There’s no doubt that keeping active makes us feel more energetic. But there are other more specific benefits, including helping to:
- manage high blood pressure and angina
- keep you at a healthy weight
- maintain regular bowel movements
- stimulate a poor appetite
- strengthen muscles and bones, reducing the risk of falls and fractures
- ease discomfort if you have arthritis or Parkinson’s
Regular exercise also boosts the brain chemicals that lift your mood and make you feel happy – so it can be a good way to deal with stress and anxiety.
The 4 building blocks to being active
Developing and maintaining stamina, strength, flexibility and balance are particularly important as you get older, and can help you carry out everyday tasks more easily, as well as enjoy activities more.
Stamina helps you to walk longer distances, swim and mow the lawn.
Strength helps you to climb stairs, carry shopping, rise from a chair and open a container.
Flexibility helps you to bend, get in and out of a car, wash your hair and get dressed.
Balance helps you to walk and climb steps confidently, stand from a sitting position and respond quickly if you trip.
Different activities bring a different range of benefits, so try a variety of things. Finding something you enjoy means you’re more likely to do it regularly.
You don’t have to be moving around to benefit from exercise. Chair-based exercises, which you can do sitting or holding on to the back of a chair, are ideal for improving muscle strength and flexibility. You can watch videos online that demonstrate chair-based exercises.
If you’re physically able, but find yourself sitting in front of the computer or television for hours at a time, try to break it up and build activity into your day.
Why not go for a short, brisk walk around the garden or in the street after writing an email or finishing another task where you’ve been sitting still.
However, if you have a health condition that makes moving about difficult or painful, such as Parkinson’s, arthritis or osteoporosis, always consult your GP for help in choosing the right exercise for you.
They may be able to suggest suitable activities and may know of special exercises or classes for people with these health conditions.
This article was kindly supplied by Ali Cannon, owner of The Active Weigh based in Bracknell.
© Copyright 2015 Find My Fitness.