Fitness Facts

Regular exercise helps control weight, reducing the risk of heart disease and stroke. It also helps sleep and lifts mood. Here you'll find advice on all aspects of exercise. Make sure you start any fitness regime slowly: injuries are common and can undo your hard work.

How much exercise should I do?

Ideally, you should engage in moderate exercise for 30 minutes every day. Moderate exercise includes taking the dog for a walk, using the stairs or going for a walk in your lunch hour.You can do the 30 minutes in one go or divide it up into a few manageable blocks of 10 minute sessions.

The important thing is to do it on a daily basis and to combine it with a balanced diet of proteins, complex carbohydrates, fibre and fruit and vegetables.In addition, try to include aerobic exercise sessions – such as swimming, cycling, brisk walking or running – two or three times a week.

A 30 to 40 minute brisk walk three times a week is enough to improve your fitness level and reduce your cardiovascular risk.If you are at increased risk of heart disease and stroke, you should aim to exercise for 30 minutes on five days out of seven, if not daily.

Top 5 exercise tips for heart health

1.  How does exercise help heart disease?

Being physically active halves your risk of heart disease. This is because exercise: lowers blood pressure, which is a major risk factor for heart disease increases good HDL cholesterol that transports fat away from the arteries and back to the liver for processing may reduce levels of bad LDL cholesterol that can form fatty deposits in the arteries and contribute to heart disease improves circulation by preventing blood clots that can lead to heart attack and stroke

2.  How can I increase activity levels?

Some simple ways to increase activity levels are: take the stairs or walk up escalators to tone your legs and buttocks walk to the shops instead of driving, and carry the shopping bags home to give your arms a good workout cycle or walk short journeys rather than using the car get off the bus or train a stop early use your lunch break to go for a stroll.

3.  How do I know if it's working?

Exercise means raising your heart beat – you may experience this with a gentle stroll or need to walk briskly. You should feel your body working quite hard, but still be able to talk. Don't exercise at one level: build to a maximum pace and then slow down before the end of the session.

4.  Play Squash for Weight Loss

Squash is an intensive sport therefore making it ideal for weight loss. You are advised to do 30 minutes of moderate exercise a day on average, but for squash it is half this. So, you only need to do less than 2 hours of squash a week to stay healthy under the government’s guidelines. For squash weight loss you should do more than this.

5.  Ideas to increase levels of exercise

Take the stairs or walk up escalators – an excellent exercise for toning up your legs and buttocks. Walk to the shops instead of driving and carry the shopping bags home to give your arms a good workout. Make sure you balance the bags between your two arms.

All exercise is good for health

Increasing the amount of fat burning exercise you do on a regular basis is an effective way to improve your health and fitness and help you make the most of the benefits of alli. When you consume fewer calories your body has to use its fat stores for energy and as it does that, you lose weight.

When you exercise, you can encourage your body to burn fat stores more often, so regular exercise can also raise your metabolic rate. This not only helps you lose weight and helps with your general fitness, it helps you maintain your weight loss.

Your metabolic rate is the rate at which your body uses up calories. So, if you take in 2,500 calories a day, and burn all those 2,500 calories a day, you’ll stay the same weight. If you burn only 2,000 of those calories, you’ll put on weight. Becoming more active is an effective way to speed up your metabolic rate so that you can burn more calories than you eat.

Regular exercise has a great many health benefits too, including helping to combat diseases such as diabetes, high blood pressure, high cholesterol and osteoporosis. Also, as your body releases natural feel-good chemicals when you exercise, this can boost your mental and emotional wellbeing, helping you to combat stress and feel happier. Remember to consult your doctor before you start an exercise programme.