I know I only wrote a post about physical activity a couple of months ago, but I felt inspired after going to a talk yesterday afternoon highlighting the health benefits of moving a little bit more. These include improving sleep, mental well-being and reducing the risk of various diseases like diabetes.
So often the emphasis of exercise is on weight loss or aesthetics, but it shouldn’t be – I think this can cause people to attach guilt and stress to exercise. Therefore, for the rest of this article I’m going to refer to it as physical activity. I think that this has completely different connotations as it makes you think of walking and moving in your day-to-day life rather than gym memberships. With many of us having quite sedentary jobs we could all do with moving!
Here are some small and fairly easy ways to increase the amount that we move everyday:
- Get off the bus or tube one stop early and walk the last little bit of the journey
- Walk up the escalator instead of standing
- Take the stairs instead of the lift
- Doing some light gardening like weeding
- Playing with the kids in the park
- Doing housework (I can work up a real sweat doing my hoovering!)
- Putting on some silly pop music and having a dance
- Going bowling
- Digging out your roller-blades
This infographic produced in 2011 by the Chief Medical Officer illustrates the benefits of physical activity. They also have one for babies and young children (under 5’s) and older children and teenagers.