It’s never too late to start, for some people it will be about getting up and down from their chair more often and building up activity levels from that and for some it maybe about getting off the sofa, going for a brisk 10 minute walk to get the heart rate up and get a little bit out of breath. For other people it could be about returning to an activity they used to enjoy or trying something completely new.
The campaign is being launched by Cornwall Council’s Public Health team and it aims to get people moving more and sitting less. It is all part of the Wellbeing and Public Health service Physical Activity strategy objective to get 50,000 more people to be more active by 2020.
Cornwall Council portfolio holder for children wellbeing and public health Sally Hawken said: “The point of the campaign is to get people to think about things they can do as part of their daily activities as it doesn’t necessarily mean being sporty, it can include gardening, walking and even cleaning vigorously…the less time being sat down the better.
“There are many different ways people can get more active, with lots of different organised activities available as well as just stepping outside for a walk on your own or with your family and friends. People have found that the benefits extend beyond improved fitness, including a better night’s sleep, improved mental wellbeing and reducing the chances of developing a number of conditions, including high blood pressure and type 2 diabetes.”
The Healthy Cornwall walk in St Austell now has over 100 people regularly getting involved. One of the participants Desna King said: “The activity is about the wellbeing as well, not just the walking. You’re fitter, I’ve lost weight but also I’ve made some really nice friends, we all go for coffee afterwards. I never feel a problem going on my own because I know people. I’m a widower and I live on my own so it just makes a difference to me getting up in the mornings and getting out.”
Councillor Sally Hawken added: “Cornwall has lots of beautiful places you can be active for free so I’d encourage everyone to take advantage of our countryside, all you need is a comfy pair of shoes. As a guideline, adults should aim to be active for 150 minutes a week, meaning periods of time where you are out of breath, but can still hold a conversation.
“If you do vigorous exercise like running or cycling or using the gym then you should aim to do 75 minutes a week. It is also important to try some muscle strengthening exercise and balance exercises like yoga or pilates.”
More information on being more active can be found on the Health Cornwall website https://www.healthycornwall.org.uk/getyours