|LIFESTYLE|Get active!|

So what do you exercise for?

activity bicycle bike biker
Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

Some people do it for fitness, whilst some people will just admit they exercise in order to eat back the calories or do it for the ‘summer bod’. However there is not a huge amount of Gen ‘Z’ers that will exercise for HEALTH. 

In this week’s blog I will discuss how much exercise we should do, doing too little, doing too much, and my advice regarding it all… (AKA, chill out and just ENJOY it. Find a BALANCE.)

So the guidelines set by the NHS suggests that we do 2 hours and 30 minutes of ‘moderate to vigorous aerobic’ exercise: this includes a brisk walk or cycling. It is recommended to do this for 30 minutes, 5 days a week. OR they suggest 1 hour and 15 minutes of ‘vigorous exercise’ a week such as running, tennis or squash. With both these options they also suggest we partake in 2 strength sessions a week where you work your major muscles through exercises. 

That means giving up maybe three hours A WEEK… there are 168 hours in week. If you genuinely have no idea where to begin with exercise, check out the NHS website for more details, but I promise it is easier than you think to do this… Walk or cycle to and from work/uni, join a sports club or even get a group of friends together to get it done! It doesn’t have to be expensive (in fact, it can be free) with so many apps and advice at our disposal through technology to get us active.

There are many different benefits of exercising:

  • It can get us out the house and mingling with new people
  • our sleep can be improved, we will feel more energised, as according to the Mayo Clinic, ‘exercise delivers oxygen and nutrients to your tissues and helps your cardiovascular system work more efficiently’
  • our moods will improve due to the various chemicals released in our brains through exercise
  • It can even help control some diseases and conditions such as type 2 diabetes, depression, strokes and of course it keeps a healthy blood flow through our arteries. 

Doing too little exercise can, therefore, (yep, you guessed it) be super bad for our health. A study published by a Health Day reporter, Steven Reinberg, suggested that under-exercising has worse effects on our health than obesity. THAT is scary. The researchers estimated that ‘exercise that burns between 90 and 110 calories a day could reduce the risk of an early death by between 16 percent and 30 percent’… see, not that hard? I don’t want to go into much more detail about under-exercising as I think it is pretty obvious/negative chat, but we all know what we need to do so let’s try make that change slowly and surely!

A big topic that is not often talked about is over-exercising and I’m bringing this up because I personally am completely guilty of it. It also has negative effects that many people are not aware of. People find themselves over-exercising for a multitude of reasons: personally, I thought it would make me thinner but once I figured that isn’t how it worked, I would do it for peace of mind and to get away from problems or issues I might have. I convinced myself it solves my problems. 

Although tolerance of exercise is completely personal, there are many signs to indicate it is happening:

  • increased resting heart rate
  • feeling restless
  • dehydration
  • poor sleep quality
  • issues within the menstrual cycle for women. 

BUT the biggest eye opener for me was the effects on mental health: having seen @BrendonStubb ’s tweet addressing the fact that people that are “engaging in >52 min per day are harming their mental health”, I decided to look into this more, which led me to realise that actually the positive effects exercise has can ultimately be reversed. Whilst an obsessive characteristic can also be formed, leading to being less adaptable and feeling disappointed when not having achieved unrealistic goals. Dr Adam Chekroud, study author and assistant professor of psychiatry at Yale University, suggests that it leads to people being physically and mentally exhausted causing feelings of stress and depletion. 

SO, my advice and something I try my best to do now:

  • make exercising social
  • enjoy it
  • mix it up
  • and most of all, listen to how my body is feeling.
  • Be adaptable
  • Make it a HABIT 
  • Don’t burn calories in order to eat, in fact don’t even look at the calories!

So, Don’t feel intimidated by those Gymshark girls and guys and find a group of people similar to yourself. No matter who you are, what your weight is or even your age, you can get moving in some way.

This week in the gym I saw an elderly women using a walking frame enter the gym and spend 40 minutes using the various machines (both weight and cardio) and I felt so much joy that this women was opting to improve her LIFESTYLE… If she can do it then we Gen ‘Z’ers defo’s can. Now go for a brisk walk!! 

If you have any questions hmu, or if you have more evidence and articles on the topic of exercise PLEASE send them my way. 



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