You don’t have to be an athlete to go for a run, a swim or a cycle. You don’t need a gym membership to get yourself fit… and you certainly don’t need a new Nike outfit. All you need is a pair of joggers and some comfortable clothing and you will be well on your way to a healthier you. When you exercise regularly you feel great, your vitality improves and you sleep better. New research also suggests it could add years to your life.
In a recent study conducted by the National Cancer Institute (NCI) in the US, it was found that people who were obese and inactive had a life expectancy that was between five to seven years shorter (depending on their level of obesity) than people who were normal weight and moderately active. In another study published in the European Heart Journal researchers examined 43,265 people in America between 1979 and 2003 and highlighted physical fitness as a health marker. Dr Ortega said: “Based on the data that our group and others have collected over years, we believe that getting more exercise broadly and positively influences major body systems and organs and consequently contributes to make someone metabolically healthier, including obese people”.
A new term ‘skinny fat’ has been coined to describe those that appear thin but who have a high level of body fat and low muscle tone; these people have a higher risk of poor health than those who are physically fit and ‘obese’.
So, what do you need to be moderately active? We suggest moving for at least 30 mins every day and try to mix it up so you don’t get bored. Make one session longer and have one day of rest.
Here is a simple exercise program for you to try from home or in the local park:
Monday: 30 min walk after work
Tuesday: 10 min skipping rope and 20 mins of squats, lunges and push-ups
Wednesday: 30 min walk after work
Thursday: 10 min repeated stair climbs and 20 min abdominal strength (basic crunches and planks)
Friday: 30 min morning walk (you know you might get tied up socially on a Friday afternoon, so do your exercise first thing on a Friday morning)
Saturday: 60 min long walk or bike ride: Choose a coastline, a mountain or a lake to stroll/ride around and take the whole family
Sunday: Rest day
It’s as easy as that! Try and mix up what you do so that you keep interested in your exercise and add years to your life.
Send a Twitter Pic to @lise_simpson of you out and about exercising. Remember 30 min of light walking is better than nothing at all.