Would you consider yourself physically active? Do you know that the recommended amount of physical activity the average adult in the UK should be getting is 150 minutes each week? These recommendations promote at least two resistance sessions each week. Did you know that the average person in the UK is either sitting or laying down for at least 7 hours every day (not including sleeping)?
I know what you are thinking, where do I find the time to fit in 150 minutes of cardiovascular exercise every week? I’m sure we can adapt our routines and add activities into our daily lives without too much effort to promote your health. For example, how far away from the kids school do you live, and how far is it to work? Could you walk or cycle instead? Walking around the supermarket instead of having the weekly shop delivered to your door, taking the dog for a walk and even cleaning the house or mowing the grass. All of these count as activities in daily living – and I’m sure you probably do many of these already!
Physical inactivity is quite commonly confused with sedentary behaviour. The nation’s typical 9-5 desk jobs are where we experience sedentary behaviour. However, it’s what we do in our free time which is the most crucial to our health. Research has proven that even 10-20 minutes of high intensity physical activity a day promotes good health.
Of course, being physically active has a major effect on our bodies and lives as a whole. It is generally known that physical activity prevents and also slows down and lowers the symptoms of chronic diseases, such as Type 2 Diabetes, Coronary Heart Disease, Hypertension (high blood pressure), Asthma, COPD and many more.
Did you know how much exercise and being more active on the whole actually improves your mental state too? Okay, so go with me here – when you start a new exercise programme, or you start being a little bit more active, you have more energy right? Your mood is lifted without noticing, you start to sleep better, you feel happier in general and you want to get out and do things more than you used to. All through a little bit of exercise! When we feel this way, it really motivates us to keep going! When others notice our uplifted mood, our increased energy and happiness levels, it makes us feel even better still!
AND to top it all off, when you are being more active than you used to be, you tend to notice that your food cravings start to lessen, your meals become more healthier, and even the thought of cheat food makes you feel guilty! This mindset and behaviour is what is going to keep your head in the game and really push you towards those goals and to stay on track to becoming more physically active and healthier on the whole.
Take away note: small steps to becoming more active, even 10-20 minutes each day will help towards a healthier more physically able and active you. AND, shopping is great cardio!