Folk encouraged to get active

Next week is Scotland’s first national physical activity awareness week, and NHS Shetland is joining in with various activities on offer to raise awareness of the importance of physical activity.

On Monday people are invited to take their trainers into work in order to join in a lunchtime walk at the Clickimin track at 12.30pm.

Organisers are urging everybody to just come along. They will then meet up to form groups, which can choose their route and whether to walk or jog.

The walk is one of the challenges NHS Shetland’s health improvement team is offering to get people active – another is a skipping challenge. Enter a team of five to complete two minutes of skipping each and turn up at Gilbertson Park games hall, just drop in anytime between noon and 2pm. To enter a team contact Lauren Peterson on (01595) 807493 or email lauren.peterson@nhs.net

Another activity is the 2014 step count challenge.

The local health improvement team also wants to make people aware of recommended physical activity levels.

Adults should be aiming to do 30 minutes of exercise (which can be done in 10 minute bouts), on at least five days a week.

Activity should be done at a moderate intensity.

This will cause you to get warmer, breathe a little harder and your heart beat a little faster. One way to tell if you are working at a moderate intensity is if you can still talk, but not able to sing the words of a song.

Health improvement practitioner Lauren Peterson said: “Regular physical activity is one of the most important things you can do for your health. It doesn’t matter what age, shape or size you are, or what ability you have, everybody can benefit from being physically active.”

Doing anything for 10 minutes or more which makes your heart beat a little harder will be beneficial to your health. This might include things like going for a walk, doing some gardening, having a game of badminton, going for a swim or even doing the housework.

There are numerous direct health benefits of meeting these recommendations as well as it helping to maintain a healthy weight and improve mental health and self-esteem.

Many aches and pains improve with gentle, general exercise – your body likes to move, and after injury (this does not include chest pain while exercising which should be assessed by a doctor more urgently) it is best to get going as soon as you can.

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