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National Fitness Day
Wednesday the 26th September is National Fitness Day which aims to encourage people in the UK to make today the most active day of the year.
Consequences of a lack of exercise
Research has shown that lack of exercise is a major cause of chronic diseases which are one of the leading causes of death in society today. Chronic diseases include obesity, insulin resistance, Diabetes, coronary heart disease, hypertension, stroke, congestive heart failure and dyslipidaemia.
Lack of exercise also results in a reduced life expectancy as well as reduced quality years of life. With the number of people aged 60 years and more expected to triple by 2050 it is important that we maintain the elderly’s independence for as long as possible if not until end of life. And functional independence is directly related to physical fitness.
Benefits of regular exercise
- Improved mood – Exercise has been shown to greatly improve symptoms of depression
- Increased productivity in the workplace – Depression drains productivity
- Decreased anxiety and has a calming effect
- Can reduce stress
- Increased feeling of well being
- Anti-aging effects
- Improved circulation
- Lowers blood pressure
- Reduces the risk of heart attack and stroke
- Helps to reduce cholesterol
- Can help control diabetes and insulin resistance
- Increased capacity for work and exercise, increases muscle strength and Joint stability reducing the risk of injury
- Preventing and managing Osteoporosis
- Can reduce the risk of developing breast cancer and colon cancer, and during Cancer treatment can reduce the impact of side effects
- Can improve memory in the elderly and reduce dementia
- Can improve sleep
- Can improve constipation and digestion
The NHS states that to stay healthy, adults should do at least 150 minutes of moderate aerobic activity every week. This includes cycling, swimming, dancing or brisk walking or hiking.
As well as strength exercises on 2 or more days a week that work all the major muscles – legs, hips, back, abdomen, chest, shoulders and arms. There are many useful websites and apps to assist with these, for example – 30 Day fitness challenge, Runtastic and Aaptiv.
Activity and Exercise Promotion in the workplace
Some suggestions for promotion of exercise and activity in the workplace include
- Promoting active travel to work
- Providing showers for employees to encourage active travel to work
- Incentive Schemes
- Offering information, ongoing advice and support to employees
- Signage at work to encourage activity – such as, ‘Did you know that 2 minutes of stair-climbing each day could burn enough calories to eliminate the weight an average adult gains each year?’
Useful App’s for download
Couch to 5K – available on Apple app store and Google play store
My Fitness Pal – available on Apple app store and Google play store
Map my fitness – available on Apple app store and Google play store
Strava – available on Apple app store and Google play store
Jefit – available on Apple app store and Google play store
J&J Official 7 minute workout – available on Apple app store and Google play store