Local heart and stroke charity Croí and Mayo PCCC, HSE West are encouraging everyone to get out and get active during Mayo Healthy Living Month which takes place during May.
A number of guided walks are being organised which are especially geared towards encouraging individuals who do not usually get moving to be more active. These walks are taking place in Tourmakeady, Castlebar, Westport and Moore Hall and further details are available on www.croi.ie and www.mayotrails.ie or contact Anna Connor, walking development officer, on 094 904 7545. These walks should appeal to all levels of fitness.
This week Jane Windle, senior physiotherapist, Croí MyAction programme encourages you to get more active for a healthy life.
The current national guidelines for physical activity to maintain your health are to do 30 minutes of moderate intensity exercise five times a week.
Physical activity includes any bodily movement which uses large muscle groups that substantially increases energy expenditure, eg hoovering, mowing the lawn, climbing stairs. Exercise is a subset of physical activity which is structured and targeted at improving physical fitness eg brisk walking, cycling, and swimming. So, although it is important to schedule exercise into your life, daily activities do count; however the activity needs to be continuous for at least 10 minutes otherwise it will not contribute towards your heart health.
The key to making your exercise effective is to work at the right intensity for you. The “talk test” is the simplest measure, at moderate intensity you should be able to talk but in short sentences, if you can chat away endlessly you need to increase your pace or effort, if you can hardly speak a word then you need to slow down.
Exercising regularly has many health benefits including improved cardiovascular fitness, reducing blood pressure, lowered resting heart rate, control of blood sugar levels, reduction in breast and colon cancer, improved flexibility, stress relief and maintenance of a healthy weight; the list goes on. A pretty good incentive to get active.
Top tips to increase your physical activity:
Split activities into 10 minute slots – it is much more achievable and you can build it up slowly as your fitness improves.
Add activity to your daily routine – Take the stairs instead of the lift etc. This activity all adds to your daily calorie burn but needs to be continuous for at least 10 minutes to improve your heart health.
Choose activities that you enjoy.
For more information contact Jane Windle, senior physiotherapist, Croí MyAction. Tel: 091 893500.