DR Graham Duce is GP with Park Green Surgery, Macclesfield, and a clinical lead on for NHS Eastern Cheshire CCG:
“I need to get more active but I just can’t find the time” is a comment that busy people often say to me when prompted to take action to improve their health. The good news is that all of us, from busy mothers and families, through office workers to older adults, can build physical activity into their lives. Being physically active is easier than you think, especially if you make activity part of your daily routine.
As a mother walking your children to and from school, rather than using the car, is a good form of exercise. Take steps to be active with your children and take them to the swimming pool or play in the garden or park. Scooters, rollerskates and bikes are just some of the great ways to encourage your child to see exercise as play. And if parents are physically active, their children are likely to follow their example and be active too.
If you work in an office there are a number of ways you can keep active – stand while talking on the phone and walk over to someone’s desk rather than emailing them. It’s always better to take the stairs instead of the lift, or build a brisk walk into your lunch break (if you’re lucky enough to get one!) So, being busy is not always a barrier to leading a more active lifestyle. You might think being active involves going to the gym, an exercise class or playing a sport but it’s not just that.
Just think of it in a more everyday way that incorporates some activity into your daily routine – even simple things like doing more walking. Being active includes any physical activity that you do, including cleaning the house and gardening, travelling on foot or by bicycle, manual jobs at work as well as sport and activities in your spare time.
Pick activities that you like and that fit easily into your daily routine. Work out what time is best for you to exercise and stick to it.
Above all, reduce the amount of time you sit or lie down during the day. More tips and ideas and details of activities near you can be found at activecheshire.org.
●● Dr Graham Duce