Everybody, regardless of age, shape, size and ability needs to become more active every day. We should all be moving more. Did you know that an active life is essential for physical and mental health and wellbeing?
Here are some suggestions to help you fit physical activity into your life.
Regular physical activity can help decrease our risk of cancer and type 2 diabetes, and conditions like obesity, hypertension and depression. Being active at every age increases quality of life and everyone’s chances of remaining healthy and independent.
We know that, at both work and home, technology encourages us to sit for long periods. We are also more likely to use motorised transport rather than walking or cycling, or use lifts instead of stairs.
For activity to be effective for our health and wellbeing it does not mean we have to take part in vigorous activity. According to guidelines from the UK Chief Medical Officers, we should aim to take part in at least 150 minutes of moderate intensity physical activity each week, in bouts of 10 minutes or more. However, over one in four women and one in five men do less than 30 minutes of physical activity a week, so are classified as ‘inactive’. In fact, physical inactivity is the fourth largest cause of disease and disability in the UK.
Find out more about how much physical activity you need and what counts for adults and children here.
Thirty minutes a day
Your 150 minutes could be made up of 5 x 30 minute sessions during the week.
- Thirty minutes of moderate aerobic activity could be met by going for a brisk walk, a swim, or gardening.
- The recommendations can also be met through doing more, shorter sessions of at least 10 minutes each. Short activities can add up –just a couple of ten minute brisk walks a day can get you well on your way to meeting the recommendations.
- Involve friends and family to make activities more fun, sociable and enjoyable. Go jogging with a friend and support and motivate each other, take the children swimming or join an exercise class.
How can we become more active in our daily life?
With our time in short supply, being active every day can be achieved by making activity part of our daily lives: taking the opportunity for short trips on foot, by bicycle, as well as doing whatever exercise, dance, leisure or sport we enjoy to reach the government recommendations.
Although sport is part of the picture, fitness can be much more than formal exercise. Dancing can be as beneficial as going to the gym, and everyday walking or cycling to the shops or work can get the heart pumping.
Physical activity does not need to be strenuous to be effective. Small and simple changes can make a difference to a healthier you and help you get more active.