Why Exercise?

How much exercise should I do?

150 minutes

The Chief Medical Officers advises adults that over a week, physical activity should add up to at least 150 minutes (2½ hours) of moderate intensity activity in bouts of 10 minutes or more - one way to approach this is to do 30 minutes on at least 5 days a week.
Things like vigorous housework or gardening can count as exercise, so can a brisk walk.

What are the benefits of being active daily include:

  • Reduces risk of a range of diseases, e.g. coronary heart disease, stroke, type 2 diabetes 
  • Helps maintain a healthy weight 
  • Helps maintain ability to perform everyday tasks with ease 
  • Improves self-esteem 
  • Reduces symptoms of depression and anxiety

Where do I start if I have never exercised?

If you're new to exercise, or have struggled with it in the past, talk to your medical professional or fitness trainer about your exercise plan, or even a friend that might be able to help. After that, start by incorporating more activity into your daily life. For instance:

  • If you always take the lift, try the stairs.
  • If you try to park next to the door of wherever you're going, park further away and walk.
  • If you usually eat your lunch at your desk, take a 10 to 20 minute walk first, then have your lunch (or take a walk after you eat).
  • Instead of watching TV at the weekend, plan active activities. Go to the park, take a walking tour, ride your bike or row a boat.
  • Whatever plan you decide on, it's a good idea to set weekly goals:
  • Write down what activity you plan to do, on what day of the week, for how long, and at what time of day. Be as specific and realistic as possible. For instance, write down "Tuesday: Walk for 20 minutes at 7pm to the park and back."
  • At the end of each week, review your goals and set new ones for the following week.
  • Research shows that setting goals will help you stick to your programme. It will clarify what you're supposed to do and let you track your progress. If you hit a roadblock later on, you can refer to what has worked in the past, or use your accomplishments to re-energise yourself.

What if I am physically unable to exercise due to a medical condition?


What if I am physically unable to exercise due to a medical condition?
There is virtually no medical condition that will keep you from doing any type of exercise. Even people with heart failure, who used to be told not to exercise at all, can benefit from moderate amounts of activity, but see a medical professional if this is the case!

People with limited mobility can often do water exercises, (sometimes called aquarobics) or do yoga or other exercises while sitting in a chair. Of course, if you have any medical condition, seek medical advice before starting any exercise programme.

Does exercise help you lose weight?

Exercise alone does not necessarily make you lose weight, but it will help you to slim and reshape your body by decreasing fat and increasing muscle. Regular exercise:

  • Helps you burn calories that you have consumed during meals
  • Helps combat muscle loss that can occur when you lose weight
  • Builds up your muscle tissue
  • Increases the amount of calories that you burn, the more muscular you are, the more calories you burn.

Remember that exercising does not always lead to weight loss as muscle weighs more than fat, but your body will be more toned and slimmer and you will fit into your clothes better. Additionally, exercise is an excellent way to relieve stress and tension.

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