Exercise brings a variety of health benefits to you and your family, both physical and mental.
The official NHS advice is that adults should undertake at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity physical activity per week. This is often divided into 30 minutes on five or more days a week.
Children and young people, aged 5 to 18, should aim for an average of at least 60 minutes of moderate or vigorous intensity physical activity a day across the week.
Moderate intensity means working hard enough to make you breathe more heavily than normal and become slightly warmer, but not so hard that you are unable to talk and exercise at the same time, or that you become exhausted.
Here’s how getting active can help you and your family today
Regular workouts lower your risk of heart disease, improve your blood cholesterol levels, and help to control, or even prevent, high blood pressure.
Whether you want to lose some inches around the waist, or just avoid putting on extra pounds, exercise is the key.
Strong bones and muscles
Your bones and muscles get stronger when you work out. It can also help ward off osteoporosis and protect your balance and coordination.
Get regular exercise will help you fall asleep faster and also sleep more soundly. The harder you exercise, the more likely you are to have a good night’s sleep.
Exercise calms your body and your brain. After exercising your levels of stress hormones (adrenaline and cortisol) drop.
When you work out, your body makes endorphins which are the “feel-good” chemicals in the brain.
Myth: If I have a physically demanding job then I don’t need to work out outside of work.
Fact: Studies have shown that manual work does not result in the same benefits as exercise outside of work. Often exercise is of a greater intensity with a variety of movements inside your control, which exerts a greater influence on your overall health. #HealthIsWealth
It’s great to get more active, but you’ll also need to be mindful of putting too much strain on your body. Here are 4 ways to prevent those ‘oh so common’ fitness injuries.
1. Warm up and cool down. It is important to warm up before physical activity because research has shown that a heated muscle is less likely to be strained. Do some light walking or jogging before you start your exercise and then again afterward to help your muscles cool down slowly.
2. Increase flexibility. Another important way to prevent injury is to increase your flexibility. This can be done by stretching before and after a workout. Remember it is best to stretch once the body is already warm.
3. Take your time. Don’t push yourself too hard or too fast. Getting in shape or learning a new sport takes time. Gradually increase the time you spend exercising or the miles you run. Don’t try and do a marathon from day one.
4. Listen to your body. Adjust your activities if your body is showing signs of too much stress. If you feel a niggle, rest it. If that niggle turns into an ongoing pain, take it seriously and get it seen by a professional.
5 healthy eating tips for you and your family.
1. Drink more water: Aim to drink 6-8 glasses of water per day to stay well hydrated. Try to drink one glass as soon as your wake up and one with each meal you have.
2. Try to eat ‘whole’ foods: The more refined and processed the foods you consume are, the more likely they will contain higher levels of sugar and salt.
3. Be prepared on the go: When working in the field it’s easy to reach for unhealthy, convenience foods. Try to take fruits, nuts or seeds with you to maintain your energy levels
4. Drink more water: Try to have a protein source in each of your meals. This will help to keep you feeling fuller for longer throughout the day.
5. Try the 80/20 rule: It’s easy to slip from eating well long term. As a rule, try to eat well 80% of the time and allow yourself to enjoy the foods that may not be the best option 20% of the time.