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  Dr Richard Davies - health column

As winter nears, the days draw in and temperatures drop, you may find that you lack the motivation to get out and about. Staying active throughout autumn and winter will help you beat those seasonal blues and help you to stay healthy.

With new and improving technologies we on the whole as a society are spending more time sitting down, watching television and using computers for much of the day. Recent research proves that a less active lifestyle is very bad for your health.

Regular exercise can have many benefits to your health, including your mental health and wellbeing. People who are physically active have up to a 50% reduced risk of developing major chronic diseases such as coronary heart disease, stroke, diabetes and some cancers and a 20-30% reduced risk of premature death.

Other benefits to being active are:

  • Helps you to maintain a healthy weight
  • Helps maintain your ability to perform everyday tasks with ease
  • Improves your self-esteem
  • Reduces your symptoms of depression and anxiety.

The amount of exercise you need to do each week is determined by your age. For children and teenagers 60 minutes activity a day is recommended, for anyone aged over 19, 150 minutes of moderate aerobic activity a week is what you should be aiming for.

For most people, the easiest way to get moving is to make activity part of everyday life, like walking or cycling instead of using the car to get around. However, the more you take part in activities such as sports and exercise the even healthier you will be.

For more information use the NHS Choice’s directory to find activities near you.

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