What Kind of Physical Exercise is Best for Me?

Regardless of age – do include physical activity in your daily life!

 

Cartoon: Fat couple hope for other remedy than exercise!

Physical exercise benefits are huge! And no matter of age and weight, there are some physical activity you can do to benefit your body and life.  (For some persons, there might be some restraints, if in doubt, consult your doctor).

ALL physical activities are in principle beneficial (See the Borg Scale under)l:

Even low – to moderate – intensity activities (walking for pleasure, gardening, yard work, stair-climbing, dish-washing, all kind of house work), performed daily, can have some long-term health benefits and lower the risk of for instance heart disease – and obesity!. If you want to  – literally – go one step further: Brisk walking is very a good choice, recommended by (as far as we can see), every doctor on planet earth!  Including Dr. Oz!

Sports

such as jogging, running, bicycling, swimming, tennis, soccer, basketball, “touch” football are especially beneficial when performed regularly and should be at intensities 40% to 50% or more of your exercise capacity.

For more advanced exercises, like of the large muscles for health improvement, see special training programs.

Physical activity may have risks as well as benefits, although risks are relatively low. Check with your doctor if you are uncertain.

Physical exercise time schedule

Recommended level of physical activity

 

How hard you think you exercise?  The Borg Scale can give you a good indication!

One way to estimate how hard you are exercising is to use the Borg Scale of Perceived Exertion.  It matches how hard you feel you are working –  with numbers from 6 to 20; with other words; it is a “relative” scale. The scale starts with “no feeling of effort or strain,” which rates a 6, up to “very, very hard,” which is 20. Dr. Gunnar Borg, who made the scale, set it to range between 6 and 20 as a simple way to estimate heart rate — multiplying the Borg score by 10 gives an approximate heart rate for that activity. (See examples under).

How you might describe your exertion Borg rating of your exertion Examples
(for most adults <65 years old)
None  6 Reading a book, watching television
Very, very light  7 to 8 Tying shoes
Very light  9 to 10 Chores like folding clothes that seem to take little effort
Fairly light 11 to 12 Walking through the grocery store or other activities that require some effort but not enough to speed up your breathing
Somewhat hard 13 to 14 Brisk walking or other activities that require moderate effort and speed your heart rate and breathing but don’t make you out of breath
Hard 15 to 16 Bicycling, swimming, or other activities that take vigorous effort and get the heart pounding and make breathing very fast
Very hard 17 to 18 The highest level of activity you can sustain
Very, very hard 19 to 20 A finishing kick in a race or other burst of activity that you can’t maintain for long

Source: Borg G.A. Bases of perceived exertion. Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise. 1982; 14:377-381.

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