Frightening stuff and ‘how so?’, you might ask…
Well, according to the Nick Triggle, Health correspondent for the BBC News:
“The report, published in the Lancet to coincide with the build-up to the Olympics, estimates that about a third of adults are not doing enough physical activity, causing 5.3m deaths a year.
That equates to about one in 10 deaths from diseases such as heart disease, diabetes and breast and colon cancer”
(Full article click here)
It is recommended that we all aim for (at least) 150 minutes of ‘activity’ per week, that’s only 20 minutes a day – doesn’t sound like much, does it? And it’s not, but with so many of us holding down sedentary jobs in front of a computer, perhaps eating lunch & snacks at our desks it’s not surprising and easily forgivable to overlook our 20 minutes dedicated activity a day
It is said that tackling this problem requires a new way of thinking, suggesting the public needed to be warned about the dangers of inactivity rather than just reminded of the benefits of being active.
Did you know that, according to the British Heart Foundation :
“The average man in the year 2000 was a belt busting 7.7kg heavier than he was in 1986, new research shows.
There were two reasons for the male weight gain, conclude the researchers. This 'Jim Royle generation' ate more calories than men in 1986, and they also did less exercise.”
– ladies, we haven’t done much better…..a report by the health charity Nuffield Health found the average waist measurement for women is almost 5cm larger than the recommended healthy size of less than 80cm. Researchers says it could lead to higher risk of cancer, diabetes and fertility problems. Yikes!
So, what do we know – we know that, generally, we eat & drink too much & we don’t do enough exercise. It’s that simple!
Time to fix it – but how…?
For those at home with kids for the holidays…
If you’re anything like me, with the long summer holiday upon us, you’ll find the start to the day gets later & later – although I work, I do find that we’re all still in our dressing gowns progressively later & later as each day passes, nursing my tea & dishing out staggered breakfasts to various children. I also (to my own horror) often find myself sitting with my kids watching them annihilate each other on the X-box or watching kids TV – if this is you, this is where we start…..
- Get OFF the sofa, take your tea with you and go and get ready for the day
- Depending on the age of your child(ren), check out your local council for activities/adventures to do with your kids, or your local parent’s magazines such as London Mums Magazine or, if you’re in London, Time Out for Kids – look on-line, there’s tons. MAKE A PLAN, PLOT YOUR ROUTE & LEAVE THE CAR – take the train/bus/tube/bike or even walk, turn that journey itself into a grand adventure!
- Grab the dog, take it for a long ramble with the kids – turn it into a treasure hunt or hide & seek.
- If you’re still at the playground age, ditch the milky latte and get climbing with the kids on the jungle gym. Show them how it’s really done! You’ll be the hit of the playground!
- Set up some running races or assault courses and JOIN IN – or even a softball/cricket match at the local park, and play yourself!
- Housework – sounds dull, I agree, but did you know it really BURNS CALORIES – true! Crank up the tunes, give each child a duster & some polish (I have no idea why, but my kids always wanted to be the keeper of the polish..) – intersperse your cleaning with some crazy dancing – vacuuming also burns a fair amount of calories, so drag that out from under the stairs.
- If you like GARDENING, that also burns a good chunk of cals and the kids can get involved too! At Homebase or B&Q they sell great kids gardening kits for not a lot of cash – you know how they love to have their own stuff!
- Walk to the shops with the kids, or cycle, just don’t drive.
- Try to leave the car as much as you can & use those legs – I know this crummy weather doesn’t help, but it’s truly better for everyone if the car stays at home!
- Buy a trampoline (Rebounder) (random, I know) from Argos – cheap as chips, easy to store & fab (& fun) exercise while the kids are watching a little TV. Put your music on & bounce, throw in some side-twists, knee-jerks, dance on your trampoline. Kids will love it too! Brilliant exercise!
If you don’t have kids, or if you work away from home:
- Again, leave the car at home – walk/cycle/tube/bus or train it to work.
- Don’t be one of those who stand on the right, climb those escalators in the Underground!
- Don’t eat lunch at your desk – take a walk to the park & eat it there, make sure it’s light & healthy, not burgers & chips (not only bad for your body, but lunch like that will make you sluggish for an afternoon’s work too)
- Get up & away from your desk periodically through the day, walk around, stretch your legs/arms.
- Give yourself at least one evening a week to go join a new class or start a new activity – Zumba, Kickboxing, Tai Chi, Yoga, Pilates, a gym class, running group, wall climbing, dance class, Ceroc – there are SO many fun things to try, just ask me if you want more ideas.
- Buy a trampoline (Rebounder) and do that in front of the TV or to some fun music.
- DANCE like you just don’t care! Just turn up the volume, shut the shutters and DANCE.
Alternatively, come join a ZumbaFunk dance fitness class. Did you know that, depending on how much you put into it, you can burn up to 1000 calories per hour doing Zumba? Here’s are a couple of little dance videos we made recently, one of which is of our class at Eddie Catz Putney – click here: Zumba Burlesque, click here! If you’d like to know more about how to get involved, please call me on 02032864484.
I’m crazy about all this stuff & it’s important. Don’t burn out on the boring routines, find stuff you love & enjoy & that you’ll stick with. Try something new. Don’t wait for your friends to join in with you, just jump in!
I do hope this is helpful, if you have any thoughts or suggestion, or maybe you have some questions, just add a comment & I’ll get back to you.
Happy days to you all, Rebecca x