular routine. You may want to increase your activities if you are not spending much time being physically active.
Do remember to ensure safety first when engaging in physical activities. Ensure sufficient warm up and cool down time to prevent injury. Do hydrate yourself frequently to replenish body fluids lost during your exercise session. Have fun getting healthy with your loved ones!
Reference: Health Promotion Board’s “National Physical Activity Guidelines: Professional Guide”