Fitness expert highlights importance of regular exercise
- Credit: Cadbury House
The Benefits of Exercise
Jason Eaton, general manager at theclub and spa at Cadbury House, provides an insight into why it is important we all take regular exercise - even if it is just a little at a time.
Evidence shows regular physical activity benefits both the body and mind. It helps reduce high blood pressure, helps people manage their weight and reduces the risk of heart disease, stroke, type two diabetes, and various cancers. It also improves bone and muscle strength and increases balance, flexibility and fitness.
For older people, activities that improve balance help to prevent falls and injuries. For children, regular physical activity helps support healthy growth and development and reduces the risk of disease in later life. Through regular activity, children can develop fundamental movement skills and build social relationships.
Regular physical activity also improves mental health and can reduce the risk of depression, cognitive decline and delay the onset of dementia - and improve overall feelings of wellbeing.
Jason said: “If you are not regularly active, start slowly and with low intensity activities, like walking and low impact exercises. Start with shorter amounts, like five to 10 minutes, and gradually build up to 30 minutes or more continuously over a few weeks. It is better and safer to be active for short periods more frequently, than to try and be active for long periods when you are not used to it.
“Also, choose the right activity so that you reduce the risk of injury and that you enjoy the activity. Choose the right intensity according to your health status and fitness level. You should be able to breath comfortably and hold a conversation while you do light- and moderate-intensity physical activity.”
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So how much physical activity is recommended?
Children under five years of age should spend at least 180 minutes a day in physical activities, with three to four-year-olds being moderately or vigorously active for an hour a day.
Children and adolescents aged five to 17 years should do at least 60 minutes a day of moderate to vigorous-intensity physical activity, including activities that strengthen muscle and bone, at least three days per week.
Adults aged 18 years and over should do a total of at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity physical activity throughout the week, or at least 75 minutes of vigorous-intensity physical activity throughout the week, including muscle-strengthening activities two or more days per week.
Finally, older adults with poor mobility should do physical activity to enhance balance and prevent falls on three or more days per week.
Jason added: “Any physical activity is better than none. Start with small amounts and gradually increase duration, frequency and intensity over time.
“Being active during the Covid-19 pandemic is challenging for us all. Because the opportunities to be physically active seem to be more restricted, it is even more important to plan in every day the ways to be active and to reduce the time spent sitting for long periods. Put simply, it is a critical time to ensure we all move more and sit less.”
To help, Jason and his team have now created a number of exercise classes that can be found on YouTube. The first features trainers Debi and Scott who go through a HIIT workout perfect for a wide range of fitness levels.
To take part simply click on the You Tube link to stay fit at home during lockdown: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCahfI2YcLUG6CiNAQ3R70TA
The team is also running regular Facebook Live sessions for yoga, LBT and weighted classes, so anyone who wants ideas or motivation can get expert help and guidance by logging on and getting involved. Just follow the Facebook page and look out for details on the latest sessions. To follow the club, log on to https://www.facebook.com/ClubandSpaBristol