Fit for Life

What's all this about then!?! It's not a means of losing weight by simply imagining yourself running a marathon, or picturing yourself down the gym. This section is focused on why a physical work out is important, and how you might go about it.

We are forever seeing slogans like: To the benefit of health, all individuals should be moderately active for at least 30 minutes a day, on 5 or more days of the week but what on earth is moderate activity, and why is it important?

Well everybody is made up differently, we come in all manner of different shapes and sizes, all with different levels of fitness, moderate activity can therefore be defined as activity which makes you breathe slightly harder and feel slightly warmer than usual but still allows normal conversation. The exciting bit is that how you achieve that is up to you! Any activity, be it in work time, your leisure time or when you are travelling to work counts, but its better if the thirty minutes are continuous.

So why is it important?

Increased activity levels can help protect against coronary heart disease, strokes, obesity, type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure, stress and low back pain. Physically active people take 27% fewer sick days, this might not seem that positive initially, but they suffer less illness and recover more quickly when they do get ill. Being physically active can also increase your levels of concentration, mental alertness, and ability to work with others. Managers therefore, should be especially keen to get their workforce active.

Buddy up, these things are always more fun if its more than just you doing it. Being active during our breaks, taking part in 'walking meetings' where appropriate, using the stairs instead of the lift, actively travelling to and from work are all easy ways of integrating activity into our lives without too much extra effort or hassle.

For those that want a more structured program, activity diaries / planners can be seen on the main page, ideas for activities are given in the 'Lists' section, or you could arrange your own session.

These might include lunchtime walks, active stretch breaks which can be built into your work schedule (this works best if the whole office etc sign up to the idea, and set aside 10-15 minutes each day, nipping to the gym, or going for a ride. Aerobics, boxercise, T’ai Chi, netball, badminton, the list is endless.

Doing a training / team building day - could it be an active one?

If you find other people that share your interests, is there scope for an inter-departmental / inter-company competition? Can you get a league going? Is there any scope in entering a hospital team in local or national events? Do you want to share your passion for your chosen activity, if so could you offer taster days so that others can see what its about and ask all the awkward questions people are normally to afraid to ask?