One of the key ingredients to live a successful and healthy life is physical fitness. When you are physically fit, there are little chances for diseases, infirmity, or bacteria to stay in your body. Are you not surprised that most sportspeople, regardless of the sport, hardly fall sick? The reason is not far-fetched. They regularly go for workouts so that they will be fit for the next competition.
If you can maintain the kind of lifestyle that sportspeople maintain, you will live a stress-free, disease-free, and fitness lifestyle. You will grow old and still be waxing strong because your blood vessels and heart muscles will function as required.
Working out or engaging in physical activity alone cannot guarantee a healthy lifestyle. What guarantees a healthy lifestyle, according to the 2005 Dietary Guidelines for Americans is to balance physical activity with what you eat. Physical activity plus nutrition goes a long way to help you maintain your physical fitness and overall health. As a matter of fact, these two elements work together to improve your health and also guarantee a healthy life.
Now, there is what is called the physical activity pyramid. This is a representation using a sketch or pyramid to show you the type of physical activities you should engage in to be physically fit. If you want to stay fit at old age, it is expedient for you to follow the physical activity pyramid to the latter. This will help you achieve your desired fitness, so that even sporting professionals would be envious of you.
In this article, we will take a look at the benefits of the physical activity pyramid, the levels of the physical activity pyramid, as well as how to use the physical activity pyramid to improve your health. We will also dive into other important areas of the pyramid.
Let’s get started
Why is the Physical Activity Pyramid important?
The physical activity pyramid is an important tool that you can use to follow its suggestions to reduce your risks to health related-issues and inactivities. The physical activity pyramid can also help you reduce any injury that is usually associated with too much activity. If you are physically active, you will live a happier, healthier, and longer lifestyle compared to someone who is not physically active.
Studies have continually shown that physical activity increases the mental, physical, and social development of an individual. So, for you to be fit, instead of registering in a workout centre or a fitness centre, your best bet will be to study the physical activity pyramid so that you understand the type of fitness regime that is recommended for your type of person; otherwise, all your effort may just be in vain, and you will end up not achieving anything tangible.
So, in summary, physical activity pyramid guarantees the following benefits:
- It helps you reach and maintain a happier, healthier, and longer lifestyle by burning calories.
- The physical activity pyramid also helps you reduce the chances of contracting chronic diseases, such as stroke, heart diseases, type 2 diabetes, as well as colon cancer.
- It also helps you reduce the likelihood for you to contract a heart attack and makes you feel good about yourself.
- It reduces depression, anxiety, and stress and also improves your overall fitness level.
- The physical activity pyramid has also been tested to be effective in increasing the muscle strength of humans. For those that want to reduce their body fat, the best tool that is handy at this moment is the physical activity pyramid.
- In terms of building and maintaining your bones and joints, the physical activity pyramid has been found to be effective in this regard. It does not end there; it also helps to prevent arthritis and reduce pain from arthritis.
- It helps maintain and improve our posture and flexibility. Plus, it reduces the risk of falling among older adults.
Levels of the Physical Activity Pyramid
The physical activity pyramid comes in 5 levels. Let’s take a look at each of the levels so that we can understand what they entail.
Level 1: Moderate Physical Activity
As far as the physical activity pyramid is concerned, the first step in your journey to live a healthier and happy life is the moderate physical activity level. Exercises that are categorized into this level and perform on a daily basis. This includes some daily living activities or lifestyle activities like yard work for example mowing the lawn or raking leaves, and housework for example mopping the floor and cleaning your electronic equipment.
Moderate physical activity also includes sports, particularly those that are not rigorous such as golf and bowling. Other sports that may fall into this category include shooting basketballs and playing a full court game. According to the national guidelines for physical activity, 60 minutes of moderate physical activity is recommended for teenagers. Teenagers should take out at least 30 minutes of their time to engage in moderate activity as we have outlined under this level.
The benefits that come with physical activity under this level are so overwhelming, some of which include controlling your level of body fat and reducing some health-related risks from getting to you.
Level 2: Vigorous Aerobic
This is the second level of the physical activity pyramid. This level represents every physical activity or workout that is known as rigorous. These are activities that you should do for a long period of time without taking a break. These activities will increase your heart muscles and heart rate. They will make you breathe faster and you will also sweat profusely as you engage in the activity.
