You have seen a range of good reasons why an exercise programme can be beneficial to health. Exercise plays an important role through all phases of life, not just until the driving test has been passed.
- Allowing children the opportunity for free play as they grow can help with develop- ment of motor skills, insulin sensitisation, body composition, bone mineralisation, confidence and social interaction.
- For adults, a moderate exercise pro- gramme helps with healthy weight man- agement, while reducing the likelihood of diabetes, CV disease, cancer and auto- immune conditions. Exercise has been shown to reduce symptoms of depression and anxiety and increase the ability to deal with life stresses.
- Although pregnancy is not the time to take up strenuous exercise, physical activity can reduce the risk of pre-eclampsia, gestational diabetes and lower back pain during pregnancy and improve mood, vigour and self-image afterwards.
- In the elderly, exercise can increase independence into old age, reduce the chance of developing osteoporosis and increase psychological empowerment.
For a well-rounded exercise approach, you might consider 3 – 5 bouts of CV exercise per week, of varying intensity and duration, 1 – 3 resistance sessions and 1 – 3 periods of relaxing movements. The exact form your exercise pattern takes will depend on your personal preferences and your time commitments, but the basic aim is to express yourself through movement most days of the week.
Walking, running, cycling, swimming, aerobics, aqua-aerobics, tennis, squash, soccer, etc. (anything that uses big muscle groups in a repetitive way)
Weight training, Pilates, movement with exercise balls and bands
Yoga, tai chi, Pilates, anything that involves focus on breathing