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Be Active, Be Fit
   
      1 Why should I pay attention to physical activity?
      2 How can I find more opportunity to get active?
      3 How do I know if I am doing enough physical activity to stay healthy?
      4 What do the experts say I have to do?
      5 How can I stay motivated?
       
 
 
           

Why should I pay attention to physical activity?

Exercise can strengthen your musculoskeletal and immune systems. It also helps to control the body weight and is beneficial to psychological and social health. Researches show that a small amount of exercise may be enough to improve your health. Simply be active for 30 minutes a day can improve your heart-lung function and blood circulation, reduce the risk of developing coronary heart disease, high blood pressure, stroke and diabetes mellitus later in life.

 

Statistics

Although men are more likely than women to participate in exercise, only less than 50% of men had participated in moderate and vigorous activities respectively in the preceding 7 days. According to the Behavioural Risk Factor Survey 2009 of the Department of Health, figures on exercise participation in the preceding 7 days by gender are

  Male Female
Vigorous physical activities 44.2% 31.4%
Moderate physical activities 48.9% 45.4%
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How can I find more opportunity to get active?

Being active does not have to be very hard. You can build physical activities into your daily routine.

  • Walk part of the way to work instead of traveling by vehicles whenever possible.
  • Climb stairs instead of using elevators and escalators.
  • Get up for a quick walk around whenever you can if you do desk work.
  • Go for a brisk walk for about 10 minutes in your lunch break.
  • Roll your shoulders and stretch your neck when sitting in front of the computer.
  • Walk to and fro while on the phone.
  • When watching television, avoid using the remote control and try standing up and stretching during commercial break.
  • Vacuum or washing the floor more often.
  • Play balls or catch with your kids.
  • During holidays, join more outdoor activities like swimming, hiking, war games, or go for a picnic.
Health Alert

Many conditions are related to lack of physical activity, such as heart disease, hypertension, stroke, obesity, diabetes mellitus, osteoporosis, depression, colon cancer and premature death.

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Health Tips

Physical activities do not have to be continuous. You can do them in sessions. To gain health benefits, they should be done for at least 10 minutes without stopping.

How do I know if I am doing enough physical activity to stay healthy?

Scientists say as little as 30 minutes of accumulated moderate-intensity physical activity on most, preferably all, days of the week can provide a health benefit. Remember, every little bit counts, but more is even better if you want to achieve health benefits. Refer to Activity Chart.

For 30 minutes a day, they can be done in two 15-minute sessions or three 10-minute sessions; for 60 minutes, you can add up your activities in periods of at least 10 minutes each throughout the day to get that daily total.

Becoming more active is safe for most people. Answer the "Are you fit to get fit" questionnaire to make sure you are fit to do so. If you are in doubt, seek medical advice before starting.

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What do the experts say I have to do?

To get the most health benefits, you need to try to do a variety of activities including: endurance activities, flexibility activities, and strength activities.

Take a look of the following examples and see which activities appeal to you. Choosing things you like to do is one of the best ways to build regular physical activity into your life.

Endurance activities Flexibility activities Strength activities
Help your heart, lungs and circulatory system stay healthy and give you more energy. Help you to move easily, keeping your muscles relaxed and your joints mobile. Help your muscles and bones stay strong, improve your posture and help to prevent diseases like osteoporosis.

Examples

Walking
Golfing
Cycling
Continuous   swimming
Tennis
Skating
Dancing

Examples

Tai Chi
Yoga
Bowling
Mopping the floor
Vacuuming

Examples

Carrying groceries
Climbing stairs
Push-ups
Abdominal curls
Weight-training   routines

To avoid injuries during exercise, you should be prepared beforehand:

  • Know the proper procedure and the potential risks of your choice of exercise.
  • Do prior warm-up exercise such as muscle stretching.
  • Examine the equipment and nearby area to see if they are suitable for exercise.
  • Follow instructions from your coach.
  • Wear appropriate protective gears such as knee pads and helmet.
  • Drink adequate amount of water.
  • Take a rest when you feel tired. If there is any discomfort, stop exercising at once. Seek professional advice when necessary.
  • Do warm down exercise afterwards.
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How can I stay motivated?

Sticking to a regular exercise routine can be a challenge. There are easy ways to keep you on track and motivated:

  • Exercising with a friend or a family member.
  • Choose those activities that interest and appeal to you.
  • Do activities that are easy to fit in your schedule.
  • Set small and regular goals for yourself. Reward yourself when you reach them.
  • Inject fun into your program; try something different- running, cycling or ball games.
  • Be flexible. Give yourself a day off if you are feeling overtired.
Do You Know...

Scientists say as little as 30 minutes of accumulated moderate-intensity physical activity on most, preferably all, days of the week can provide a health benefit.

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Source: Department of Health Central Health Education Unit
  Canada's Physical Activity Guide to Healthy Active Living. Canadian Society for Exercise Physiology.
 
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Department of Health Central Health Education Unit
Hotline: 2833 0111

   

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