COLUMN: Get out, get active and get healthy

Shake off the winter cobwebs, reach for your trainers and head out of the house.

Friday, 21st April 2017, 10:22 am
Updated Tuesday, 9th May 2017, 6:26 pm

Better weather means it’s now easier to get outside and get active – so what are you waiting for?

Physical activity is good for physical and mental emotional health. It helps improve sleep, maintains healthy weight, manages stress and improves our quality of life.

Getting active also reduces your chance of developing the following conditions: Type 2 diabetes, heart disease, depression and dementia, joint and back pain and colon and breast cancer.

Many of us now spend more than seven hours a day sitting or lying down. Whether it’s watching TV, using a computer or sitting in the car.

This has several unwelcome effects on our health as sitting for long periods is thought to slow the metabolism.

This in turn affects the body’s ability to regulate blood sugar, blood pressure and break down body fat.

Remember that any exercise is better than nothing, so why not start small and build up gradually – even just ten minutes can provide benefits.

Whenever possible try to break up sitting down with short bursts of activity every half an hour.

This could be having a ‘walk break’ when getting up to make a drink, or standing up when on the phone. You can also try some chair based exercises at your desk.

To stay healthy, adults aged 19 to 64 should try to be active daily and should do at least 150 minutes of moderate aerobic activity such as cycling or fast walking every week, and strength exercises on two or more days a week that work all the major muscles.

Alternatively, you could do 75 minutes of vigorous aerobic activity or a mix of moderate and vigorous activity every week.

Why not get some more sporty ideas at