From dementia and diabetes to high blood pressure – no pill protects us against ill health like exercise does.
In a world where two-thirds of adults and a third of children in the UK are battling with being overweight or obese, we need a solution for our nation’s health – now more than ever.
But forget the pills – the real magic lies in exercise.
Recent studies reveal it’s not just about avoiding heart attacks or strokes; it’s a holistic wonder drug, defending against everything from diabetes to dementia, obesity, cancer, and even depression. And the best part? If you do it right, there are no side effects (no negatives ones, anyway).
The all-encompassing benefits of exercise
Sure, we all know exercise is good for us, but it’s not just about lowering cholesterol or preventing weight gain. It’s a drug – a natural one – that works on every single element of our physical makeup. From building bigger blood vessels to boosting our immune response, it’s a panacea for our overall well-being.
In a world grappling with a mental health crisis, exercise steps up as a powerful ally. A study published in the British Journal of Sports Medicine found exercise to be 1.5 times more effective than medication or counselling in treating depression, anxiety, and psychological distress.
No wonder they call it a wonder drug.
How much exercise is enough?
So, how much do you need?
It turns out, exercise is like medicine. It needs a prescription – a dosage that gives the best effects for your condition and stage of life.
When it comes to this prescription, we can split exercise into two main camps: aerobic exercise (commonly known as cardio) and strength training (moving heavy stuff – including your own bodyweight).
The guidelines for adults from 19-65 years old are:
- Strength training that works all the major muscle groups – at least twice a week
- At least 150 minutes of moderate intensity activity a week – or 75 minutes of vigorous intensity activity
Simple enough, right?
How to kickstart your exercise journey
Now that you’re sold on the benefits, let’s tackle the real challenge – getting started.
Mental hurdles can be just as daunting as physical ones. Whether it’s a busy schedule, poor health, or just a lack of confidence, we’ve all been there. Here are some simple steps to make exercise less intimidating and more enjoyable:
- Get the green light
Talk to a healthcare professional before you get started to check you’re good to go.
- Get the right guidance
There’s nothing worse than that feeling of standing in the middle of a new gym with no idea what to do next – especially if you’re already anxious about trying something new. This is why all our sessions are coached, with a carefully designed programme to give you the results you want over time – without the information overload or confusion.
- Set realistic goals
Our biggest advice for new members is to just turn up at the gym three or four times a week – we’ll do the rest. Don’t overwhelm yourself by taking on too much at once.
- Work out with friends
Having a small group of people to train with can make all the difference to your confidence and motivation. Going it alone in the gym can be a hard path for a beginner; and 1:1 PT gets pricey quickly at two or three sessions per week. Our Small Group Personal Training hits the sweet spot between price and personalisation – with outstanding results.
- Prioritise rest and recovery
Your body needs time to heal and grow. Get enough sleep, eat enough nutritious food to keep your energy levels up, and don’t hit the gym so hard that you get an injury. And hydrate, hydrate, hydrate: water is your workout buddy.
- Stay consistent
The magic happens when you stick with it, through the dark mornings and aching legs. Be patient: Rome may not have been built in a day, but they were laying bricks every hour.
So, there you have it – the wonder drug you’ve been ignoring. Think about swapping those pills for a pair of trainers and discovering the true power of exercise. Your body will thank you.