What are the Benefits of Exercise?

Step right up and push yourself! It's the miracle cure we've had at our fingertips all along! Well it can half your risk of serious illnesses like as heart disease, strokes, type 2 diabetes and cancer and reduce your risk of premature death by up to a third. It can cost absolutely nothing, easy to implement, has a quick impact plus you don’t need a GP’s appointment to get some. Its name? Exercise!

Exercise is the miracle cure we’ve always had, but for too long it’s been abandoned to take our dosages and thus, our health gets anguished as a repercussion. Whatever age you are, there's undoubted positive scientific evidence that being physically active can assist in helping you to live a healthier and happier life.

This who take part in regular physical activity have a reduced risk of many chronic illnesses, such as heart disease, type 2 diabetes, stroke, and some cancers. Research shows that exercise can also elevate self-esteem, mood, sleep quality and energy levels, simultaneously minimising risks of stress, depression, dementia and Alzheimer’s disease. Health benefits of Excercise Given the overwhelming evidence, it appears blatant that we should all engage in physical; activity. It's vital if you want to live a healthy and fulfilling life into old age.

How Does Exercise Reduce Your Risk of Health Problems?

It's medically proven that people who do regular physical activity have:

• up to a 35% lower risk of coronary heart disease and stroke

• up to a 50% lower risk of type 2 diabetes

• up to a 50% lower risk of colon cancer

• up to a 20% lower risk of breast cancer

• a 30% lower risk of early death

• up to an 83% lower risk of osteoarthritis

• up to a 68% lower risk of hip fracture

• a 30% lower risk of falls (among older adults)

• up to a 30% lower risk of depression

• up to a 30% lower risk of dementia

What Counts Towards Healthy Exercise?

To stay healthy, adults should aim to be active on a daily basis and target at least 2 and a half hours of physical activity every week through various activities.

For many folk, the simplest way to get moving is to introduce physical activity as part of everyday life, like walking or cycling instead of taking the car for short journeys. However, the more you can do, the better, and indulging in activities such as sports and exercise will make you even healthier. For any type of activity to have a positive and noticeable impact, you will at least need to be shifting fast enough to elevate your heart rate, breathe faster and increase your body temperature. This level of effort is termed moderate intensity activity. A way to tell if you're exercising at a moderate intensity is if you can still talk but struggle to sing the lyrics to a song. If your activity facilitates you to work even harder, it is known as vigorous intensity activity.

There is vast evidence that vigorous activity can bring health benefits superior to that of moderate activity. You can tell when it’s vigorous activity because you're breathing hard and fast, and your heart rate has gone up quite a bit. If you're working at this pace, you won't be able to mutter more than a few words without pausing to breathe. A modern problem In modern society, we as a species are less active than in past times, partly due to technological advancements making our lives more convenient.

What are the Changes in Exercise Behaviour?

For example, we drive cars or take public transport and we have machines that wash our clothes. We entertain ourselves in front of the TV or computer screens - not to mention the introduction of the remote control which means we don’t even have to get of our bums to change a channel! The point being is that fewer people are doing manual work with many of us doing jobs that consist of minimal physical effort. Work, house chores, shopping and other necessary activities are far less arduous than for previous generations. We move around less and therefore release less energy than we used to. Research suggests that many adults spend in excess of seven hours a day sitting down, at work, travelling or in their leisure time. People aged over 65 spend 10 hours or over each day inactive, making them the most sedentary age group. Sedentary lifestyles Inactivity is described by the Department of Health as a “silent killer”.

Evidence is emerging that sedentary behaviour, such as sitting or lying down for long periods, has a negative impact on your health. Not only should you try to raise your activity levels, but you should also reduce the amount of time you and your family spend sitting down. Common examples of sedentary behaviour include watching TV, using a computer, using the car for short journeys and sitting down to read, talk or listen to music – and such behaviour is thought to increase your risk of many chronic diseases, such as heart disease, stroke and type 2 diabetes, as well as weight gain and obesity. Whether it's limiting the time toddlers spend strapped in their buggies, or encouraging adults to stand up and move frequently and be more mobile, we all need to reduce our sedentary characteristics.

However, bear in mind you can achieve your weekly physical activity target but still be at risk of ill health if you spend the rest of the time excessively sitting or lying down. For tips on building physical activity and exercise into your day, whatever your age, read Get active your way. For a summary on the health benefits of being more active, check out this Department of Health infographic.

Recommended Exercise Guidelines

It is recommended that in order to stay healthy, adults aged 19-64 should try to be active daily and should try to be active daily and should do at least 150 minutes of moderate aerobic activity such as cycling, walking every week. It is also recommended that adults do strength exercises on two or more days per week that will work all major muscles including the arms, legs, hip, back, abdomen, chest and shoulders. This can be split up between moderate and vigorous aerobic activity weekly as a combination to account to the total of 150 minutes. Vigourous activity counts as jogging or running, swimming fast, riding a bike fast or on hills, singles tennis, football, rugby, skipping rope, hockey, aerobics, gynamstics, martial arts.