Active August has arrived

Today marks the start of Active August, this month’s theme for our 12 months of healthiness campaign.

This month, we’ll be looking at the benefits of staying active to help you keep a healthy heart and mind.

Getting – and staying – active can reduce your risk of developing heart disease. It can also be a great mood and stress buster.

Physical activity has many health benefits, which can help to:

  • boost your energy
  • improve your sleep
  • maintain a healthy weight
  • manage stress
  • improve your quality of life.

But how much physical activity do you need to do each week to stay healthy?

Guidance on the NHS website advises adults aged 19 to 64 to try to be active on a daily basis and should do:

  • at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity aerobic activity every week, or
  • at least 75 minutes of vigorous-intensity aerobic activity each week, or
  • a combination of both.

What counts as moderate aerobic activity?

Here are some examples of activities that require moderate effort for most people:

  • Brisk walking
  • Pushing a lawn mower
  • Hiking
  • Riding a bike on level ground or with a few hills

Moderate activity will raise your heart rate and make you breathe faster. This level of exercise means you should still be able to talk, but not sing the words to a song.

What counts as vigorous activity?

Here are some examples of activities that require vigorous effort for most people:

  • Jogging or running
  • Swimming fast
  • Riding a bike fast or on hills
  • Football
  • Skipping rope
  • Aerobics
  • Martial arts

Vigorous activity makes you breathe hard and fast. This level of exercise means you won’t be able to say more than a few words without pausing for breath.

Doing something is better than nothing. You can always start small and build up your exercise gradually. Why not try the Couch to 5K running plan for beginners?

Look out for details of more activities in August, including Cycle to Work Day, coming soon!

Remember to let the Communications team know if you’ve been getting active this August – whatever it may be!

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