Benefits of Being Active
Improved Mental Wellbeing
Physical activity helps the body release endorphins which reduce stress, anxiety, and depression.
Lowers Blood Pressure
A stronger heart can pump more blood around the body with each beat. This means it does not have to beat as many times per minute.
Improved gastrointestinal function
Regular exercise can encourage good digestive health and reduce symptoms of IBS.
Improved Bone Density
Stronger bones help to improve balance and mobility and reduce the risk of osteoporosis and osteoarthritis.
Improved Sleep Quality
Regular exercise can improve symptoms of insomnia and sleep apnoea.
Improved Immune Function
Regular activity can increase your white blood cell count which enables you to fight off disease and infection more easily.
Exercise can raise your HDL cholesterol, the ‘good’ cholesterol which removes fat from your arteries.
Improved Muscular Strength
Stronger muscles can improve flexibility, balance, coordination, and mobility.
Physical activity guidelines
Tips for being more active
Break up your sedentary time
Physical inactivity is now among the 10 leading causes of premature death and disability worldwide. A great first step to becoming more active is to break up prolonged periods of sitting or lying down. To do this, set yourself a goal of standing up every half an hour and do one minute of movement. For example, march on the spot or walk up and down the stairs a couple of times.
Remember all movement matters!
Even small simple changes such as taking the stairs instead of the lift, getting off the bus one stop earlier, and engaging in more household chores is a great way to help you achieve the physical activity guidelines, particularly if lack of time is one of your barriers.
Break your exercise up into manageable chunks
150 minutes of moderate intensity exercise is roughly only 30 minutes on 5 days a week! If you struggle to find a 30-minute gap in your busy day, break it down into smaller chunks. This could be 3 lots of 10 minutes. Research has now shown that even one-minute bouts of physical activity can be beneficial.
Find an activity you enjoy
The key to sticking to an exercise regime is to find an activity you enjoy!
Be aware of your own limitations! Recognise that age and inactivity can take a toll on your fitness. If you decide to take part in activity that is too intense or conflicts with another health condition this could increase your risk of injury or illness. Be realistic with your expectations and focus on what you can do. Remember do not be concerned with benchmarking yourself against others.
Track your progress
If you can see/feel the benefits of physical activity, you are so much more likely to maintain it! You can track your progress by measuring your weight or waist circumference or by using technology like a fit bit, smartwatch, or mobile app. However, if technology is not for you, you could simply create a physical activity diary or time yourself to walk around the block and see if you can beat it by a few minutes each time!
Three ways to move more
Active 10 app
Active 10 tracks your walking and shows you when to increase your pace to benefit your health.The app is designed to quickly and simply help you do more brisk walking in bursts of ten minutes, known as Active 10s. It tracks all your walking and rewards your progress.
Walking For Health
It has been said that walking is the nearest activity to the perfect form of exercise and we couldn’t agree more! One You Plymouth, in partnership with the Ramblers, organise a number of walks across the city which are free to attend and cater for all ages and abilities.
Featured case study
The 5th October saw the final day of the Plymouth Active 10 Walking Challenge.
It has been a great success with over 30 teams signed up and between us we walked an incredible 11,427 miles! There are lots of prizes and workplace certificates to give out for the winners and individuals that took part in the 4 week challenge.
Staying Active from home
A Case Study: The London Marathon
Going the Distance for the London Marathon
This year, the official London Marathon is scheduled for October 3 with a record 50,000 participants expected to race. Inspired?
Meet Mary who is currently training incredibly hard and is following a structured Marathon plan which sees her weekly mileage now around 35km/22m and even recently completed the London Vitality Virtual 10k before starting her day at work!
We hope you take inspiration from Mary’s journey and start to realise Anything Is Possible!