What are the benefits?
It is medically proven that people who do regular exercise have:
- Up to a 20% lower risk of breast cancer
- Up to a 30% lower risk of depression, dementia, falls (older adults) and early death
- Up to a 35% lower risk of coronary heart disease and strokes
- Up to a 50% lower risk of type 2 diabetes and colon cancer
- Up to a 68% lower risk of hip fracture
- Up to a 83% lower risk of osteoarthritis
NHS 2018 exercise guidelines:
Children and Young People (5-18 years)
- Children should engage in at least 60 minutes of physical activity every day for example, cycling/tennis/playground activities
- Vigorous intensity activities, including those that strengthen muscle and bone, should be incorporated at least three days per week for example jumping/running/gymnastics
- Adults should aim to be active daily with at least 150 minutes of moderate aerobic activity every week such as cycling/brisk walking
- This is to include strength exercises two or more days a week on major muscles for example legs, back, abdomen.
- A suggestion is to do 30 minutes per day over 5 days per week.
- An alternative to this, which has shown comparable benefits, could be achieved with 75 minutes of vigorous intensity activity (running/tennis) spread across the week or a combination of moderate (brisk walking) and vigorous intensity activity.
- A good rule is 1 minute of vigorous activity provides the same health benefits as 2 minutes of moderate activity.
Older Adults (65+ years)
- Older adults should aim to be active daily and over the week add up to 150 minutes of moderate intensity exercise (30 minutes over 5 days per week).
- On two days a week adults should undertake activity to improve muscle strength.
- Older adults who are at risk of falls should incorporate physical activity to improve balance and co-ordination on at least two days a week.
All ages should minimise the amount of time spent sedentary/sitting for extended periods.
Moderate intensity physical activity will make you feel warmer, breathe harder and heart beat faster. You should still be able to hold a conversation. Examples:
- Brisk Walking
- Ballroom Dancing
- Playground Activities
Vigorous intensity will cause you to get warmer, breath much harder and your heart beat rapidly. This will make it more difficult to hold a conversation.
- Fast running
Activities that strengthen muscle involve using body weight or working against resistance. It should involve all major muscle groups. Sports include:
- Gymnastics or tennis
- Hopping and skipping
- Exercising with weights
- Carrying or moving heavy loads such as groceries
- Chair aerobics
Activities to improve co-ordination and balance:
- Tai Chi
If it’s been a while since you have exercised or if you have any illness or disability it may be wise to consult with your Doctor first. Exercise should not hurt or make you feel really tired. You may feel a little discomfort and weary but not pain.
- Use sun screen if exercising outside
- Use appropriate clothing and protective equipment e.g. cycling helmet, comfortable clothing
- Drink plenty of water