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With the seemingly long and wet winter we’ve “enjoyed” this year – on top of the last couple of years of madness – it’s not surprising that many people have succumbed to the lure of the sofa (!) and put exercise well down their list of priorities. If not at the bottom… 
 
While it may be a cliché, our bodies are designed to be active rather than slumped, semi comatose for hours on end. And this applies equally to home as to work! 
 
 
So, with the days noticeably lengthening and, fingers crossed, spring just round the corner isn’t it time to blow away some of the cobwebs and do a little more exercise?  
 
Now, for all those who wouldn’t consider themselves remotely sporty, the good news is you don’t have to slog away for hours doing something you detest. In fact, research has found that doing any form of exercise you actually enjoy – or don’t actively hate (!) – has a much greater impact than one you don’t. The important bit is that you’re taking more exercise on a regular basis, preferably in the open air, so you get all the benefits of being outside too. It doesn’t matter whether its brisk walking – as in whatever is brisk for you – cycling, tennis or other sport you enjoy. Perhaps some form of dance or other aerobic exercise. Gardening even counts, as does housework, particularly if you open the windows to let some fresh air in! Even better, do several different types of exercise each week, to give your body the maximum benefits. 
 
And, if time is an issue for you, remember that 20 to 30 minutes of exercise done regularly has a much greater impact than a weekly no holds barred – and dreaded – visit to the gym. Or if it’s close by, walking to the shops, your friend or family rather than driving. Parking a little further away from the shops or work. Walking up the stairs rather than taking the lift. You’ll feel much better for it and it’s an easy way to incorporate more exercise into your life without having to make too many – or complicated – changes. It also makes it more likely that you’ll continue doing it longer term. 
 
If you need a little more convincing, the WHO – World Health Organisation – recently named physical inactivity as a leading cause of disability and disease worldwide. More shockingly, it also attributed the increased risk from physical inactivity as comparable to that from smoking. 
 
Why? 
 
For the simple reason that those who are less active have an increased risk of high blood pressure, Type II Diabetes, Heart Disease, Depression and Anxiety to name a few.  
 
Other risks include loss of bone density and muscle tone, poor blood circulation, increased inflammation and pain, particularly Back pain. These risks increase for older people, as well as being linked to greater risks of falls and fractures.  
 
Added to this, lack of exercise also plays a part – often indirectly, but there nonetheless – in Lifestyle Diseases which are fuelled by the choices we make every day. 
 
So, now it’s over to you. 
 
As always, the choice is yours. 
 
 
 
Photograph by unknown author 
 
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