Leading a physically active lifestyle is important to improve and maintain good health. It enables you to feel more energised and better about yourself.
Physical activity can be described as any movement that makes you feel warm and slightly out of breath.
The recommended level of physical activity, to achieve a healthy and active lifestyle for an adult, is 30mins of accumulated moderate physical activity, on 5 or more days per week. When you are working at a moderate intensity, you will notice that you begin to feel warmer, your heart will beat slightly harder and you will become slightly out of breath.
For children and young people the target level is at least 60 minutes or more of physical activity a day on 7 days per week.
Many of us lead very full but inactive lifestyles, where we spend long periods of times being sedentary. Physical activity can be built into our daily lifestyle by breaking the 30mins up into more manageable amounts of time. For example, you can split 30 minutes into three 10minute sessions or two 15 minute sessions, aiming to progressively build up to one continuous 30 minute session of moderate physical activity on 5days or more p/week.
Benefits of Leading an Active Lifestyle
The benefits of leading an active lifestyle can:
- Help to control weight in combination with eating a healthy diet.
- Promote better mental health and wellbeing
- Help prevent or reduce high blood pressure
- Reduce the risk of developing Type 2 diabetes
- Reduce the risk of heart disease
- Reduce the risk of developing some cancers
- Increase life expectancy
When it comes to getting active, every little helps and being physically active for at least 30 minutes a day, on at least five days a week, is easier than you think. Remember if you haven’t been doing much physical activity for a while, don’t worry. Evidence shows that inactive people achieve more immediate benefits from resuming activity than those already fit.
The best way to ensure that you keep active over the long term is to include activity in your everyday lifestyle by:
- Taking the stairs where possible instead of the lift or escalator
- Revitalise your body and mind with an active lunchtime walk or any other activity you enjoy doing
- Take up an active leisure pursuit or hobby, such as gardening, or social activities such as dancing
- Walk or cycle instead of taking the car on your regular short journeys to work, school or the shops
- If you travel by bus, why not get off one stop earlier and walk the rest of your journey
- Park the car further away so that you have further to walk
Remember the health benefits of physical activity can only last as long as you maintain a regular and active lifestyle.
Activity in Your Area
To find out more about the physical activity opportunities in your area, you can contact your district Active Lifestyle Officer:
Mendip - 01749 341665
Sedgemoor - 012178 436439
South Somerset - 01935 462347
Taunton - 01823 273008
West Somerset - 07725 957335
Active Places www.activeplaces.com
Walking the Way to health www.whi.org.uk
Moving Somerset Forward www.movingsomersetforward.co.uk
Dance Champion www.dancechampions.org
Age Concern www.ageconcernsomerset.org.uk