Intensity is the stress placed on a specific physiological system involved in an activity. Moderate-intensity activity is equal to a brisk walk and noticeably accelerates the heart rate. Vigorous-intensity activity is equal to jogging and causes rapid breathing and a considerable increase in heart rate.
Both moderate- and vigorous-intensity activity recommendations are in addition to routine activities of daily living, which are considered light intensity, for example, self-care, cooking, walking, or shopping or lasting less than 10 minutes in duration, such as walking around the home or office, or walking from the parking lot. Light-intensity activities show no noticeable changes in breathing patterns or sweating unless it is very hot, and a person can easily carry on a conversation.
Aerobic activities are rhythmic and continuous, and they involve moderate intensity for extended periods of time. The recommended levels of exercise needed to develop and maintain cardiovascular fitness include engaging in moderate-intensity aerobic exercise 3–5 days per week at an intensity of 55–90 percent of the maximum heart rate for 30–60 minutes, or a minimum of 3- 20-minute vigorous-intensity episodes during the week as well as muscle-strengthening activities. Aerobic activities are the most effective at producing ideal health benefits and reducing stress levels.
Even intermittent episodes of moderate- to vigorous-intensity activity, a minimum of 10 minutes at a time can be helpful. Any level of activity above the sedentary is beneficial for weight loss.
Frequency is the number of exercise sessions per week, and the minimum recommendation is 3. A day of rest between aerobic exercise sessions is logical for beginners so their bodies can recover with less risk of strain on muscles, ligaments, and tendons.
Duration is the length of time a person is involved with the activity. The minimum duration for health benefits is 20 minutes, and the heart rate should remain elevated during that time.
The method of exercise is the type of activity chosen, for example walking, running, swimming, skiing, weightlifting or perhaps dancing.
Importantly noted, stretching and resistance training are vital elements of a well-rounded physical activity routine and should be done 2–3 days a week.