Exercise & health

Doing ourselves good

Do you sit around a lot, in front of the telly or the computer?  Most of us do.  In fact, according to the Department of Health, most of us don’t get enough exercise for our health.  Which is why the NHS gives exercise a lot of importance. (http://www.nhs.uk/livewell/fitness)

Sedentary life-styles are bad for us.  In particular, they make getting fat easier, which in turn can lead to other, worse problems.

Excercise & HealthIncreasing numbers of adults and children in the UK are becoming over-weight or obese.  Exercise combined with a healthy diet is widely seen as important in preventing our putting on weight and in helping us lose it.  Some researchers doubt that we can lose weight with exercise on its own.  But everyone agrees that exercise – if we can do it safely – makes us healthier.  Which means that it is likely to prolong our lives and help us lead happier lives.

Why have we got ourselves into this problem with obesity?

In the rich parts of the world like the UK, the way we live has unbalanced how our bodies function in two ways.  Most of us now have plenty of food, easily available – and a lot of it is processed and rich in fat and sugar.  And in our work and leisure, many of us no longer do stuff physically.  We sit around – in jobs and travel, with TV or computer games.  We even meet our friends on computer!  We used to go to see them.

All this means that our hospitals are working overtime, coping with diabetes and strokes and heart disease.  Which is sad – and expensive.

There are two things we can do:

  • Avoid processed food: cook!
  • Exercise.

It’s best if you can fit the exercise into your daily routine.  Cycle to work or school if possible, or walk.  Or if it’s a long journey, cycle or walk the last part of the way.  If you are a child, go out to play.  We have found that you are likely to get more exercise at playtime than in PE.  But if your routine and exercise don’t mix, get to the gym or the swimming pool.  Jog.  Join a sports team or club.  Go for a long walk at the week-end …

Before you do this, note the following NHS advice:

You should visit your GP before making any significant changes to your lifestyle

Please also note that getting too thin can lead to serious health problems too.  Don’t overdo the weight loss!  For guidance on what your weight should be, see  http://www.nhs.uk/Tools/Pages/Healthyweightcalculator.aspx

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