Simple Exercise

Now let’s be honest – everyone knows that doing some exercise is healthy and positive and doing no exercise is unhealthy.

So there is little point in encouraging people who do not exercise to start – it’s like smoking, everyone knows that it raises your chances of cancer but some people still do; it’s not a lack of knowledge that stops them.

If you exercise it is already something you believe in and you probably know where to get all the information you need to and you don’t need to read this.

If you do not exercise it is not because you are unaware of the fact that exercising is good for you. But just because we know something is good for us does not make it an easy or attractive option. This is something that the pro-exercisers sometimes forget and they go on and on and in the end annoy those people who don’t exercise.

There are a number of reasons why people don’t exercise some of them are:

  • It’s too boring or too time consuming

  • they hate gyms and there is no exercise they like

  • it hurts and makes you sweat

  • it’s hard to stay motivated

  • they feel stupid/fat/unfit

Well as someone who exercises regularly I would say “You are right. Sometimes exercising is boring and takes up too much time – I have a love/hate relationship with my gym – it always hurts and I sweat profusely- I usually feel unfit and I struggle to stay motivated. So I cannot disagree with any of these reasons”. But please don’t give up on the idea of exercise. Here are some other ways to think about it and simple and effective things to start doing.

Stand Up More

The evidence is mounting to show that spending too time much sitting at work, during your commute and for leisure increases your risk of diabetes, certain cancers, heart disease and early death. Standing is like walking: It increases energy, burns extra calories, tones muscles, improves posture, increases blood flow and ramps up metabolism.

A 2008 study found that people who sat for longer periods during their day had significantly higher levels of fasting blood glucose, indicating their cells became less responsive to insulin, with the hormone failing to trigger the absorption of glucose from the blood. A 2013 study arrived at similar findings, and arrived at the conclusion that for people already at risk of developing type 2 diabetes, the amount of time spent sitting could be a more important risk factor than the amount of time spent vigorously exercising.

A handful of studies have suggested that extended periods of sitting can be linked with a higher risk of many forms of cancer. Breast and colon cancer appear to be most influenced by physical activity (or lack thereof): a 2011 study found that prolonged sitting could be responsible for as much as 49,000 cases of breast cancer and 43,000 cases of colon cancer annually in the U.S. But the same research found that significant amounts of lung cancer (37,200 cases), prostate cancer (30,600 cases), endometrial cancer (12,000 cases) and ovarian cancer (1,800 cases) could also be related to excessive sitting.

Walk More

It is easy, costs nothing, low impact on your muscles and has a range of benefits.

Regular walking has been shown to reduce your risk of heart disease and stroke. It lowers levels of LDL (bad) cholesterol while increasing levels of HDL (good) cholesterol and keeps blood pressure in check. Walking can reduce your risk of developing type 2 diabetes, asthma and some cancers. According to the charity Walking For Health, walking could reduce risk by up to 60 per cent.

Walking stimulates and strengthens bones, increasing their density – this is really important, especially for women. It also helps maintain healthy joints so may stave off conditions such as arthritis. A good walk can help strengthen and shape your legs, giving great definition to calves, quads, hamstrings and lifting your glutes (buttock muscles) – especially if you add hills. But if you really pay attention to your posture as you walk, it can tone your abs and whittle your waist, too.

Dance More

Dancing can be a way to stay fit for people of all ages, shapes and sizes. It has a wide range of physical and mental benefits including:

  • Improved condition of your heart and lungs

  • Increased muscular strength, endurance and motor fitness

  • Increased aerobic fitness

  • Improved muscle tone and strength

  • Weight management

  • Stronger bones and reduced risk of osteoporosis

  • Better coordination, agility and flexibility

  • Improved balance and spatial awareness

  • Improved mental functioning

  • Improved general and psychological wellbeing

There are lots of different places where you can enjoy dancing including in your own home. Dancing has become such a popular way to be active and keep fit, that most fitness clubs now offer dance classes in their group exercise programs. Anyone of any age can take part. It doesn’t matter whether it is cold or raining, as dancing is usually done indoors. To get started, simply choose a style you enjoy, or would like to try, look in the Yellow Pages or online for dance schools in your local area and join a class.

Choose your cardio exercise

Walking Burn up to 180 calories in 30 minutes. Start walking and gradually pick up speed until you feel yourself breaking into a jog. Walk at this pace for maximum effect.

Swimming Burns up to 190 calories in 30 minutes. Try interval training: do five minutes light swimming, then four minutes at a high intensity, followed by four minutes at a moderate intensity. Repeat for the entire workout.

Skipping Burns up to 280 calories in 30 minutes. Skip either by jumping with your feet together or with a running motion. Start with 20-second bouts, building up to five minutes a time.

Ball Sports Burns up to 180 calories in 30 minutes. Choose your position wisely. For example, you’ll burn more calories as a midfielder in netball than you will as a goalkeeper.

Dance Classes Burns up to 200 calories in 30 minutes. Exercise to the point of overload in each class, where your body feels physically challenged.

Preventing skin cancer

Despite knowing it can have serious health consequences, recent Cancer Research UK statistics have revealed that 46% of Britons suffered sunburn last summer – and of those, 40% admit that this happens every year.

We really do need to think about our sun protection behaviour a bit more. Burning is the number one risk factor for melanoma, so we shouldn’t still be letting it happen.