Regular exercise has many benefits including weight control, reducing the risk for heart disease and other chronic conditions, relaxation and better sleeping patterns. Aim to do at least one 30-45 minutes physical-activity session every day, or three short 10-minute sessions over the course of the day. Regular physical activity can help you lead a healthier and happier life. People who lead an active lifestyle are more likely to live longer. Being physically active is easier than you think, especially if you make activity part of your daily routine.
It’s medically proven that people who do regular physical activity have:
- up to a 35% lower risk of coronary heart disease and stroke
- up to a 50% lower risk of type 2 diabetes
- up to a 50% lower risk of colon cancer
- up to a 20% lower risk of breast cancer
- a 30% lower risk of early death
- up to an 83% lower risk of osteoarthritis
- up to a 68% lower risk of hip fracture
- a 30% lower risk of falls (among older adults)
- up to a 30% lower risk of depression
- up to a 30% lower risk of dementia
10 Ways to include physical activity into your daily routine:
1) Find an activity that you enjoy such as cycling, running, swimming or dancing. Enjoyment is the key to maintaining an exercise routine.
2) Set a time for physical activity and stick to it. You’re more likely to find time to be active if you do it at the same time and on the same days each week.
3) Split activity up throughout the day – you can achieve your target in bouts of 10 minutes or more.
4) If you need to drive, try to park further away from your destination and walk the rest of the way.
5) Take the stairs instead of the lift, or get out of the lift a few floors early and use the stairs.
6) Cycle or walk part, if not all, of your journey to work. Get off one bus or tube stop before your destination.
7) Walk your children to and from school. This will also help them develop a pattern of physical activity.
8) Be active with your child. If parents are physically active, their children are likely to be active too, so lead by example. Take them to the swimming pool, or play in the garden or park.
9) Exercise or go for a walk during your lunch break. Your office may have a gym, or you may have access to nearby facilities.
9) Walking is the easiest way to increase your activity levels. Walk with the kids, a friend or join a walking group for some extra motivation.
10) Be active around the house – cooking, housework, gardening etc. can help keep you mobile.