What impact does physical activity have?

What impact does physical activity have?

Physical activity has positive effects on all areas of your health and well-being.

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Along with burning calories that help with weight management, getting active can help reduce your risk of many conditions such as type 2 diabetes, heart disease stroke, and some cancers.

Doing exercise helps lower your blood glucose levels as when you’re active, your body cells become more sensitive to insulin. This means that they are able to use insulin more effectively to use the glucose in the blood for energy.

How much activity do I need to do?

Like weight loss, even doing a small amount is better than doing none at all. Click below to see the national guidelines for physical activity:

National guidelines state that adults should aim to get at least 150 minutes of weekly physical activity. This equates to around 30 minutes of moderate activity, or 15 minutes of vigorous activity, five days a week.

You should also aim to so strengthening activities at least 2 days a week.

Adults aged 65 or older who are generally fit and have no health conditions that limit their mobility, should try to be active every day. The more you do the better, even if it is just light activity. 

This equates to at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity activity a week or 75 minutes of vigorous-intensity activity if you are already active, or a combination of both.

If you are worried about falling, doing exercises to improve your strength, balance and flexibility will help make you stronger and feel more confident on your feet. Speak to your GP if you have any concerns about exercising.

The easiest way to get started is to begin building activity into your everyday life. This might mean walking or cycling for some journeys that you normally use the car or public transport for.

What is sedentary behaviour and how does it impact my health?

Sitting down or being inactive for long periods of time can have negative impacts on our health. This is often referred to as sedentary behaviour and can increase the risk of developing conditions such as type 2 diabetes and heart disease.

Sitting down for long periods can cause changes in our metabolism including insulin resistance, which as we learned earlier is one of the developing factors of type 2 diabetes.

If your job involves sitting at a desk all day then make sure you have periods where you are moving about or standing to break up the amount of time you are seated.

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