Why Exercise Is Essential – The Cost Of Inactivity

Why Exercise Is Essential – The Cost Of Inactivity


Exercise – how much is enough?

We all get – or at least, we hopefully get – a bit of exercise during each day. It doesn’t matter whether we’re playing sports or just putting in a bit of treadmill time, it all adds up to the total for each week. Which, if we’re meeting the amount recommended by various health organisations – which is 150 minutes (two and a half hours) each week.

And what type of exercise counts?

What we’re looking for here are the things you do that provide moderate-intensity aerobic activity. This could mean jogging, a brisk walk around the park or through the neighbourhood, going for a swim, or various other things that make you feel exerted by causing your heart rate to increase.

Unfortunately, there are a lot of household chores that, despite requiring energy to carry out, don’t count towards your exercise total since they don’t provide enough of an aerobic intensity level and get your heart rate up. So all that dish-washing, window cleaning, taking the bins out, etc. Unfortunately aren’t counted as exercise. More strenuous work around the house such as cutting the grass can count to your total, though.

The benefits of exercise

If you get the recommended amount of exercise, the benefits are potentially numerous. Physical activity is known to be good not just as a mood booster but also as a powerful way of relieving stress. And on top of that, it’s also a useful way of helping to keep weight in check when coupled with a healthy diet. However, one of the most amazing things about exercise is that in addition to keeping us fit and helping self-esteem, it also reduces the risk (in varying amounts) of coronary heart disease, strokes, colon cancer, and depression. And as such, it is something that is an important part of staying happy and healthy.

The exercise statistics

Unfortunately, though, it looks like we’re not getting as much exercise as we should – on average, at least. A recent survey found that over two-thirds of adults in the UK aren’t reaching the 150 minute recommended target. And it’s estimated that this could be costing up to seven billion pounds in healthcare costs, benefits, and sickness absence.

By incorporating some more exercise into our daily lives to meet the recommendations, it looks like everyone could gain regarding wellbeing as a result.