WHAT IS PHYSICAL ACTIVITY?
The physical activity is not the sport. Physical activity is the set of movements of the body produced by the muscles, resulting in an expenditure of energy greater than that expended at rest.
She regroup :
- the daily physical activities which include:
- active travel: walking, cycling, going up and down stairs,
- domestic activities: cleaning, tinkering, gardening,
- professional activities (physical work for example) or school.
- the exercise : it may often be achieved without heavy infrastructure and without special equipment and does not meet the rules of play.
- the sport practiced by very different levels: recreational and competitive sports, school sports, individual or collective sports …
Physical activity is characterized by its intensity.
Depending on the consequences it produces on the body, sports activity can be defined as light, moderate or high intensity.
During low-intensity physical activity :
- breathing is almost normal without shortness of breath,
- conversation is possible,
- the heart is not accelerated.
During moderate-intensity physical activity :
- breathing is slightly accelerated and shortness of breath is weak,
- conversation is possible,
- the heartbeat is a little faster.
During high intensity physical activity :
- breathing is accelerated and shortness of breath is high,
- the conversation is difficult, made up of short sentences,
- the heart is beating fast.
For better health, it is important to have regular physical activity and to reduce your sedentary time.
Regularly engage in physical activity
Physical activity is of different types and in all everyday situations: moving around, taking the stairs, tinkering … Physical exercise is not limited to sport. Thus, it can take many forms, including walking, professional, domestic and certain leisure activities. Physical activity must be regular to have a positive effect on health. This is why it is recommended that you exercise at least five days a week, and ideally every day.
Reduce your sedentary behaviors
Indeed, it is the concomitance of the increase in physical activity and the reduction in sedentary time that produces the most beneficial effects on health. The goal, for an adult, is to gradually decrease the total sedentary time to less than 7 hours per day between getting up and going to bed. In addition, it is strongly recommended to “break” the times of sedentary lifestyle (for example the time spent sitting at the desk or behind the screens) by breaks of at least one minute every hour or of 5 to 10 minutes every 90 minutes, breaks during which the person switches from sitting to standing with light physical activity (for example, getting up to put a book away or walking slowly).
The recommendations for physical activity are adapted to each age of life.
|Intensity||Type of physical activity|
|Low||Slow walking, washing dishes, ironing, dusting, crafts, mechanical maintenance, watering the garden, pétanque, billiards, bowling, table tennis, ballroom dancing|
|Moderate||Brisk walking (at a brisk pace, 5 to 6.5 km / h), slowly climbing stairs, washing the windows or the car, vacuuming, light gardening, collecting leaves, “aerobics”, dancing (rock , disco…), leisure bike (15 km / h) or “pleasure” swimming, aquagym, alpine skiing, frisbee, sailing, badminton, golf|
|High||Quick walk (more than 6.5 km / h) or with uneven, hiking in mid-mountain, fast climbing stairs, digging, moving, jogging, mountain biking, “fast” swimming (20 km / h), rope jumping, football, basketball, volleyball (and most team ball games), combat sports, tennis, squash, rock climbing|
HOW TO BE ACTIVE?
Take advantage of every opportunity to move more
To be active , there is no need to practice intensive sport. Even if you are not athletic, you can integrate exercise into your daily life and reap health benefits from it. What matters is the quantity of activities performed more than their intensity.
Every day, reduce the time spent in front of the television or the computer to fight against a sedentary lifestyle.
You can get more exercise by walking more. Shopping, going to work, accompanying your children to school, can all become opportunities for walking.
Are you taking the bus, metro or tram? Board a stop after your usual station, or get off a little before your destination. This will allow you to walk part of the route.
Do you travel by car? Park away from where you are going.
In addition, you will exercise more by adopting certain habits:
- prefer the stairs to the elevator, to the escalators;
- do not use the treadmills and walk alongside;
- if you have a garden, take more time to cultivate it;
- if you have a dog, take it for a walk more often and for a longer period of time.
If you are a parent, take advantage of the weekend to share your children’s games (ball, bike, etc.) or take a walk with them.
You may be able to do some gymnastics at home, for example with the help of a program recorded on CD or DVD or a video game platform. If you live in a fairly large home, consider the exercise bike.
Finally, you can go to the pool with friends and consider swimming for a long time.
And if you choose to play a sport regularly, it’s important to enjoy it so you don’t get bored.
Schedule an adapted, progressive and regular physical activity
Are you feeling too tired, too under-trained, too old or too stout to exercise? Try to apply the following tips:
- Arm yourself with perseverance. Can’t exercise for half an hour a day, or think you can’t? Do your best. Even if you only exercise a little more than usual, it will be beneficial for your health.
- Start gently and gradually increase the duration and / or intensity of your effort. For example, start by walking 10 minutes a day. Or go up one floor first, then go up to two. Likewise, if you are new to a sporting activity, start at the level that works best for you before progressing.
Finally, you can integrate moderate physical activity into your daily life, regardless of your age, except in the case of major contraindications (eg: heart problems). Ask your doctor for advice. He will assess your physical condition, your ability to exercise and will set physical activity goals with you.
SAFE PHYSICAL ACTIVITY
Before starting a physical activity
Talk to your doctor
In any case, before starting any physical activity, talk to your doctor to take stock of your state of health.If you have a chronic disease, a high cardiovascular risk , he may, after his clinical examination, prescribe an ECG, a stress test , a blood test .
Know the atmospheric conditions
- Monitor the air quality. Avoid physical activities on a daily basis near highways and pay attention to pollution reports. Watch the air pollution numbers.
If the information threshold is exceeded, outdoor and indoor physical activity should be limited in young children, pregnant women and the elderly .
If the alert threshold is exceeded, high intensity physical activities should be limited. All indoor and outdoor physical activity should be avoided in young children, pregnant women and the elderly.
- Monitor the outside temperature. Avoid the practice of prolonged physical activity in the open air, as soon as the outside temperature is above + 30 ° C or below – 5 ° C.
Be in good physical condition
- Do not do intense sport if you have a fever, or within 8 days of an episode of influenza (fever + body aches).
- Never smoke an hour before or two hours after exercising.
- Never consume doping substances and avoid self-medication in general.
During physical and sports activity
- Always respect a 10-minute warm-up and recovery during my sports activities.
- Adapt your water consumption according to your physical activity, the atmospheric conditions and your exercise training, to avoid dehydration . In general, anyone in good health and not specifically trained can be advised to drink about 0.5 L / h (in successive doses every 15-20 min) during a physical activity of moderate to high intensity in moderate climatic environment, and more if the activity is of higher intensity or carried out in a hot environment. Do not add salt to the drinking water. .
- Don’t overexert yourself . Remember that physical activity should not tire you excessively: it could cause tendonitis, joint problems or fractures, or even a heart attack.
- If you experience pain, discomfort or excessive fatigue , stop the current exercise.
After sport or physical activity
Promptly report any symptoms that occur during exercise or after:
- chest pain ,
- abnormal shortness of breath
- heart palpitation ,
Weigh yourself once a month to make sure you are eating enough, that is, not too much or not enough.