The benefits of regular exercise


This is the week when the summer starts to seem like a distant memory. The sun is rising later, mornings are staying dark longer, and clients are finding it just that little bit harder to turn up at the gym for the early training session slots. So, as we enter the season when we find out who has the stamina to keep up their exercise routine through the toughest months it’s a good time to remind ourselves of the extraordinary benefits of regular exercise.

Don’t miss out on the benefits of exercise

It is pretty scary how many British adults miss out on the benefits of exercise; Public Health England (PHE) reported last year 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. 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. It seems many of us simply feel ‘too busy’ to bother with regular exercise.

Regular exercise: a ‘miracle’ tonic 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%
  • makes it easier to control blood sugar levels
  • can help people with type 2 diabetes avoid long-term complications such as heart problems  
What constitutes regular exercise?

Just 30 minutes of physical activity five times a week. Naturally I would also recommend the inclusion of 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. You might find you enjoy it – I guarantee you will enjoy the benefits. And don’t worry about the rate of progress, just make time to make it happen and it will; after all, a healthy lifestyle has No Targets Just Routine!

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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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