Get Active

Exercising regularly brings a whole heap of benefits both short and long -term to every aspect of your health. Improved cardiovascular fitness,1 reduced blood pressure,2 increased muscle strength and endurance,3 increased bone density,4 increased lung capacity,5 improved metabolism,6 increased energy levels7 to list a few, and it doesn’t stop at physical benefits! Exercising regularly could also improve brain function and has been shown to improve mood, reducing levels of anxiety and depression whilst releasing our feel good endorphins!8  National guidelines suggest 150 minutes of moderate physical activity a week or 75 minutes of vigorous activity spread across the week along with 2 strength exercise sessions.9

Make Exercise Enjoyable

Many struggle to stick to a regular exercise routine because they view it as a chore, endless running on a treadmill or lifting weights for a set amount of reps and sets can get boring and uninspiring, but there’s so much more to exercise and once you find something you enjoy you may even look forward to exercising!

If you need a helping hand in finding exercise you enjoy, there are many different types of exercise classes available at gyms and local outdoor areas, sign up for a variety and try them out!

Move GB is a great tool for finding popular classes in your area and they offer a free trial.

Finding Time

Another pillar that stands in our way is time! Many lead busy, hectic lifestyles and often struggle to find the time to take an exercise class or visit the gym.

But you don’t need equipment to workout, bodyweight exercises can be performed anywhere anytime, whether you’re at home, in a hotel room or have found a quiet space in the park!

There are many bodyweight workout plans and videos online that are free and easy to follow. If you’re not sure where to start the NHS have a dedicated space on their website for exercise containing 10 minute workouts, fitness videos and a 12 week fitness plan.

Our bodies are designed to move

Being active doesn’t just come down to your standard exercise routine though. Our bodies are designed to move, and with many of us spending the majority of our day sitting at a desk, it’s important to regularly move our bodies throughout the day.

So what changes can we make to our daily routine to move more frequently? Take a look at our 'At a Glance' suggestions below and if you're feeling motivated we've got loads of fun activities for you to try - just click on the images below to find out more!

At a Glance

1. Cycle or walk to work in the nicer weather. Or if you take the bus why not get off a stop or two earlier and briskly walk the last section of your journey. Try to elevate your heart rate for 10 minutes or more.

2. Set a regular reminder throughout your working day, perhaps every 30 minutes, to stand up from your seated position and move through a few dynamic stretches to engage your muscles and increase blood flow.

3. Take a walk with colleagues on your lunch break, aim for 30 minutes or more, talking and walking is a great way of increasing your heart rate!

4. Standing desks have become popular in the work place recently. You don’t have to stand all day, alternating between standing and sitting increases muscle activity.

5. While watching TV perform small exercises during the ad breaks, eg. 10 squats on the first ad break, 10 sit ups on the second and 10 jumping jacks on the third.

6. While talking on the phone or brushing your teeth pace the room or walk up and down your staircase.

Team Talk

Team Talk

Take some me time

Take some me time

With the little ones

With the little ones

1. Are you sitting too much? - Heart Matters magazine - BHF. (accessed Aug 6, 2018).
2. Agarwal SK. Cardiovascular benefits of exercise. Int J Gen Med 2012; 5: 541–5.
3. Diaz KM, Shimbo D. Physical activity and the prevention of hypertension. Curr Hypertens Rep 2013; 15: 659–68. 
4. Strasser B, Keinrad M, Haber P, Schobersberger W. Efficacy of systematic endurance and resistance training on muscle strength and endurance performance in elderly adults – a randomized controlled trial. Wien Klin Wochenschr 2009; 121: 757–64. 
5. Chilibeck PD, Sale DG, Webber CE. Exercise and bone mineral density. Sports Med 1995; 19: 103–22.
6. Gim M-N, Choi J-H. The effects of weekly exercise time on VO2max and resting metabolic rate in normal adults. J Phys Ther Sci 2016; 28: 1359–63. 
7. Puetz TW. Physical activity and feelings of energy and fatigue: epidemiological evidence. Sports Med 2006; 36: 767–80. 
8. Larun L, Brurberg KG, Odgaard-Jensen J, Price JR. Exercise therapy for chronic fatigue syndrome. Cochrane Database Syst Rev 2017; 4: CD003200. 
9. Sharma A, Madaan V, Petty FD. Exercise for mental health. Prim Care Companion J Clin Psychiatry 2006; 8: 106.