Physical activity and you
Being physically active offers a huge range of mental and physical benefits. These include boosts to your general wellbeing, reducing the risk of over 20 conditions and diseases, helping maintain or achieve a healthy weight and enhancing many social aspects of your life.
Physical activity isn’t just about playing sports or going to the gym. It can be things like gardening, walking to the shops, or going on a bike ride as well.
For many of us though, we are the first generation that needs to make a conscious decision to build physical activity into our daily lives. Fewer of us have manual jobs. Technology and labour-saving devices dominate at home and at work, the two places where we spend most of our time. Societal changes have unfortunately designed physical activity out of much of our lives.
It’s important to remember that whilst the guidelines might be there as a personal goal or target, any amount of physical activity at any intensity will be beneficial for you. In general though, the more time spent being physically active, the greater the health benefits.
Sitting, lying or reclining during waking hours for long periods of time is harmful even for people who are reasonably active for other parts of the day. It is important to break up long periods of being still as often as you can, by at least light physical activity, like stretching for a couple of minutes.
Here are some suggested tips:
- Do what you enjoy but always be willing to try new things.
- Try to walk or cycle for shorter journeys.
- Track your progress, whether that’s the number of steps or how many exercise classes you have attended.
Move more and more often