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Types and intensity

Types of physical activities

Before you start exercising, you need to be aware that there is a wide variety of physical activities that you can engage in and that each type benefits your body in different ways depending on its intensity and duration.

  • Aerobic Activity (also called Endurance): Aerobic activity benefits your heart and lungs. During this type of physical activity you will breathe harder and your heart will beat faster. Planning a regular endurance activity will help your heart and lungs work better and become stronger. Examples include: running, swimming, jogging, biking, dancing, playing basketball, etc..
  • Muscle-Strengthening Activity: Muscle-strengthening activities improve the power and endurance of all your muscles and strengthen your bones. Examples include: Resistance exercises such as pushups, pull ups, sit ups and weight lifting or working with resistance band
  • Stretching (also called flexibility exercise): 
Stretching helps improve your flexibility, stretch your muscles, protects your joints and can help your body stay limber. Examples include: Touching your toes, doing side stretches, and yoga

Intensity of physical activity

Physical activities vary in terms of their intensity; an aerobic exercise can be moderately intense or vigorously intense. The term "intensity" refers to the degree of effort required to perform a given endurance activity.

  • Moderate-intensity aerobic activity: Moderate-intensity aerobic activity causes a slight increase in breathing and heart rate. You should also be perspiring after about 10 minutes of activity. However, you are able to talk but not sing during the activity. Examples include: Brisk walking, leisure cycling, water aerobics, bicycling slowly, tennis (doubles), ballroom dancing, general gardening
  • Vigorous-intensity aerobic activity: Vigorous-intensity aerobic activity causes your heart rate to increase significantly and you will develop a sweat after few minutes of activity. Your breathing will be deep, hard and rapid. You will find it difficult to hold a conversation with someone without pausing for breath. Examples include: Race-walking, jogging, running, swimming laps, tennis (singles), aerobic dancing, bicycling, jumping rope, heavy gardening and hiking