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The excuses




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  1. U-13 Making excuses.

The pressures of home and family life can also mean it feels as if there's little time left to fit in exercise. It's certainly tough to get started.

So, it's worth thinking about what you gain from regular exercise and making even a partial improvement to your fitness.

  • Physical inactivity is an independent risk factor for coronary heart disease - in other words, if you don't exercise you dramatically increase your risk of dying from a heart attack
  • Conversely, exercise means a healthier heart because it reduces several cardiovascular risks, including high blood pressure
  • Being physically active can bolster good mental health and help you to manage stress, anxiety and even depression
  • Regular exercise as you age keeps you strong, mobile and less dependent on others
  • Regular exercise can help you achieve and maintain an ideal weight, which can be important in managing many health conditions, or may just make you feel happier about your appearance
  • All exercise helps strengthen bones and muscles to some degree, but weight-bearing exercise, such as running, is especially good in promoting bone density and protecting against osteoporosis, which affects men as well as women
  • Different exercises help with all sorts of health niggles, such as digestion, poor posture and sleeplessness, and physical activity can be beneficial for a range of medical conditions, from diabetes to lower back pain

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Don't be a statistic

There are lots of positive reasons for getting fitter, including meeting new people, discovering new interests and generally feeling better, but if you need to be scared into doing more exercise, consider the following:

  • While in 2007, the Government-commissioned Foresight report predicted that if no action was taken, 60 per cent of men, 50 per cent of women and 25 per cent of children would be obese by 2050, the actual figures are rising ahead of the forecast rate.
  • Between 1993 and 2008, there has been a marked increase in the proportion of people who were obese, reaching 24 per cent of men and 25 per cent of women in 2008.
  • The picture is just as worrying for youngsters - obesity rates were 17 per cent in 2008 among boys, and 15 per cent in 2008 among girls. By 2010, it's predicted 22 per cent of girls and 19 per cent of boys between the ages of two and 15 will be obese, with girls under 11 at particular risk.
  • Obesity is responsible for 9,000 premature deaths a year in this country, and is a major contributory factor to heart disease.
  • Coronary heart disease (CHD) is still the leading cause of death in the UK, accounting for about a fifth of all deaths, according to the Office for National Statistics.
  • About a third of deaths caused by CHD are among people aged under 75.

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