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Spring into action!


Ah…spring. Can you smell it?


Yes, there’s the heady scent of jasmine and blossoms in the air, but underneath all that is the glorious aroma of sweaty gym socks.


If you’re not catching that wonderful waft, you should be. Because spring isn’t just the time that mother nature refreshes herself, but time for us all to do a little spring cleaning by brushing off the cobwebs of winter and reviving mind and body with invigorating exercise.


It’s a fact that just 30 minutes of moderate-intensity aerobic activity 5 days a week delivers significant health benefits.


What’s 30 minutes really? That’s less than the time it takes (realistically!) to make Jamie’s 30 minute meals, to scan your Facebook and Twitter feeds, or watch an episode of Downton Abbey.


And if you break those 30 minutes down into three 10 minute bursts of activity, it’s even more manageable.


Physical inactivity is a major risk factor for lifestyle diseases. You know, serious illnesses that aren’t contagious but rather occur as a result of the lifestyle choices we make every day.


These diseases include heart disease, strokes and even some cancers – the diseases you most often claim for under your critical illness cover.


It’s estimated around 14.2 million people between the ages of 30-69 years die prematurely each year from these diseases.


According to the Heart and Stroke Foundation, physical activity:

  • Improves your quality of life

  • Reduces your risk of heart disease, strokes, type 2 diabetes and metabolic syndrome

  • Strengthens your bones and muscles

  • Improves your mental health and mood, and acts as a stress reliever

  • Delays and in some cases, prevents, chronic illnesses associated with aging

  • Increases immunity

  • Increases your longevity


The foundation describes moderate intensity aerobic activity as any activity that requires a moderate amount of effort, and causes a noticeable increase in your heart rate and a light sweat. You should be able to talk but not sing while doing these kinds of activities.


The best part is, you don’t have to go the gym to do them. Try these simple but effective activities (or a combination of them) for 30 minutes every day:

  • Brisk walking

  • Dancing

  • Slow cycling

  • Water aerobics

  • Walking the dog

  • Actively playing sports with your children, like rugby, soccer or cricket

  • Household chores done at a pace, like sweeping, mopping and dusting


Go on, make exercise part of your daily routine this season.


It’ll put more than just a spring in your step!

Read more

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