how much is 'enough'?
We have all been told the benefits of "regular exercise". (see article below) From newspapers and magazines, doctors surgeries and health centres, cereal packets and school noticeboards, we are being instructed to "get regular exercise"! Many of us have absorbed the information but are at a loss when it comes to putting it into practice.
The question is: what is regular exercise anyway? We are constantly being told to do it, but how much is 'regular'? And, while we're at it, what is actually the definition of 'exercise'?!
The American College of Sports Medicine tells us we must do 20 minutes of "vigorous" activity on 3 or more days a week.
The Health Education guidelines state that 30 minutes of "moderate intensity" activity on 5 days a week is the minimum.
Vigorous activity is defined as using rythmical large muscle movements at 60-70% of max heart rate - you are sweating and your breathing has increased but you're not breathless. Examples include running, swimming and playing certain sports.
Moderate intensity activity requires using large muscle movements again, but just a mild increase in heart rate and you are slightly out of breath. For example brisk walking, gardening, swimming, cycling etc.
A definition of exercise that can be found in a dictionary is: "physical exertion, esp. for training or keeping fit." It can also be a "structured session involving repetitive bodily movements for the purpose of improving or maintaining physical fitness".
This is all very dry and theoretical. How do we begin to try and follow all these guidelines? As someone who passionately believes in the overwhelming benefits of moving your body, both physically and mentally, I would like to explore just how we can build 'movement' into our busy, though sedentary, lives.