Lesson 3 Physical activity

  • Physical activity refers to all body movements.
  • 3 types of activity: light, moderate and vigorous intensity.
  • Having a physically demanding occupation, such as being a municipal urban cleaner, is in part a physical activity!
  • Physical activity (moderate and vigorous) can:
  • Benefit your heart, body, and mind
  • Help prevent/ manage most non-communicable diseases
  • Reduce symptoms of anxiety and depression
  • Enhance thinking and judgement skills
  • Improve your overall well being.
  • Exercise is an often organized way of remaining physically active.
  • 4 types: endurance, strength, balance and flexibility.

Endurance exercises (or, aerobic exercises):

  • Increases your breathing and heart rate
  • Includes physically demanding sports and activities (walking, dancing)
  • Can have the most health benefits out of all exercise types.

Your physically demanding occupation is similar to an endurance exercise.

  • However, you can still gain more health benefits by doing an organized exercise (accumulative positive effect)
  • Resistance training (related to your muscular strength).
  • Having strong muscles can help you:
    • do most of your everyday activities, such as climbing stairs, getting up from a chair, carrying items and doing most of your work.
    • prevent falling and suffering from fall-related injuries.
  • Do at least 2-3 days a week resistance training (using your weight, dumbbells, light bands, home equipment such as filled water bottles).
  • The first repetition should feel easy, and the last one (10th) should feel harder
  • Although your job is physically demanding, doing frequent resistance exercises can prevent many muscles related injuries
  • Balance and flexibility exercises are useful for preventing falls and assisting you in your daily work.
  • While doing these exercises, avoid using improper equipment, stretching so far that it hurts and stretching parts of the body that hurt already.
  • Stretching exercises can often accompany resistance training, as they can reduce related injuries if done before resistance training and after endurance or resistance training.
  • Proper rest is not sleep but rather the “feeling of relaxation.”
  • A busy schedule and lack of personal time can lead to tardiness, regardless of sleeping quality. To unwind, you can pursue a hobby, just relax, or spend quality time with your loved ones.
  • While resting, your muscles relax, your heart rate drop, and your mind feels “empty.” Many people enjoy closing their eyes, controlling their breathing and even meditating. Resting is especially important for you, as your occupation is physically demanding and if you do not rest enough you might suffer from future muscle injuries or pain.
  • If possible, try to find some time in your day for some personal time (opt for pursuing a hobby, don’t just watch TV!)

The talk test


You are able to speak and sing freely while doing the activity

Walking slowly, doing chores, generally doing undemanding tasks


You are able to speak with a certain ease, but you are unable to sing properly

Walking briskly, cycling, dancing, gardening, doing occupational tasks


You are unable to talk in a consistent pattern and cannot say more than a few words before catching your breath.

Running, swimming laps, jumping rope, doing very demanding occupational tasks