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The importance of being active
It’s not new, news but being active really is good for you. The challenge is that many often associate being active with achieving goals and challenges, whether they are lifestyle goals like weight loss or competitive goals like being faster, stronger or fitter. However, many of us ignore the main benefits of being active and how significantly positive it can be in general to your physical and mental health. Below we’ll give you some tips on how to introduce physical activity into your lifestyle and the great news is that there is something for everyone.
Impact on your physical wellbeing
Who wouldn’t want to cut their risk of developing a major illness by 50%?
No matter your age there is research and evidence that being active reduces your chances of developing a major illness by up to 50% and that those that exercise are much less likely to develop conditions such as heart disease, strokes and some cancers. In addition, it can act as a preventative to conditions like arthritis, dementia and diabetes.
So, whether you have a lifestyle, fitness or wellbeing goal or not there are plenty of other benefits to being physically active.
Impact on your mental wellbeing
Like its impact on our physical health it is scientifically proven that being active has a positive impact on your mental health. Here’s some examples of how;
- It can improve the quality of your sleep and help you to feel more rested and as such you’ll also benefit from the host of other things that good quality sleep provides.
- Being active releases feel good hormones into your body that generally make you feel better and more energised.
- It can be a great social opportunity and a chance to connect with others.
Physical activity is widely recommended by mental health experts and is proven to reduce stress and anxiety, so, why not give it a try?
Physical activity guidelines and things you could try
Guidelines suggest that you can reap the rewards of the above benefits to full effect with 150 minutes of moderate activity per week (or 75 minutes of more intense activity). But whether you can manage 150 minutes or not, doing something is better than doing nothing at all. You can find out more on the activity guidelines with a series of infographics here (https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/physical-activity-guidelines-infographics).
Here are a few things that you could try to get you on your way to a longer and healthier life.
- Walking – It sounds simple and too good to be true, but, if you really think about it 150 minutes is only just over 20 minutes a day. Could you squeeze in a couple of 10 minute walks each day? It could be walking to work or on the school run (even if you need to drive, you could park 10 minutes away).
- Swimming – you don’t have to be an Olympian to jump in the pool and swim lengths. As long as you’re comfortable in the water swimming is a great way to introduce some activity into your week. It can be low impact and low intensity meaning if your newly active you’ll not overexert yourself.
- Group exercise classes – There’s no need to face it alone, at Mytime Active we host hundreds of group exercise classes every week and they’re not all for fitness fanatics. There are things like Yoga and Pilates, through to Zumba & Dance Fit and for those looking for a little more intensity there’s BODYPUMP and Spinning classes too. So you can bring a friend or meet new ones there but either way you’re all in it together.
- Golf – Whether it’s half an hour at the driving range or the full 18 hole experience, getting out in the fresh air and hitting some golf balls is another great low intensity way of building up some activity minutes.
- Join a local sports team – For many of us we’ve been active at a previous stage in our life by taking part in sports. You still can, whether it’s trying something new like squash, badminton or walking football. Or returning to the sport that you once enjoyed, joining a team often gives you the routine and comradery that go hand in hand with sticking to your activity plans.
At Mytime Active, we’ve plenty of options to help you kick start your wellbeing journey including swimming pools, gyms, group exercise classes and golf courses. You’ll find it easy to find activities that help you to achieve your 150 minutes of activity.