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How to start physical activity in Malta. What can I do?

Need to adopt a healthier lifestyle?

Our current lifestyle is making it harder and harder to maintain optimum health. We juggle between long hours and stress at work, family commitments and whatever else takes up our time. At the end, there is very little time left for mindful food preparation and exercising. Not exactly a ‘healthy lifestyle’. Malta is classified as one of the top European countries in obesity, and this is why we need change in our lifestyle.

Start today, little steps everyday will help you improve your physical and mental health, this is why physical exercise is important in our lives.

What do you mean by Physical exercise?

Physical exercise is the performance of some activity in order to develop or maintain physical fitness and overall health.

It is often directed toward also honing athletic ability or skill.

Frequent and regular physical exercise is an important component in the prevention of some diseases such as heart disease, cardiovascular disease, Type 2 diabetes and obesity.

Exercises are generally grouped into three types depending on the overall effect they have on the human body: Flexibility exercises such as stretching improve the range of motion of muscles and joints; aerobic exercises such as walking and running focus on increasing cardiovascular endurance; and anaerobic exercises such as weight training, functional training or sprinting increase short-term muscle strength.

Physical exercise is considered important for maintaining physical fitness including healthy weight; building and maintaining healthy bones, muscles, and joints; promoting physiological well-being; reducing surgical risks; and strengthening the immune system.

 

World Health Organisation

World Health Organisation suggests the following:

  1. Adults aged 18–64 should do at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity aerobic physical activity throughout the week or do at least 75 minutes of vigorous-intensity aerobic physical activity throughout the week or an equivalent combination of moderate- and vigorous-intensity activity.
  2. Aerobic activity should be performed in bouts of at least 10 minutes duration.
  3. For additional health benefits, adults should increase their moderate-intensity aerobic physical activity to 300 minutes per week, or engage in 150 minutes of vigorous-intensity aerobic physical activity per week, or an equivalent combination of moderate- and vigorous-intensity activity.
  4. Muscle-strengthening activities should be done involving major muscle groups on 2 or more days a week.

 

Pregnant, postpartum women and persons with cardiac events may need to take extra precautions and seek medical advice before striving to achieve the recommended levels of physical activity for this age group.

Inactive adults or adults with disease limitations will have added health benefits if moving from the category of “no activity” to “some levels” of activity. Adults who currently do not meet the recommendations for physical activity should aim to increase duration, frequency and finally intensity as a target to achieving them.

 

Benefits of physical activity for adults

Overall, strong evidence demonstrates that compared to less active adult men and women, individuals who are more active:

  • have lower rates of all-cause mortality, coronary heart disease, high blood pressure, stroke, type 2 diabetes, metabolic syndrome, colon and breast cancer, and depression;
  • are likely to have less risk of a hip or vertebral fracture;
  • exhibit a higher level of cardiorespiratory and muscular fitness; and
  • are more likely to achieve weight maintenance, have a healthier body mass and composition.

 

Types or Venues

Walking or jogging

Try to avoid busy traffic roads in Malta, since the air quality would not be optimum which is affected by cars emissions. It is sometimes difficult to find your spot. You may choose, to go near the sea for a walk or jog such as Sliema promenade, at a running track to keep record of your laps or even around your neighborhood or countryside.

There are even groups on facebook or classes where people join and go for walks or train together. If this motivates you, you should try to join one of these groups or classes.

Others may prefer one to one training such as with a personal trainer, family member or friends. Start today, use better your time and invest in your personal health, those few minutes will make that change.

Cycling

Some people may like more cycling. It is a very good physical exercise and also can be used as a method of transport from a place to another. Try to avoid busy roads in Malta because of the danger of getting hurt.

Gym

There is also a trend in Malta who likes to train at a gym. Some people may have a home gym or their favourite gym. There are various equipment where you can train different parts of your body and have different targets. You may aim to build muscle or reduce/keep your current weight. It is important to be careful and have someone with you for example when increasing weight lifting or trying a new machine to avoid any injury.

Cross fit

Cross Fit is focused on “constantly varied, high-intensity, functional movement,” drawing on categories and exercises such as calisthenics, Olympic-style weightlifting, powerlifting, Strongman-type events, plyometrics, body weight exercises, indoor rowing, aerobic exercise, running, circuit training and swimming. This is usually chosen by more experienced people due to its high intensity. One should only try this by joining other people or groups since there are risks when lifting weights and other activities Consult your doctor before going for this high intense training, since not everyone is fit enough for such activity.

Other sports

You may choose to join a team or group in many sports. Following is a shortlist of some of the most popular sports in Malta:

Football

Football involves a high cardio since there is constantly need for running. It may involve other activities such as to build muscle strength.

Basketball

Basketball involves cardio since you need to run from side to side to defend and try to score. It also involves your hands, to be able to throw or pass the ball.

Conclusion

Be the change that Malta needs, start today training and doing a physical activity. If you have any conditions always get an advice from your doctor or professionals. At Tminta you may also find various professionals where you can join training with. Remember you are investing in your personal health.

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