Regular exercise and the health benefits it brings

 

Earlier this month Public Health England (PHE) reported that over 6.3 million British adults aged 40 to 60 do not achieve 10 minutes of continuous brisk walking over the course of a month and so miss out on important health benefits. Their findings also revealed how lifestyles have changed over time, showing that people in the UK are 20% less active now than they were in the 1960s and on average walk 15 miles less a year than 2 decades ago. Many of us simply feel ‘too busy’ to bother with regular exercise.

Regular exercise: a ‘miracle’ cure we should not ignore

Considering the sedentary nature of modern life, exercising is more important than ever. Here are some examples of the considerable health benefits of regular exercise:

  • the risk of breast cancer can be reduced by as much as 25%
  • bowel cancer can be reduced by as much as 45%
  • the risk of developing dementia can be reduced by as much as 30%
  • the chances of developing heart disease can be cut by over 40%
What constitutes regular exercise?

Just 30 minutes of physical activity five times a week.

I suggest you also include some resistance training for its positive effects on:

  • muscular strength
  • endurance
  • cardiovascular function
  • metabolism
  • coronary risk factors
  • psychosocial well-being

Moderate to high intensity resistance training performed 2-3 times a week for 3-6 months improves muscular strength and endurance in men and women of all ages by 25%-100% depending on training stimulus and initial level of strength. What’s more a comprehensive resistance training program of 8-18 exercises can be accomplished in 20-30 minutes, to perfectly fit the bill.

Step up to the challenge of incorporating regular exercise into your lifestyle. PHE recommends starting with a brisk 10 minute walk every day. At around 800 metres, this is easily achievable even for busy working people. Leave home ten minutes earlier and get off the bus one stop early, or park the car further away from the office. You might find you enjoy it – I guarantee you will enjoy the benefits. And don’t worry about progress, just make time to make it happen. A healthy lifestyle has No Targets Just Routine.

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          About the author

Alex is a registered Master Trainer and Nutritional Advisor with Level 4 qualifications in obesity and diabetes. He is also a strength specialist and a Ni Dan in Shotokan Karate.

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