Most of us know that regular physical activity has a wealth of benefits, yet the majority of us do not meet the government recommendations for physical activity. We live in a 'push-button culture' full of labour-saving devices. Computers, video games, cars and escalators mean we're more and more inactive.
It's also one of the reasons why more of us are overweight. We're less active - but still eating about the same amount as 20 years ago - so the excess calories are stored as fat. Having an active lifestyle can improve your overall health and help prevent disease. What's more, combined with healthy eating, regular physical activity is the best way to lose and maintain a healthy weight.
Why get active?
Being active helps you:
- Live longer and more healthily
- Improve your mood and helps relieve stress and depression
- Feel good about yourself
- Lose weight and improve body shape
- Maintain your weight loss
Exercise also reduces your risk of developing:
- High blood pressure
- Heart disease
- Some cancers
And, if you already have some of these conditions, being active can help as part of your treatment (see safety tips first).
www.walkingforhealth.org.uk (Walking the Way to Health Initiative)
www.walking-routes.co.uk (Walking routes)
www.bhfactive.org.uk (British Heart Foundation Centre for Physical Activity and Health)