The KYDRA Club
Your "How Much is Enough" Guide to Exercise
Since COVID-19 reared its ugly head last year, we saw fitness centres close, reopen with limited capacity, only to repeat the cycle again and again. Thankfully here in Singapore, we can still head into the great outdoors for a brisk walk or run sans masks!
While fitness enthusiasts have found creative ways to stay fit, the intermittent nature of things has taken a toll on many who have put their fitness on hold. So, whether you're toying with the idea of starting your fitness journey back up or just simply starting for the first time, we're here to tell you that it's never too late to start!
We're also here to make sure you've got a good gauge on how much exercise counts as enough to keep you in the pink of health and make a positive difference in your life.
Is it easier said than done?
Sometimes even the thought of exercise can throw some of us off! Don't worry; we've all been there – wanting to get a workout in, sticking to a plan for a few weeks, then losing momentum.
Sometimes, the workout doesn't even materialise. It lives in our heads while we lie in bed watching Netflix or are stuck on a Zoom call that lasts longer than we'd thought. Life, right?
At KYDRA, we're all about living your healthiest life. Active living happens anywhere, anytime. We believe that you don't need to live at the gym or work up copious amounts of sweat in the name of physical fitness.
In fact, studies suggest that more than one hour of intense exercise can lead to muscle strain, ligament fatigue and can cause injury if done daily. So, pace yourself. There is a happy medium between doing too much and nothing at all.
However, it is essential to understand calories and the role they play. Quite simply, your calorie intake and how you exert it help you maintain, gain or lose weight.
For Singapore adults aged 25-35, experts recommend 2000 calories for men and 1800 calories for women. These numbers vary according to your weight, age and health goals.
So here's the low-down - if you're able to carve out pockets of time each week to get some activity in, the battle is already half won.
Experts have differing views regarding the optimal amount of exercise. However, generally, the recommended amount of time to aim for is half an hour of "moderate" physical activity or 15 minutes of "intense" activity daily.
Broken into weekly goals, that's about 150 minutes of moderate activity or 75 minutes of intense activity. Honestly, it seems less daunting if you look at it as a daily goal.
But all types of exercise are equally important! Let us break down the different types based on how strenuous they are.
The type you don't even know you're doing:
You may be engaging in moderate exercise without even knowing it!
Your daily walk to the MRT, heading to grab a Kopi-O or smoothie from the neighbourhood Kopitiam, light housekeeping, taking the pup down for a walk all fall under this category. And while you may not view these activities as "exercise", slow walks can burn anywhere from 100 to 250 calories, depending on your speed and the distance.
The intentional yet easy type:
Brisk walking a lap around your block in between Zoom calls is a simple but effective way to get some steps in and get those calories burning. Better yet, make a morning walk or gentle yoga part of your morning routine. Apart from the exercise itself, getting some morning sun has numerous mental and emotional benefits, such as fighting depression and improving sleep.
Since working from home is a mainstay now, get innovative by taking short breaks to scale your HDB flat stairs! Alas, climbing stairs for an hour can burn up to a whopping 500 calories.
The types that make you break a sweat:
Isn’t it good to know that there are so many fun ways to burn calories? You don't need to stick to just one type of exercise. An hour-long Hatha yoga session can burn as many calories (close to 200) as a 15-minute HIIT session or a 5-minute sprint. Look into the different options available to find one that fits your lifestyle, interest and schedule.
The heart-pumping type:
Looking for something to break a sweat and get your heart pumping?
More physically engaging activities such as jogging, biking, and HIIT classes, classified as "intense" or "vigorous" exercises, can burn up to 700 calories. While these workouts require a little more commitment and slight diet adjustments, the heart-pumping cardio sure does yield calorie-zapping benefits!
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