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Exercise is a powerful tool in the fight to stay fit.

Those who exercise regularly have a significantly lower risk of heart disease, high blood pressure, diabetes, obesity related illness, back pain, dementia, depression and other mental illness and very many other conditions.

Exercise has a benefit even when you are ill and will improve the symptoms and complications of conditions such as cancer, dementia, mental illness and many respiratory diseases.

Introducing exercise into your everyday routines is a great way of staying fit. Try and aim for ½ hour to an hour of accumulated exercise during the day. This may include a brisk walk to work, climbing the stairs instead of taking the lift, cycling to and from school, gardening or by taking up some sporting activity.

It is always best to start gently and build up the intensity of exercise – if you are uncertain how much you should be doing, a sports doctor or other health professional may be able to help you. Pre-existing illness or injury is not an automatic reason not to exercise and in these situations seek out some expert advice regarding what you can do rather than what you cannot.

People exercise for all sorts of reasons – to get fit, to lose weight, for their general wellbeing, for their mental health or just for fun. Whilst many health professionals will encourage you to exercise, there is sometimes a problem along the way – perhaps injury or illness intervenes. When this happens, seek advice regarding the best way to overcome this rather than give up. There are often things you can do to minimise the effect of say, an injury. Proper treatment of a respiratory complain or careful choice of exercise may minimise the effect of a chronic illness

Exercise burns off energy – if you are jogging or running this may be perhaps 400-800 calories an hour or more if intensively training. You need to build this in to your diet – you may want to lose some weight – if so continue to eat normally until you reach a healthy weight. If you are underweight, it is important to replace the calories to avoid reducing bone health.

The other important thing to do is to drink fluids when you exercise. You don’t always have to go out with a water bottle in your hand but if you are exercising over a prolonged period – perhaps more that ½ to ¾ hour you may feel more comfortable to drink during your exercise.

  • Remember illness and injury may not be a barrier to exercise
  • Exercise is great medicine for staying healthy
  • If you get an injury, try and treat this early and expertly
  • If you have an illness, get some advice regarding the best way to exercise
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