We all know that it is vital to keep active for our heart, mind, body and soul, but as the nights draw in and jack frost starts to nip it can be hard to get off the sofa and get moving. According to an NHS report regular exercise can reduce the risk of major illnesses, such as coronary heart disease, stroke, type 2 diabetes and cancer and lower your risk of early death by up to 30%.

To stay healthy, the UK Chief Medical Officers’ Physical Activity Guidelines, on GOV.UK, state that adults should try to be active every day and aim to do at least 150 minutes of physical activity over a week, through a variety of activities. Now that may sound a lot but break it down to a daily 20 minutes and it’s achievable for most.

Each person’s fitness levels differ considerably, and we are by no means suggesting that you try and run before you can walk! Introducing a bit of cardio and muscle strengthening into your daily routine can make such a big difference.

  • Put a bit more effort into your chores – vacuum a little fasted, scrub a little harder, hoe the garden a little more thoroughly, all will help give the heart and muscles a wakeup call.
  • When you are waiting for the kettle to boil, perhaps take a couple of cans out of the cupboard and use them to do some arm exercises. Get your leg muscles fired up with some squats but remember to listen to your body and don’t push it further than you feel you should.
  • If you have stairs in the house and feel confident on them incorporate a few more visits to upstairs in your day.
  • Look online for  exercise classes you can join in with, either paid for or free. Youtube has something for everyone!

Getting out into the open air, even if it is cold is great both for physical and mental health. There is an old saying that tells us there is no such thing as bad weather, just the wrong clothing! Preparation is key for a walk, or run in colder weather, get the right footwear and clothing and off you go…