Therefore the activity under this level is more intense than moderate activity we have discussed in the above level. Rigorous aerobics include aerobic dance and jogging. Just like the moderate exercises that we have already discussed, rigorous aerobic also comes with many health and wellness benefits. If you want to build a high level of cardiorespiratory endurance, you need to be actively engaged in the physical activity that are outlined under the level 2 of the physical activity pyramid. At best, you should be engaged in vigorous aerobic exercises at least three times a week and it should not be less than 20 minutes each time you step out for work out.
Level 3: Vigorous Sport And Recreation
Vigorous sport and recreation are the physical activities contained under the level 3 of the physical activity pyramid. As with vigorous aerobics, vigorous sports and creation are exercises or physical activities that will make your heart beat faster than normal and also make you sweat more than the ordinary. These exercises can also make you breathe faster than usual. This is because as your muscle draws more oxygen to function, your heart beats faster and you breathe faster and sweat profusely to measure up with the oxygen demand that your muscles need.
However, unlike the vigorous aerobics that we discussed under the level two of the pyramid, rigorous sport and recreation eclipse includes short bursts of activity immediately followed by some rest. Examples of physical activity under this category include tennis, soccer, football as well as basketball. If you engage in this activity for at least 20 minutes everyday, they will provide you with improved health fitness and your overall wetness level will be enhanced.
It also contributes to healthy weight management as well as it helps you build motor skills. The physical activity pyramid guide level 3 comes with more health benefits than the levels we have already discussed so far. So, if you want to live a healthy life free of sickness and diseases, you should endeavour to engage in all these activities that have been outlined under the physical activity pyramid level 3.
Level 4: Muscle Fitness Exercises
The muscle fitness exercises are all grouped under the physical activity pyramid level 4. The activity under this level will help you build muscular endurance, power, and strength. The exercises include moving your own body weight like jumping, rock climbing, and calisthenics. It also includes resistance training, using machines or weight lifting.
Muscle fitness exercises generally improve the human health and fitness level so that we can live a happier life even in our old age. They also guarantee improved body appearance, better performance at work, better posture and a healthier back. What’s more? They guarantee stronger bones alongside good nutrition. The standard set by the national guidelines is to engage in all the activities listed under the physical activity pyramid level 4 at least two to three times in a week.
Level 5: Flexibility Exercises
The level 5 of the physical activity pyramid includes all those physical activities that enhance and represent flexibility exercises. Research has it that flexibility exercises guarantee balance and stability. So many studies have also suggested that flexibility exercises prevent injury, reduce soreness, and reduce the risk of sustaining back pain. That’s not all; physical activity under this category can also improve your performance if you are into dancing and gymnastic performance.
Therapists or physicians also recommend these types of exercises or physical activity to help people recover fast from the injury. The two major examples of exercises that fall under this category are yoga and stretching exercises. According to the national guideline, it is recommended that an average individual should engage in flexibility exercises at least three times in a week. This will help the individual to live a happier, longer, and healthier lifestyle.
How do you use physical activity pyramid
Using the physical activity pyramid is easy and straightforward if you follow the instructions we will share in this section. Before you use the pyramid, you should begin at the bottom of the pyramid and then select those exercises that you know are suitable for you on a daily basis. Muscle build endurance in any of the exercises you choose can increase the amount of activity and reduce your sitting activity.
Ensure you keep track of your performance in each of the exercises that you are engaged in using a food and exercise diary. This will help you know when you have built endurance in a particular exercise category and when you should move to the next level of physical activity.
Where on the Physical Activity Pyramid do lifestyle activities are included in the pyramid?
From our explanation of the physical activity pyramid level 4, we can see that lifestyle activities are included under level 4 of the physical activity pyramid.
Ok that would be it. You can see that the physical activity pyramid is a potent tool in the hands of anybody that wants to grow and live a healthier life even in old age. The activities highlighted in each of the levels of the pyramid are designed in such a way that every individual who has a category they fall into.
If your endurance level cannot sustain the physical activity under level 1, it will definitely sustain the physical activity under level 2 or 3. So, if you value fitness and a healthy life, why not use the physical activity pyramid to design your workout or exercise routine, so that you can live a healthy and happier life as you move forward.