Current Department of Health guidelines indicate a minimum of 30 minutes moderate intensity exercise for 5 days or more offers general health benefits such as reducing the risk of premature death from cardiovascular disease and some cancers, significantly reduces the risk of type 2 diabetes, and it can also improve psychological well-being. When starting a new routine this can be split into more manageable chunks such as 3 x 10minute bouts – i.e. walking for the bus. However to prevent obesity a minimum of 45 to 60 minutes moderate intensity activity every day should be carried out. The guidelines are not designed as a temporary recommendation more a guide to what should be included as part of your life ongoing.
What counts as ‘moderate activity’?
For most it would be include things into daily life. Such as walking or cycling over driving or to include hobbies – gardening, sporting activities and playing with your children. These are great activities to start with particularly if you have been very sedentary. Once you are used to this level of activity, aim to include fitness sessions specific to your goals and make them progressive to see further change and adaptation.
What other types of physical activity should I consider?
As the population ages and we become more prone to osteoporosis endeavour to include weight bearing exercise such as walking, jogging, bodyweight and free-weight based exercise which will improve bone density and therefore reduce the risk of osteoporosis. Flexibility, balance and co-ordination are fundamental movements that we take for granted but lose as we age, or in fact sit at a computer screen for hours on end. Consider yoga and Pilates form of classes to maintain and improve this and bring about a feeling of stress management. Some people will enjoy team sports, others gym memberships where there are lots of people working out together, whereas others will prefer to work in a more private environment and benefit from 1-2-1 personal training to get you back on track. The key is to find a physical activity that you like and will want to continue going forward. Fun inspires motivation and focus, which makes you more likely to achieve your goals.
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