Physical Activity Pyramid - Where Do You Fit?

October 7, 2023

If your answer is “watching TV, talking on the phone or playing video games” you would be categorized as sedentary. Ideally, your choices from the active areas of the pyramid should exceed your choices from the inactivity area.

Getting at least 60 minutes of moderate to vigorous intensity physical activity each day can provide many health benefits including improved cardiovascular health, better bone and muscle strength, lower blood pressure and cholesterol, stronger muscles and bones, more energy, and weight management. Regular physical activity also reduces the risk of chronic diseases, such as heart disease and diabetes.

The bottom level of the pyramid is occupied by simple exercises and moderate physical activities that are likely already part of your daily routine and that are important to maintain on a regular basis such as walking, cycling, jogging, dancing or playing certain sports. The next level up the pyramid contains higher intensity workouts which can include aerobics, stretching for flexibility and muscle fitness exercises. These are generally exercise you should spend two to three days each week doing such as biking, hiking, in-line skating and jogging as well as resistance training or calisthenics.

The top of the pyramid contains muscle-strengthening activities, such as heavy lifting or using resistance machines. Muscle fitness exercises are also called resistance or strength training and produce the same general health, wellness, and performance benefits as aerobic and flexibility exercises. These are also the exercises that can help prevent back pain and improve postural stability and balance.

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