Fitness and Exercise

Physical activity is defined “any bodily movement produced by skeletal muscles that requires energy expenditure”. 

This means any time you move your body including leisure time, for transport to get to and from places, or as part of a person’s work and for exercise.

Low physical activity is one of the top 10 causes of disease and disability in England. Before the Covid-19 pandemic physical activity in the UK was already in decline. National and local lockdown measures have restricted people’s ability to exercise and move around significantly and researchers now believe this confinement may lead to a rise in mortality.

Physical Activity recommendations vary depending on age:

I find it hard to motivate myself to exercise.

Barriers to increasing your physical activity include, childcare, work, carer responsibilities, access to local facilities and other bodily conditions, however all activity can be adapted to your specific needs. Our advice is to try a new sport, find an accountability partner to help with motivation, join a community support group or set yourself reward goals for when you hit targets such as increased walking distances or weight loss milestones.

If you are new to exercise the feeling of breathlessness can raise anxiety and fear, take your time, try to be consistent and your body will adapt to the increased demand in oxygen required while exercising.

Walking the dog, Swimming, yoga, pilates and walking are all examples of low intensity exercise, keeping a steady pace over a set time frame. Running, sprinting, aerobic classes, bootcamps, circuits are classed as high intensity workouts, short periods of super-intense exercise alternated with low intensity recovery periods.