Life Expectancy, Health, Happiness and Moving


It’s the end of summer. There, I said it!

Kids back to school, evenings getting cooler, comfort foods and sofas getting more and more appealing.

However, don’t despair because September is the perfect time of year to start good health habits.

Thinking of getting back into running? Why not start now and get some momentum going before the evenings get any colder?

Been nursing a niggling injury over the summer? Why not get it sorted now you have your routine back, so you can be feeling good, fit and healthy running up to Christmas?

After all, why wait until New Year to make resolutions?

Even the simplest changes can have an impact upon your health. Recent news that the British have one of the worst life expectancies in Europe should come as no surprise, but the good news is lifestyle makes a majority contribution to life expectancy – diet and activity levels are both entirely under our control, and both impact our health hugely.

NHS guidelines for the minimum level of activity for adults under 64 is set at 150 minutes of moderate or 75 minutes of vigorous exercise per week for the cardiovascular system – as well as 2 sessions of strength or balance training per week.

This can seem daunting if you are one of 33% of British adults failing to meet these guidelines, but my attitude and advice is not to focus on the end goal. Instead, just focus on the next step. Just adding one 30-minute walk into your week makes a noticeable improvement – once this becomes habit and becomes easy, adding another session is much easier – small steps are easy!

As well as the measurable health benefits of increased physical activity, there is also the effect upon how you feel – your mental health, wellbeing, and functioning of your brain – helping you:

Feel HAPPIER – by stimulating the release of hormones and neurotransmitters such as serotonin and endorphins and decreases stress hormones: just moving makes us feel better within ourselves.

Think SMARTER – exercise stimulates the release of chemicals such as ‘Nerve Growth Factor’ and Nitric Oxide within the brain which leads to new cell growth and increased blood flow: improving cognitive function.

Just think…adding one or two sessions of exercise to your week can help you perform better at whatever matters to you!

Increased activity helps reduce the risk of almost all major diseases including diabetes, heart disease, depression, even some cancers.

Imagine exercise was a pill, people would be demanding it from their doctors!

Of course some people are concerned about how old injuries or illness could affect their ability to engage in activity, or are worried about picking the right exercise for themselves. This is where professionals such as Osteopaths can help. As experts in the human body, we can help you decide what is suitable activity for you, or help you get over any niggles holding you back.

So if you need us, you know where to find us.

Happy moving!

Matt Penman

Blog compiled by by Matt Penman M.Ost, Head Osteopath at Central Osteopaths


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