​This is a resource page for everyone who wants to get healthier by being more active. 

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Exercise is not the same as sport. The Oxford dictionary defines exercise as ‘physical or mental activity that you do to stay healthy or become stronger’ or ‘a set of movements or activities that you do to stay healthy or develop a skill. 

Sport is “activity that you do for pleasure and that needs physical effort or skill, usually done in a special area and according to fixed rules” i.e. sport is organized exercise. 

The objective of exercise is increased physical movement, whether it is wheeling your wheelchair, going around the park on your crutches, or for most people simply walking. 

The goal is to accumulate enough minutes of exercise to get health benefits. 

For most people moderate intensity exercise gives the greatest benefit and is safe. 

The sing / talk test: ​While you are exercising e.g. walking, try and sing out loud

  • If you can fill your lungs with enough air to sing, you are in light intensity exercise. 
  • If you cannot sing but can hum / whisper singing, then try talking. If you can talk albeit a bit out of breathe, you are in moderate intensity exercise. 
  • If you cannot talk at all, you are in high intensity exercise. Be sure to warm up and cool down properly if you go to high intensity exercise. If you have underlying health problems, first consult with your doctor before pushing yourself into this intensity. It is safe to stay in the moderate zone. ​

Have a look at our condition specific brochures for adaptations specific to your needs:

General population guidelines for exercise:

Additional Resources and Links:

Epilepsy & Exercise by Dr Helene van der Hoven

Diabetes & Exercise by Dr Jo-Anne Kirby

Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness by Dr Melissa Janse van Vuren

Mountain S​afety by Dr Melissa Janse van Vuren

Exercise Induced Anemia​ by Dr Kerry Walton

Heart Disease by​ Dr Melissa Janse van Vuren

Chores as Exercise by the SU Biokinetics centre

From Couch to Marathon Runner by Physiotherapist Emma Carstens

Eating too little for your exercise risks RED-S by Dr Veruschka Rademan

Return to exercise after COVID for Stellenbosch University Staff and Students

Exercise is Medicine South Africa

Exercise is Medicine USA​


Campus Health Service is an accredited partner or service provider with:

Exercise is Medicine South Africa

South African Sports Medicine Association

American College Health Association

Sports Concussion South Africa

International Federation of Sports Medicine (FIMS)

International Football Association (FIFA)

Institute of Sport and Exercise Medicine (ISEM)