Take the Olympics this year for instance. Coming Second in the medal table winning 27 Golds, 23 Silver and 17 Bronze at Rio 2016 was Team GB’s most successful Olympics ever. Just watching the Olympics can be an Olympic event in itself as we go through all the emotions with the athletes, willing them on and then, with the euphoria of the win you feel you’ve had a work out yourself by the end of it. Then usually we get that pang of guilt (mainly because we’ve either got a bar of chocolate or glass of wine in our hand) and tell ourselves, I really should do more exercise. But is it really worth the effort? Why should I exercise?
Well the NHS Live Well web article “Benefits of Exercise” calls exercise
“the miracle cure we’ve all been waiting for.” It goes on to say “Whatever your age, there’s strong scientific evidence that being physically active can help you lead a healthier and even happier life.
People who do regular activity have a lower risk of many chronic diseases, such as heart disease, type 2 diabetes, stroke, and even some cancers.
Research shows that physical activity can also boost self-esteem, mood, sleep quality and energy, as well as reducing your risk of stress, depression, dementia and Alzheimer’s disease.
“If exercise were a pill, it would be one of the most cost-effective drugs ever invented,” says Dr Nick Cavill, a health promotion consultant.”
And who of us doesn’t want to live a happier healthier life.
So the next question might be “How can I be more active? What exercise should I do?” We can’t tell you which is best for you, and remember you should always consult a doctor before you start any new form of exercise of course, but as they say the possibilities are endless. Why not have fun trying out as many as possible until you find the one that suits you best.
Walking is one of the cheapest and easiest. What about cycling? If that fills you with dread and fear of traffic, don’t panic there are a wealth of traffic free cycle paths in the UK for example the Bath to Bristol railway path. The great thing about these paths are that they are usually flat and many have old Railway station buildings that have been turned into Tearooms. Very nice for a quick stop…(try to resist the cake though)
Running is another great exercise but can be daunting. The NHS Couch to 5k is a great tool for beginners as it is designed to gradually build up your running ability, so you can eventually run 5K without stopping over the 9 week program.
Swimming is also a great exercise and doesn’t require going far as most towns have a swimming pool. But have you thought about synchronised swimming or Scuba diving.
For the more adventurous of us there’s also Mountaineering, Rowing, Sailing, Fencing, Archery or skydiving.
So why not use the Rio 2016 Olympics as an inspiration to do more? We’re not saying you should go out and train to be the next Sir Bradley Wiggins, Mo Farrah or Katherine Grainger. However just a little more exercise is good for you honest.