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Exercise & Fitness

Exercise is the miracle cure we’ve always had, but for too long we’ve neglected to take our recommended dose. Our health is now suffering as a consequence.

This is no snake oil. Whatever your age, there's strong scientific evidence that being physically active can help you lead a healthier and even happier life.

People who do regular activity have a lower risk of many chronic diseases, such as heart disease, type 2 diabetes, stroke and some cancers.

Research shows that physical activity can also boost self-esteem, mood, sleep quality and energy, as well as reducing your risk of stress, depression, dementia and Alzheimer’s disease.

“If exercise were a pill, it would be one of the most cost-effective drugs ever invented,” says Dr Nick Cavill, a health promotion consultant

What counts as aerobic exercise?

You should aim to undertake 150 mins of moderate-intensity aerobic activity. This means you're working hard enough to raise your heart rate and break a sweat. One way to tell if you're working at a moderate intensity is if you can still talk but you can't sing the words to a song.

Examples of moderate-intensity aerobic activities are:

  • walking fast - this can be done at lunch time - gets you away from the desk
  • water aerobics/swimming – gets you away from the mobile phone for an hour !
  • riding a bike on level ground or with few hills – please wear a helmet or use a static bike in the gym.
  • playing doubles tennis – you don’t need to achieve Wimbledon standards!!
  • pushing a lawn mower - no discrimination here, ladies and gents can do this.

Sorry ladies and gents but daily chores such as shopping, cooking or housework don't count towards your 150 minutes. This is because the effort needed to do them isn’t hard enough to get your heart rate up.

For more information http://www.nhs.uk/livewell/fitness/Pages/Fitnesshome.aspx

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