Returning to an active life is a fundamental purpose for all people who do not perform enough physical activity, but as important as getting going is to do it safely.
The first thing to do before starting a physical activity program is to consult your doctor and undergo a physical examination to know your state of health and establish what level of demand you can support.
When starting physical activity it is important to carry out a first stage of conditioning or adaptation. Then you can gradually increase the frequency, duration and intensity of the exercises. Many times we intend to perform physical activity with the same intensity and similar capabilities as in our childhood and adolescence, and that almost always ends up causing an injury that forces us to stop again.
What kind of physical activity is the most recommended?
At the beginning, low impact exercises on bones and joints should prevail to avoid injuries, which are the first cause of abandonment of physical activity. Sports (football, basketball, tennis, paddle tennis) are not the best option at the beginning of a physical activity program, because they are carried out at a variable intensity that increases health risks.
For overweight people, the main objective of physical activity is to increase caloric expenditure. It is considered that the exercise must involve a total caloric expenditure of between 250 and 300 Kcal per session, accumulating throughout the week between 1200 and 1500 Kcal. In some people even even higher energy expenditure is convenient.
Long-term aerobic activities are preferable because they imply a higher total caloric expenditure. Walking, biking, swimming or rowing is highly recommended activities because they have low impact on the bones and joints.
To increase caloric expenditure, carrying a pair of poles similar to ski sticks when walking is a good formula; In addition, the walking sticks increase stability and the person feels more secure. Another possibility is to carry objects of up to 500 grams in each hand while walking (not recommended for jogging).
How much time should I dedicate to physical activity?
Although there is no valid recommendation for all people, there are some general criteria regarding the frequency, duration and intensity of physical activity to be performed.
It is recommended to perform between 15 and 60 minutes of aerobic activity, continued or accumulated throughout the day. It is recommended to walk quickly or swim during that time.
It is suggested to start doing activity several times a day with small stimuli, to progressively go 3 or 5 times a week with moderate or intense stimuli.
The number of weekly sessions will depend largely on factors such as physical condition, intensity and resilience.