It is official! Regular exercise is beneficial to you and your health.
“If exercise were a pill, it would be one of the most cost-effective drugs ever invented,” says Dr Nick Cavill, a health promotion consultant.
Why is physical activity and moving more important for your wellbeing?
Regular exercise is essential to help keep us strong and as healthy as possible. There is a reduction in the risk of major illness by as much as 50% for diseases such as:
Regular exercise can also help lower your risk of early death by up to 30% and there is strong scientific evidence that being physically active and moving more leads to a healthier and even happier life. Exercise is essential if you want to live a healthy and fulfilling life into old age.
Everyone can benefit from moving more. Activity isn't just about becoming physically stronger. By using different parts of your brain, it can help to reduce stress, and you may sleep better too. It can also help improve your coordination, balance, agility, concentration, stamina, speed and reaction times.
This example taken from Disability Rights publication: Doing Sports Differently says:
Even very unfit people can improve their
health enormously simply by becoming
slightly less unfit. To put it into figures,
imagine the population divided into
five groups: the fittest to the least-fit.
The people in the least-fit fifth of the
population can DOUBLE their chances
of surviving the next decade simply by
getting into the second least-fit group –
in other words, if you go from being very
unfit to just plain old unfit, you’re twice
as likely to still be alive in ten years time.
So, what counts as exercise, physical activity and moving more?
To stay healthy adults (age 19 - 64) should aim to be active daily and achieve at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity
aerobic physical activity each week using a variety of activities. This recommendation includes people living with a disability or a health condition if at all possible.
The good news is that activity can be done in bouts of 10 minutes! For very unfit people this will be the amount of time that is manageable to begin with.
For any type of activity to benefit your health you need to be moving quickly enough to raise your heart rate, breathing faster and feeling warmer. This is called moderate-intensity activity. A commonly suggested way of measuring if the exercise you are doing is moderate-intensity aerobic is that you are too breathless to sing but not to talk. Exactly what constitutes moderate-intensity aerobic activity varies for each of us and depends on how fit we are when we start.
Guidance on Moving More
Guidance is available on the benefits of physical activity and what types of physical activity can be undertaken for different age groups and different abilities on the NHS Live Well Health and Fitness web pages.
Whether you are new to activity, an old hand at it or living with a disability and/or a health condition, the NHS Live Well Health and Fitness web pages have a wealth of information and resources. How to get fit from a regular 10 Minute Workout to Get Running with Couch to 5K.
The British Foundation has a very useful map of the world which shows what people in other countries do to help their health. To see it click here
Change 4 Life has lots of top tips and information on their Get Going pages for all adults, children, families.
OneYou Active 10 is an addition to the OneYou - How Are You family of websites from Public Health England asking people to take more responsibility for improving their health. OneYou Active 10 encourages you to walk more. There is also an app by the same name that can be downloaded onto your phone that will monitor your steps and more. "A brisk 10 minute walk every day can make a difference to your health. Each 10 minute burst of exercise is known as an “Active 10”.
Disability Rights UK have produced a guide called 'Doing Sports Differently - A guide to exercise and fitness for people living with disability or health conditions'. The guide is written for and by people with personal experience of disability and health conditions. The guide does not cover every impairment or every sport but suggests that you read it and then think about how the information might apply to you.
MacMillan Cancer Support Keeping Active webpages includes information on the benefits of being active whilst living with cancer, having cancer treatment and during recovery. Keeping active can help improve some symptoms and side effects of cancer. Information can be ordered from their resources website here
Together We Will aims to support you to become healthier, stronger and have fun being active. The National Disability Sports Organisations (NDSOs) and English Federation of Disability Sport (EFDS), have come together, supported by Sport England to encourage disabled people to be more active. There are eight NDSOs:
For a full list of National Disability Sports Organisations, who can support you to be more active http://www.disabilitysport.org.uk/uk-disability-sports-organisations.html
Find out what is available in Ealing
Leisure Pass: The Ealing Leisure Pass offers a discount of up to 50% for adults and 33% for young people on leisure activities in the borough. To qualify for a leisure pass you must meet the qualifying criteria. For more information visit the London Borough of Ealing website.
Cycling. Ealing has wonderful parks and cycle highways are continually being developed. There is a lot of support available in Ealing to help you get started and build up your confidence. Need a bike but cannot afford a new one - what about a second hand one? Why not see what the London Bike Hub (based in Greenford) has on offer.
