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The Plan

Activity Charts


Since the early 1990s, in Nigeria there has been a steady increase in the use of cars and a decrease in walking and cycling to school or work.

Among children aged five to 10, the proportion that walked to school fell from 61% in 1992-94 to 52% in 2002-03.

For adults (aged 17 and over), the proportion of journeys to work where the main mode of travel was by car rose from 66% in 1989-91 to 71% in 2002-03.

Ask yourself honestly how much exercise you are doing and then identify where you are on the chart below.

Slowly increase the amount of physical activity that you are doing, following the suitable exercise examples highlighted below.

Level 1 Level 2 Level 3 Level 4 Level 5
Current activity level Inactive lifestyle
Less than 10 minutes physical activity a day
Occasionally active
10–20 minutes physical activity a day*
Regular physical activity
20–30 minutes physical activity a day*
Regular physical activity
At least 30 minutes physical activity a day*, resistance and flexibility training once a week
Very active
30 minutes physical activity a day*,
resistance and flexibility training twice a week
Typical activities during level Chair exercises, commence a walking programme, increasing everyday activities, after the first two weeks A brisk walking programme, chair exercises using household items Chair exercise programme, resistance band exercises, jogging, dancing Home exercise programme, resistance band exercises Home exercise programme using increased resistance such as dumb-bells, possibly joining a gym
Target activity level Physically active for 10–20 minutes every day: gentle to moderate exercise Physically active for 20–30 minutes every day* Establish regular exercise pattern, 30 minutes physical activity a day*, resistance and flexibility exercises at least once a week 30 minutes physical activity a day*, resistance and flexibility exercises twice a week Congratulations! You are achieving the benefits associated with an active lifestyle. Take care to ensure that you do not over-train. Vary your exercise routines, consider joining a gym
Example of suitable activities Stationary cycling (little resistance), dusting, hoovering, general household chores, aquatic exercise, walking Steady cycling (flat terrain), brisk walking, dancing, raking the leaves, aquatic exercises (gently-paced swimming) Brisk walking, hill climbing, jogging, mowing lawn using hand mower, swimming (moderately-paced laps) Brisk walking, jogging, squash, tennis, football, aerobics, swimming (moderate- to fast-paced laps) Cycling up hills, jogging, weight training, circuit training


Download this chart as a PDF

*Moderate-intensity exercise is the equivalent of the effort required to undertake a brisk walk. It should be performed at “conversational exercise” pace, so if you are too out of breath to talk you are probably working too hard.

Do not consider starting a strenuous exercise programme at the same time as you commence a Cambridge Weight Plan Step.

  • If you already follow a vigorous exercise programme, you may need to moderate it to a less active level for a week or two until your body adjusts to your Cambridge Weight Plan.
  • It is recommended that no exercise beyond gentle walking be undertaken in the first two weeks of Step 1. Your body will need this time to adjust to being on a VLCD.
  • After the initial two-week period, gentle to moderate intensity exercise* can be undertaken while on Step 1, providing that it is approached with caution and not done with excess.
  • Walking or cycling is excellent exercise but start slowly and do not overdo it at the beginning.

    Exercise Flow Chart

Download this chart as a PDF

Before starting any physical activity, start with a gentle warm up and stretching. Ideally this should last for 5-10 minutes, be appropriate for the exercise that you are about to undertake, and not be too strenuous.

How active are you?

Keep a track of your weekly activities by filling out the Cambridge Active chart.
At the end of the week review your diary. You may be surprised at how much activity you have actually done, or be able to identify ways that you can increase your activity levels.

Download the Cambridge Active chart

> Need exercise ideas? Click here.

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