People often talk about the benefits of exercise for physical health and this continues to be the care and the benefits have been understood for quite some time:-

  1. Improved strength leading to less injuries and niggles.
  2. Improved heart and lung condition which can help guard against certain conditions. Asthma UK, British Lung Foundation and the British Heart Foundation all have sections about the benefits of exercise.
  3. As you get older the condition of your muscles does degrade however the work that you do (and it’s never too late to start) with strength, flexibility and balance exercises will set you up in later life. The NHS website states that “Exercise can help you stay healthy, energetic and independent as you get older.”
  4. Improve your balance and as you get older reduce the probability of falls.

We all know how we feel if we’ve slobbed out in front of the television or eaten a massive meal. We feel tired, grouchy and the next morning quite often lethargic and unable to get out of bed.

If we put on weight it drags us down and we struggle to get going again.

A lot of us have sedentary jobs which keep us inside. That lack of fresh air is not good and just going out for a 5 minute walk and blowing the cobwebs away will have a positive effect.

There is one area where a lot of research has been done and that is the role of exercise with those people who are struggling with depression and anxiety.

Anxiety UK states ” That being physically active can protect people against depression and anxiety as it causes chemical changes in the brain which can positively alter mood.  It also bring abouut a sense of greater self esteem, self control and the ability to rise to a challenge.”

So what exercise should you do?

  1. Find a form of exercise you want to do, whether that is walking, going to the gym, running, cycling etc..  There is not a good or bad exercise – it is all good exercise.
  2. Sometimes there is benefit to joining a group or a team. There are lots of Run Together groups and we are very lucky with the local ones which really drive a sense of unity and community. Start playing football, rugby, netball, hockey with a team – enjoy.
  3. Get together with friends.

So in conclusion – Find time to exercise, make time for exercise – The benefits are tangible and long lasting.