Difference between Moderate & Vigorous Physical Activity Pattern

Physical activity is a vital part of our lives. It is the only factor which determines what type of lifestyle we follow: sedentary, moderate or active. There are many advantages of performing exercises.
Some of them are:

  • Helps to reduce risks of heart attacks
  • Maintains a healthy weight balance
  • Keeps the bad cholesterol away
  • Reduces risks of diabetes and some cancers
  • Lower blood pressure is observed
  • With increase in physical activity, rate of calcium absorption is increased thereby giving us stronger bones, muscles and joints and lower risk of osteoporosis
  • Boosts the immunity
  • Improves concentration power and enhances work productivity.

Now that you know few of the many benefits of physical activity, let us find out in which lifestyle category do you fall into- sedentary, moderate or active?

Types of Physical Activity Patterns

A lifestyle pattern tells a lot about the overall health of an individual. Without any exercise, a person easily becomes lethargic, irritable and one’s work productivity is hampered.
Explore the different types of lifestyle patterns:

  • Sedentary Lifestyle- Involves little or next to no physical activity. It consists of mostly sitting positions such as watching television, reading, mobile phone usage, working in from of a personal computer.
  • Moderate Lifestyle- If you exercise for less than 2 1/2 hours in a week, you are following a moderate intensity physical activity pattern.
  • Active Lifestyle- If you are exercising for a minimum one hour and 15 minutes every week, you are following an active lifestyle pattern. This involves profuse sweating and fast heart rate.

The table below shall help you to know particular exercises/activities appropriate for moderate and active lifestyle pattern.

Moderate-Intensity Physical Activity

 Requires a moderate amount of effort and noticeably accelerates the heart rate.

Vigorous-Intensity Physical Activity

Requires a large amount of effort and causes rapid breathing and a substantial increase in heart rate.
Brisk Walking Running
Dancing Walking/ climbing briskly up a hill
Gardening Fast cycling
Housework and domestic chores Aerobics
Traditional gathering Fast swimming
Active involvement in games and sports with children/ walking domestic animals Competitive sports and games (e.g. Traditional Games, Football, Volleyball, Hockey, Basketball)
General building tasks (e.g. roofing, thatching, painting) Heavy shoveling or digging ditches
Carrying/ moving moderate loads (< 20 kg) Carrying/ moving heavy loads (> 20 kg)
Source: World Health Organization Data

From the table above, it can be highlighted that Brisk Walking is an excellent exercise for moderate intensity activity. If you are still in the sedentary lifestyle category, then brisk walking is first baby step towards a healthy start.
On the other side, if you are in the vigorous intensity category, you have to monitor your diet and consume a high protein diet using protein for muscle gain if you are looking for a gain in muscle mass.
Let us pledge to do at least 20 minutes of physical activity daily as we have to stay in this body for a lifetime.