Physical Activities for Physical Endurance, Fitness, and Health

24 October 2022

Proper physical exercise should improve fitness as well as immunity, and they would be better still if combined with healthy lifestyle and good stress management.

How do we know that we have done our physical exercise correctly?

The correct physical exercise is to follow the principles of FITT. FITT is Frequency, Intensity, Time, and Type.

1. Frequency

The first principle in FITT relates to how often a person exercises. It's important to know what the right frequency is to reach your goal without overtraining. Effective exercise frequency depends on the health status and physical fitness of a person to obtain optimal effect of exercises on the physical fitness aspect. Exercise should be done 3-5 times per week with intermittent heavy training days and light training days. In optimal health and ability, a person may increase the frequency to 5-7 per week.

2. Intensity

The intensity parameter is a measure of how hard a physical exercise is done in one week. Generally, we need moderate intensity, not too light and not too heavy. This can be measured by calculating your heart rate/pulse during exercise which should be 50% -70% of the Maximum Pulse (220 minus your age).

Apart from heartrate, you can try the ‘talk test’. In moderate intensity exercise, we can still speak effortlessly, but it will be difficult to sing; our heart rate and breathing frequency are elevated, and we would be sweating.

3. Time

Exercise should be programmed in relation to the ability of each individual and is increased gradually until it reaches a training time of 150 minutes per week in the initial phase. It may then be increased gradually up to 300 minutes per week and with 30-60 minutes per workout consisting of warm-up (5 minutes), core exercise (30 minutes - 45 minutes) and cooling down (5 minutes). For those who have limited time, the exercise time can be done divided into several sessions of 10 minutes each so that it accumulates to 30-60 minutes per day.

4. Type

The general types of exercises are aerobic exercises such as brisk walking, cycling, swimming, walking in the pool. You may choose low impact aerobics to prevent injury.

Apart from that, we may take HIIT (High Intensity Interval Training) as an option to burn excess fat. Exercise performed at high intensity once a week can provide effective results in helping to get rid of fat deposits. Physical exercises that can be categorized as HIIT are those that have all our limbs to move in rapid motion per second, such as running, jogging, cycling and brisk walking.

It is important when doing any physical activity that you do it gradually, by knowing your limits and not forcing yourself. Ideal time to do exercise is before eating or 2 hours after eating. Start your exercise with warming up and stretching; you may also do cold therapy such as applying menthol gel when doing physical activities to avoid sports injuries. If running is your choice of exercise, please ensure proper and comfortable shoes.


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