Building Exercise into Your Life

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Nutrition Scientist, Joanna MacMillan-Price, recommended building some activity into your life every day. That way you’ll soon be much more active and get all of the health benefits with little effort.

Health benefits of exercise

Increases circulation
Reduces cholesterol levels
Reduces risk of heart disease and certain cancers
Reduces symptoms of arthritis
Increases mobility and strength as we age
Helps us to fight depression and mood swings
May slow the aging process


To check if you are moving enough, you can use a device called a pedometer that measures the number of steps that you take during the day. Wear the pedometer for a week to find out how many steps you are actually taking, and then aim to increase that number by about 30% every day. The average person only walks 2000-3000 steps a day, which is well under the 7,500 steps required for good health. 

Increasing your steps

Take your dog for a walk.
Park further away from the office or shops and walk the rest of the way.
Don’t phone office colleagues at work, get up from your desk and speak to them directly.
Walk the kids to school.
Use the stairs instead of the lift.
Don’t use the remote control all the time.

Exercise and pregnancy

The sorts of activities that Joanna discussed are not only safe, but very beneficial throughout pregnancy. However, pregnancy is not a time to take up new forms of exercise. With more strenuous forms of exercise, you can keep doing what you were doing before, but you might have to make a few changes throughout your pregnancy. The bottom line is that if you stay active, both you and your baby will benefit.

Exercise regularly

What’s really important is not how much exercise you’re doing, but the fact that you’re doing it regularly. It might not feel like it makes much difference on any particular day, but very soon it all adds up. So, as the saying goes, take exercise regularly, not seriously.

Further information

Pedometers are available at sports and electronics stores for around $35-$70 each.