The World Health Organization recommends performing at least 150 minutes a week of low or moderate intensity physical activity or 75 minutes of intense physical exercise to reduce the risk of developing pathologies such as heart disease, weight changes or diabetes in the future.
Low intensity physical exercise is recommended to all those people who, due to their physical condition, health problems or because they are used to a sedentary life and not doing physical activity for a long time, should not do activities that require great effort to prevention of injuries and associated discomfort. From this article we will discover what low intensity physical activity is and what low intensity exercises are included in it.
What are low intensity exercises and their characteristics
It is a type of physical activity that can be called light. To find out if you are doing low intensity exercise, you can use several methods.
First, you can analyze the amount of effort that is exerted during the activity. If you refer to sweating or too much fatigue, it means that you are reaching a higher level than allowed in the rate of exhaustion, that is, you have already gone from low to moderate or even high intensity exercise, depending on the effort made.
If you want to measure in a much more exact way, you can use the heart rate. In theory, while doing low-intensity physical activity, you should only achieve between 45% and 50% of your maximum heart rate. To find out, the following formula is used: subtract the age of the subject from the figure 220. That is, a 20-year-old individual will have a maximum heart rate of 200. Therefore, for the exercise to be of low intensity, it is not possible to exceed a heart rate of 100.
To perform a routine of low intensity physical activity, you can resort to various exercises that will be performed during the week, meeting the minimum time established by the World Health Organization to be effective.
One of the most recommended low intensity exercises is walking. Perfect for any age, especially it is recommended for older people or those who report health problems or injuries. The heart rate will vary depending on the rhythm that is printed when walking, so it is recommended to control it in some way, to avoid exceeding 50% of the maximum.
If you start doing this type of activity after a long period of inactivity, it is recommended that you take walks of about 20 minutes. After about four weeks, it can be increased by 10 minutes to reach half an hour of exercise.
Another physical activity that can also be included in the so-called low intensity is swimming. Apart from the multiple benefits that this sport generates, thanks to the fact that all the muscles of the body are worked, it must be added that it can be done in a gentle way, perfect for sedentary people or people with some type of injury to start physical activity.
It is advisable to start with about 30 minutes of swimming, always avoiding making a great effort so as not to exceed half the maximum heart rate. You can gradually increase the time, but not the intensity.
One of the disciplines that is also within a low intensity exercise routine is yoga. Pilates can also be used. Both exercises can be performed in a gentle way, without subjecting the body to an effort that exceeds the desired intensity.
It is highly recommended, because it is not only a good activity to meet the requirements of low intensity, but also because the whole body is worked, stretching the muscles and increasing flexibility. It also helps relieve pain caused by poor posture or injuries. It is advisable to do between 30 and 45 minutes.
Another exercise that can be included in a low intensity activity routine is cycling, as long as it does not exceed 50% of the maximum heart rate. Therefore, a gentle rhythm will be maintained, for a walk, that does not require overexertion and that allows you to talk and does not cause sweating.
A walk that lasts between 20 and 30 minutes is recommended. Little by little this time can be increased, but never exceeding the low intensity.
It is advisable to exercise four days a week, although you can take walks during the weekend, as long as you do not overexert yourself.