Sports Clubs in Ealing. To access a list of sports clubs operating various activities across the borough please visit the London Borough of Ealing website to download the list.
Federation of Disability Sport promotes local events and activities across the UK and has
links enabling people to search for local activities that are registered with
the service provider. They also have a list of Inclusive Fitness Accredited Gyms that can be searched for locally.
Exercise Referral Scheme: A 12 week tailor made package of exercise sessions, especially for people with, or at risk of developing health problems. Participants work with fully qualified instructors to develop an activity programme suitable to their conditions. To access the scheme, you need the support of a GP or other healthcare professional. Download the brochure here.
MHA Ealing Live At Home. The scheme aims to help older people in the borough of Ealing stay active and healthy in later life. The Get Up and Go Strength and Balance programme is a 10 week programme offering support to people over the age of 65 who want to improve their strength and balance. Download the leaflet here.
On Your Marks is a disability sport programme providing sessions to help inactive people with disabilities and additional needs aged 16+ to get moving and improve their health and wellbeing. Download the leaflet here.
Health Walks - If you find it difficult to get active, why not start walking? It's really easy to get started, you don't need any special equipment and - best of all - it counts towards your recommended amount of physical activity. The Walking For Health website allows you to find your nearest health walk scheme. Ealing Health Walks programme has been running for a number of years and is run by Southall Community Alliance (SCA). You can find out more about the Ealing Health Walk Scheme by visiting the web pages. The Walking For Health Website is hosted by MacMillan Cancer Support and Ramblers.org.uk
Leisure Centres in Ealing are managed by Everyone Active or Better and offer a range of activities. Please visit or call the individual centres to find out what facilities they offer or visit the managing organisations website to search for specific activities. Most of Ealing's Leisure centres offering specific swimming sessions for people with disabilities which will be listed on their websites.
- Dormers Wells - Southall/Greenford. Facilities: swimming pool, fitness centre, sports hall, outdoor facilities, dance studio.
- Northolt Leisure Centre - Northolt/South Harrow. Facilities: 2 swimming pools, large gym, dance studio, group cycling studio, community hall, treatment rooms, library, cafe, meeting rooms.
- Elthorne Sports Centre - Hanwell/Boston Manor. Facilities: Sports Hall, Multi-use games areas with floodlights, 4G pitch
- Twyford Sports Centre - Acton/Ealing Common. Facilities: Sports Hall, activity and club room, floodlit tennis, netball and football area
- Acton Centre - Acton. Facilities: 2 swimming pools, dance studios, library, multi purpose rooms, gym.
- Greenford Sports Centre - Greenford. Facilities: sports hall, weights room, outdoor floodlit pitches, gym.
- Southall Sports Centre- Southall. Facilities: Gym and features a female only gym, cycling studio, sports hall.
- Alec Reed Academy Community Sports Centre - Northolt/Greenford. Facilities: dance studios, Gym, Tennis, Netball, Astroturf pitches.
- Reynolds Sports Centre - Acton. Gym, sports hall, dance studio.
- Gurnell Leisure Centre - West Ealing/Hanwell/Greenford/Perivale. Facilites: 3 swimming pools, gym, sauna and steam room. This centre is due for regeneration at the end of 2018, so from July 2018 onwards it would be good to check with them that they are still open.
- Featherstone Sports Centre - Southall. Facilities: Gym, Astroturf pitches, sports hall, studio, Muga.
Perivale Park Athletics Track. Indoor and outdoor training venue with an 8 lane track and areas dedicated to throw zones. Indoor training area for throwers as well as Olympic weight lifting platform, stretching and circuit space and athlete focussed gym area.
Golf Courses in Ealing. Ealing has a number of golf courses to help keep you in the game.
To find out more about what Ealing has to offer visit the Sports Facilities pages.
Green Space in Ealing
Ealing has a host of green spaces, some of which host outdoor gym facilities and distance marker routes enabling runners/walkers/joggers to map how far they have travelled. To find out more about where outdoor gyms and distance marker routes are located please visit the London Borough of Ealing web pages.
Information Outside Ealing
Loughborough University has a very useful website which you can find here
There really is NO excuse. Find out what is available in your area using the Get Active London activity finder.