Why become active

 Tai Chi

People are becoming more and more aware of the health benefits that leading an active lifestyle can offer and subsequently, the dangers that inactive behaviours can cause.   You may be surprised by some activities in life which fall into active and inactive behaviours.

Leading an active lifestyle can also mean stopping or reducing things in our life like smoking or drinking alcohol.

It can be hard to understand exactly what ‘active’ means, what level of activity or intensity a person should be doing, and how these can be included as part of our everyday life.  However, we have some helpful tips that can give you some ideas. 

There are often excuses and barriers that stop us from being more active, but whatever is stopping you from getting out there and having a go might not be as much of a barrier as you think. Here is some advice on how to overcome them.

It’s all about moving and moving more often!

What ‘active’ means

Being physically active means raising your heart rate above its resting rate, making your body, and in particular your heart and lungs work harder. Everyday tasks such as walking, gardening, dancing, cycling, all contribute towards leading an active lifestyle and the target is to reduce the amount of time spent being inactive or sedentary.

Being more physically active will help you to stay healthy and carry out daily activities such as climbing stairs, getting in and out of the car, carrying shopping and playing with the children or grandchildren.

There are three general types of physical activities that should be included and they are:

  • Aerobic activity which will help to improve your heart and lung fitness through activities like brisk walking, cycling, running, jogging and stair climbing
  • Resistance training which will help to strengthen your muscles using your own body weight, free weights or machines
  • Flexibility and body conditioning where muscles are stretched and lengthened to help prevent stiffness and improve posture and balance; they may include activities such as tai chi, pilates, yoga and general stretching
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