Exercise: From playful activities for kids to cardio and strength training for adults, find the perfect balance in your exercise and fitness routine for a healthier, more fulfilling life.
Regular exercise, fitness experts say, is the best gift you could give yourself for a happier, healthier life. Want to lead a wholesome life? Get moving! Because exercise is not only good for your body, but also for your mind and soul. The Centres of Disease Control and Prevention recommends physical activity for everyone, irrespective of your age, gender, or even fitness level.
The question then is: How much exercise is too much? While exercise is essential for a healthy lifestyle, striking a balance and avoiding excessive strain is important. “Understanding the difference between maximum required exercise and overdoing it is vital for preserving our health and achieving sustainable fitness goals,” says Ajay Singh, a Jaipur-based celebrity fitness coach, who has trained a number of film personalities, polo players and Olympic athletes, among others.
Here are Singh’s tips on how to customise your workouts according to your age and goals.
Age group (6-17 years): Moderate-to-vigorous intensity physical activity for an hour or more each day is recommended if you belong to this age group. Children and adolescents should dedicate at least 3 days a week to specific types of activities, including vigorous exercises like running or playing soccer for cardiovascular fitness, muscle-strengthening exercises like climbing or push-ups for muscular strength, and bone-strengthening activities like gymnastics or jumping rope to fortify bones and reduce the risk of osteoporosis. On other days, you can play in the play ground or opt for swimming, cycling, walking.
Age group (18 to 64): Adults between the ages of 18 and 64 should engage in at least 150 minutes of moderate intensity activity, such as brisk walking, each week. Additionally, participate in activities that strengthen muscles for at least 2 days every week. If you are between 18 and 35, focus on cardio with low to high intensity (based on your capacity). Additionally, do strength training exercises four times a week, follow a healthy diet and ensure you get at least 7-8 hours of sleep every day. Following this routine will help keep your heart healthy, make your muscles strong, and lead to a more active and enjoyable life.
Age group (65 and above): At least 150 minutes of moderate intensity activity, such as brisk walking, every week is good for those in this age group. You should include activities that strengthen muscles for at least 2 days in a week, do cardio with low to occasionally moderate intensity, and do strength training for 5 days every a week. Take complete rest for two days every week: on these days, play with kids or take leisurely walks to maintain your physical activity. It is mandatory for you to sleep well, not skip meals, and eat a healthy diet with consistent meal times. While mediation and breathing exercises are good for all age groups, you should focus more on practising them. Engage in exercises to improve balance. For instance, standing on one foot, will help you improve your balance and stability. While aiming for the recommended activity level is advantageous, as older adults you should also strive to be as active as you can be, considering your individual abilities and preferences. This approach fosters a healthier lifestyle and contributes to their overall well-being and independence.
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