It is a known fact that physical exercise positively affects our health. However, how should we exercise to get the best effects? The experts recommend the rule of: 3 x 30 x 130 and stress that the most important thing in physical activity is to be regular.

“If someone decides to be active, he or she should regularly exercise," argues Dr. Andrzej Bugajski, president of the Polish Society of Sports Medicine.

3 x 30 x 130

Dr. Bugajski recalls the old but still relevant rule of exercising: 3 x 30 x 130, i.e. 3 times per week, at least 30 minutes at a time, with heartbeat around 130 per minute.

The expert stresses that this system is adequate for adults. Children should exercise more, 4-5 times per week. Older people can divide the 30 minutes into two 15-minute or three 10-minute sessions.

He notes that the effects of training cannot be seen earlier than after approximately three weeks of regular exercising.

He also recommends to alter the types of effort to simultaneously work on speed, endurance, and strength.

What’s with the heartbeat?

How do we control the impact of physical effort on the human organism? The best measure is the heartbeat. There are numerous heartbeat monitors available in stores.

“It should be checked during rest periods, physical effort, and restitution, i.e. immediately post-effort," states Dr. Bugajski.

He stresses that in order to start any form of physical activity, one should have a proper resting heartbeat, which should fit between 60-80 beats per minute.

What is the maximum exercising heartbeat? The accepted rule is 220 minus the age.

“In the case of younger people, the heartbeat can reach as high as 200, but in the case of 60-year-olds, it should not exceed 60-70 percent of the value of 160 per minute. We should not exceed these levels," cautions the expert.

He stresses that heartbeat monitoring is necessary to control the impact of the effort on the circulatory and respiratory systems.

“Anyone with heart or lung problems should visit a physician (preferably a sports physician) as soon as possible. The physician will establish if the person can undertake physical effort," advises Dr. Bugajski.

Physical activity – prevention and cure

Dr. Bugajski stresses that there are generally no diseases which preclude from engaging in adequately-chosen forms of physical activeness. Organisms of people who exercise produce more endorphins, also called joy hormones, which allow for a more optimistic outlook on life.

The expert reminds that physical activity is used not only as a measure of prevention, but also as a form of treatment or additional therapy, e.g. for diseases of the metabolism. It is increasingly recommended for diabetes, as it reduces the doses of insulin, since controlled physical activity can reduce the blood sugar level.

It is also known that not all forms of physical activity are recommended for everyone. It is hard to recommend exercise that puts a strain on the lower limbs to people with degenerative diseases of knee or hip joints. But in such cases, running can be replaced with cycling, downhill or cross-country skiing, or water activities.

“I try to adapt the forms of physical activity to the needs and abilities of the individual. First, I ask the question of intolerance, because you should not encourage someone to do something in which he or she is not interested. Physical effort should also provide mental relaxation," says Dr. Bugajski.

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