Now that you’ve decided to give importance to physical activity into your daily life, the next step is to choose the right kind of activity for you.

What is pre-exercise screening?

See your doctor for advice before you start any new physical activity program, especially if you are over 40 years, overweight, haven’t exercised in long time or suffer from chronic medical condition.

It is a filter or ‘safety net’ to help decide if the potential benefits of exercise outweigh the risks for you.

Steps to your 'perfect' workout

  1. Define your goal

  • What do you want to achieve out of your plan?

Lose weight?

Build body?

Tone muscles?

Increase stamina?

General fitness?

Social and emotional wellbeing?

  • Different exercises performed at different intensities give different results. When you know your goal, your program can be customized accordingly to fit that need.

   2. Define amount of physical activity you need

While ‘how much’ depends on your previous activity status, there are certain guidelines available for particular goals of exercise.

In an attempt to generalize NHS of UK suggests that adults aged 19 to 64 years should do:

At least 150 mins of moderate aerobic exercise such as cycling or fast walking,


Strength exercises on 2 or more days a week working on all major muscle groups.


75 mins of vigorous aerobic activity, such as running or a game of singles tennis every week,


Strength exercises on 2 or more days a week working on all major muscle groups.

One way to do your recommended 150 mins of weekly physical activity is to do 30 mins on 5 days a week.

  3. Identify your style of physical activity

Do you like things organized or prefer a more casual approach? Do you like to do things on your own or to be part of a group based activity?

Some similar issues to be considered:

  • Are you self motivated or are more likely to commit to a physical activity routine with a training buddy or you are more of a team sports playing person participating in organized group activity programs ?
  • Choose an activity you enjoy and would need minimal effort to adhere to the routine.
  •  Choose an exercise program that compliments your job. Indoor workers may choose an outdoor activity while field job workers with more walking and standing should choose upper body workout like rowing and swimming.
  • Consider your time commitment, which is how much time and what time of the day do you plan to work out?

  4. What activity is best for you?

Consider the advantages and disadvantages of some common exercises to help you decide which may be the best activity for you.



  • Gentle on your joints especially knee and ankles.
  • Burns plenty of calories
  • Good source of cardiovascular workout
  • Can be incorporated as a means of transport


  • Equipment like a good quality bicycle and its protective equipment like helmet, knee pads are essential.
  • Be traffic conscious and plan your route accordingly.

Gym membership


  • Wide range of equipments under one roof
  • Opportunity to improve all round health
  • Instructors on hand to help you use equipment correctly.


  • Expensive memberships
  • Prone to injuries



  • Helps build strong bones
  • Increases your cardiovascular fitness
  • Minimal equipments required


  • High impact on joints (especially if performed inappropriately)
  • Prone to injuries



  • Gentle on your joints.
  • Less risk of injury
  • Low impact activity
  • Increases your cardiovascular fitness along with back, chest and arms strength.


  • It is a learned skill
  • Does not strengthen bones or burns as many calories

Team sports


  • Offer friendship and fun
  • Easy to exercise while enjoying
  • Keeps your motivation high even by the end of session
  • Most sports such as soccer or netball quickly build cardiovascular health.


  • Warm up necessary or may lead to injuries.
  • Some sports may be seasonal for winter or summer sports

Strength training (With free weights or equipment)


  • Strengthens bones, build muscles and burn plenty of calories too!!


  • Must be built up gradually.
  • Needs either a gym membership or home equipment.
  • Incorrect technique or heavier weights puts you at high risk of serious injuries.


  • Fits your lifestyle, including activities you love, so you can stick with it for a long time.
  • A well rounded program with aerobic, strength training, balance and flexibility exercises.
  • A program that starts with your current level of fitness and takes into account any previous injuries or current limitations.
  • A program that keeps your routines fresh and keeps you motivated.