With recent research showing how important being physically active is in the prevention and control of disease, many of us are realising we could be doing more to help ourselves and improve our quality of life. But where do you start?
It may have been a long time since you were active on a regular basis, but the sooner you begin, the sooner you will reap the benefits. Whether you want to improve your balance, reduce your blood pressure, control your sugar levels or cholesterol or just to make everyday life a little easier, there is an activity out there to suit you.
The new recommendations for an adult are for 150 minutes of moderate intensity activity per week, which can be broken down into 10-20 or 30 minutes sessions. Moderate activity is any activity which makes you breathe a little harder, raises your pulse and makes you feel warmer.
Did you know?
That physical activity is also beneficial for your mental health and well-being? Click on this link to find out more...
If you have made the decision that you would like to be fitter but are unsure what to do, there are plenty of places to find help and advice. If you played sport when you were younger and fancy trying it again or would like to try a new sport, many clubs around the forest welcome new members, no matter what your ability. Details can be found on-line or why not see what is happening at your local Leisure Centre. Many local sports clubs and groups use the facilities and the leisure centres themselves offer gyms, swimming and exercise classes. Go to www.forestleisure.org.uk
Walking is a great way to improve your fitness, with the added bonus of it being free! Try parking the car further away when you shop or walking during your lunch break, taking the grandchildren for a walk or borrow a dog! If you feel a group walk would give you motivation, the Walk4Health scheme offers a range of walks around the forest for all abilities, take a look at the time table on our walks page for more details http://www.fdean.gov.uk/nqcontent.cfm?a_id=7570
If you haven’t exercised for many years or have a medical condition which you are unsure whether to exercise then a referral from your Nurse, GP or Physiotherapist onto the Exercise Referral Scheme may be your starting point. You will be looked after and advised by an Exercise Instructor who is qualified to a high level and experienced in advising people with different health conditions. For more information on all the referral schemes go to http://www.fdean.gov.uk/nqcontent.cfm?a_id=6625
Healthy Lifestyles also delivers a range of community classes and a Buddy Scheme at Five Acres Leisure Centre. For an up to date timetable click on Healthy Lifestyles class timetable. Other organisations offer gentle exercise classes and gentle sports such as the Young at Heart Club at Lydney Leisure Centre, and if dancing is your thing, Wyedance offer a variety of classes around the forest for all ages and abilities. It may be worth taking a look at the activity directory on http://www.fdean.gov.uk/nqcontent.cfm?a_id=6625
If none of the above sounds like your cup of tea then have a look at the Change4Life website which offers advice on getting active.
Remember! You don't have to slog in the gym to get fitter, try taking the stairs instead of the lift, be more active when doing the housework, gardening is a great strength exercise/activity which raises your heart rate and is a benefit to your heart.