Is Daily Exercise Good For Me?
Exercise is important for our health and wellbeing, but not everyone appreciates how much. Do you know how to fit exercise into your busy schedule? The NHS recommends daily exercise and there are many benefits to be had from getting your physical activity (1). Going for a run can raise your heartbeat which makes you stronger and keeps your cardiovascular system in check, making heart disease, diabetes, and stroke less of a threat. During exercise burning calories can help to promote weight loss and better stamina (2). The endorphins (happy hormones) exercise releases can leave you happier, less stressed, more energetic, alert, and focused for longer, before helping you fall asleep faster (3) - sounds good right?
What Types Of Exercises Should I Do?
Exercise has become even more important for our health, especially when technology has made us more inactive over the last decade (4). As far back as the 1950s doctors noticed that people who spent the majority of the working day sitting down were more likely to have heart issues than people with more active jobs. Do you currently lead a sedentary lifestyle like this? Health experts recommend breaking up long periods of sitting down with exercise; even if it is just 1 or 2 minutes, exercise can improve your lifestyle (4).
To keep fit, adults are recommended to do at least 150 minutes of moderate intensity exercise per week or 75 minutes of vigorous exercise per week, as well as strength training twice a week (5). This can sound like a lot, so let’s break it down together. A moderate aerobic activity should raise your heart rate, speed up your breathing, and warm you up; dancing, rollerblading, hiking, and cycling are all examples of moderate activity to try. Even when you have a busy schedule, exercise or physical activities like a brisk walk or mowing your garden boosts your health (6).
Then there’s vigorous exercise, these are the exercises that leave you breathing hard and sweating up a storm. You could try running, swimming, or aerobics. These exercises will leave you with a rush of energy afterwards that will keep you focused for the rest of the day.
If we break that down further we get 20 minutes of moderate exercise, like a long walk after work, or 10 minutes of vigorous exercise, like a HIIT class, everyday to improve your health.
Strength Training For Beginners
Building up your strength is important. Whether you go to the gym or stay at home, there are tons of options to get fitter and stronger. Gym’s will have Personal Trainers to advise you and classes where the group setting will push you and help you make friends (7). If going to a gym isn’t an option, then the internet is a gold mine for online workouts and Zoom classes. There are plenty of online workouts for every level of experience, so you can find the workout that works best for you. There are both free and paid subscriptions to suit your time, fitness levels and budgets.
When you do your workouts, remember to warm up first to stretch your muscles to prepare your body for exercise (7). Then you can move on to your main body of your workout whether you pick a cardio based exercise session or a strength exercise session or a mix of both! For your strength training your own bodyweight is great and you can get some dumbbells, a kettlebell or resistance bands if you enjoy your workouts and want to progress and prevent boredom. Don't worry if you haven't got access to this kind of equipment, bodyweight exercises are fantastic and a great starting point!
Good luck with your new fitness journey - let us know how you get on!
1. https://www.nhs.uk/live-well/exercise/exercise-health-benefits/ 2. https://www.betterhealth.vic.gov.au/health/healthyliving/physical-activity-its-important 3. https://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/fitness/in-depth/exercise/art-20048389 4. https://www.nhs.uk/live-well/exercise/why-sitting-too-much-is-bad-for-us/ 5. https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/health-matters-getting-every-adult-active-every-day/health-matters-getting-every-adult-active-every-day 6. https://www.nhs.uk/live-well/exercise/ 7. https://www.fitnessfirst.co.uk/inside-track/fitness/the-ultimate-beginner-s-guide-to-the-gym/
Written by Performance For All - find us on Instagram @wearepfa
Researched and written by: Sophie O’Neill - BA Creative Writing Student (Content Writer at Performance for All)
Edited by: Ilektra Lampraki- MSc Marketing Student (Content Writer at Performance for All), Jade Mottley Sport Scientist and MSc Human Nutrition student (Head Coach at Performance For All).