Get active – off your ass and DO IT

The benefits of being active for physical and mental health are huge.
Being active helps release chemicals in your brain (endorphins), which
have a positive effect on your mood, not to mention the benefits to
your heart, lungs, muscles and bones. Getting out and being active is
also a great way to manage stress.

Physical activity is for everyone.

Regular physical activity can help you reduce the risk of developing
diabetes, high blood pressure, heart disease and cancer. For children
and young people being active helps reduce their risk of developing
these diseases in later life too. Increased levels of physical
activity will help reduce body fat and maintain a healthy weight.

Being active is fun for all the family. Research shows that children
whose parents are active are more than 5 times as likely to be active
than those whose parents are not.

For more health benefits, you should increase your aerobic activity to
60 minutes a day of moderate activity five days a week.

Any level of activity is better for health than none.

How active should I be?

Children and young people
How much? At least 60 minutes moderate intensity activity.
How often? Every day of the week.
What counts? All activity no matter how short counts.

Children and young people with disabilities
How much? At least 60 minutes moderate intensity activity or as much
as ability allows.
How often? Every day of the week.
What counts? All activity no matter how short counts.

Adults
How much? At least 30 minutes moderate intensity activity.
How often? 5 days a week.
What counts? Short bouts of at least 10 minutes can be accumulated.

People with disabilities
How much? At least 30 minutes moderate intensity activity, or as much
as ability allows.
How often? 5 days a week.
What counts? Short bouts of at least 10 minutes can be accumulated.

Older people
How much? At least 30 minutes moderate intensity activity, or as much
as ability allows.
How often? 5 days a week.
What counts? Short bouts of at least 10 minutes can be accumulated.

Examples of moderate intensity activity
▪ Brisk walking – one mile in 15 – 20 minutes;
▪ Water aerobics;
▪ Cycling slower than ten miles per hour;
▪ Ballroom dancing;
▪ General gardening;
▪ Brisk hovering;
▪ Tennis (doubles).

Resources to help you get active your way!
Getting active doesn’t have to be expensive or a chore. Visit
www.getirelandactive.ie to find out what you can do to get active in
your local area. It has lots of tips on how to get started and get
more active, and information on clubs, groups and activities in your
area.

You can also visit www.healthpromotion.ie for a booklet on physical activity.

PS At DCU last Friday, there was an excellent Research Day on Diabetes
and one take home message is that exercise – even the small amounts
listed here have a good effect on glucose tolerance and make you live
longer and more healthily. Also Blueberry skins are good for glucose
tolerance and should be bought of you can afford it.