By: Angie Chui
The World Health Organization recently shared that in order to maintain a sound mind and body, individuals need 150-300 minutes of moderate intensity aerobic physical activity or at least 75–150 minutes of vigorous-intensity aerobic physical activity .
However, this is not easy to achieve for individuals whose time is occupied with work and other responsibilities. So, how does one go about getting fit?
In an interview, former DLS-D Physical Education Department Chair Mara Untalan Salibay, PhD said that people should not feel pressured by the WHO recommendation. Rather, she explained that the types of exercises that busy people can engage into should depend on their level of fitness and reason for exercising.
“If a person is just beginning an exercise program, then they should start with a simple, low to moderate intensity exercises like walking, biking, running, dancing or swimming. But they should also not forget exercises that will target the development of their strength (exercises that uses bodyweight or light weights), flexibility (stretching) and balance and coordination,” she said.
Beginners, she said, should exercise for at least 10 minutes per session and make sure that it will accumulate to 30 mins per day, 3-5 times per week to fulfill the WHO recommendation.
After a person gets used to this routine after five weeks, they can use the same types of exercises but should spend more time doing it and the level of difficulty increases by adding more repetition.
“My advice to people who struggle to become fit is to choose activities or exercises that they actually enjoy doing. Do not look at exercises as a task rather see it as way to release your stress, try to do it with other people who can motivate you to continue doing it, try to make it a habit by doing exercises at least 10 minutes. Once you feel the effect of physical activity to your body, you will start craving it. So it is actually the take off (the beginning) that is difficult,” she shared.
Dr. Salibay also said it would be helpful for people to understand the reason why they struggle to exercise and address the problem first. She continued that exercising is not a one size fits all all practice. It all boils down to the person doing it.