Obesity and Exercise

Obesity now affects 1 in 4 British adults. It’s estimated that half of the population could be obese by 2050. One key explanation for these figures is a lack of engagement in physical activity. Very few of us are meeting the governments’ recommendations for physical activity- currently at 150 minutes per week. Being overweight or obese comes with many complications including increasing your risk of several serious health conditions such as type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure and cancer. Being obese isn’t good news for your digestive health either and can make conditions such as heartburn and constipation worse.

To highlight World Obesity Awareness Week this week, we have put together some practical exercise tips in order to help you keep a healthy weight or to help you shift the extra pounds.

Engaging in moderate intensity physical activity.

Moderate intensity physical activity is any form of exercise that requires moderate amounts of effort and increases your heart and breathing rate. This is the type of exercise that the Department of Health (DOH) recommends that we do 150 minutes of each week.  Typical examples of this exercise include:

  • Swimmingrunning
  • Jogging
  • Brisk walking
  • Dancing
  • Tennis

However, you don’t have to be ready to run a marathon to achieve this level of physical activity. You can often reach the same level of exercise by doing things as simple as daily household tasks. For example, a 40 year old adult weighing 75 kg can burn 135 calories just by doing some ironing for 1 hour.

Exercise calorie calculators are useful tools to keep track of how many calories you are burning by taking part in activities from running a marathon to mowing the lawn. You can find one example here on the British Heart Foundation website.

The NHS also provides helpful advice on how to lose weight safely through increasing exercise. You may want to consider taking part in their couch to 5k programme which is a beginners running plan. There are some really inspiring stories on their website too.