Fitness trends come and go, and the nation is embracing the benefits of keeping fit if the inclusion of gym wear in the latest RPI/CPI basket of goods says anything. Possibly the fact that, recently, scientific research has determined that being super fit is likely to stave off dementia is just another reason for fitting a few work outs into our weekly routines.
Research studies in Sweden have found that for women it’s particularly helpful to have high levels of cardio in their midlife – and a result that you’re 90% less likely to develop dementia. That in itself a good enough reason to keep going to the gym.
In the 1950s, a research study was carried out by Professor Jerry Morris on bus drivers and bus conductors and the findings were that bus drivers had twice the risk of getting heart disease than the conductors as theirs was a sedentary job. As I sit at my desk it’s a stark reminder – get moving!
I know I am not alone in noticing that the days I do PT, walk to work, head to Fierce Grace for yoga (not all on the same day!) I make clearer decisions, am a nicer person to be around, and also I have much more energy. My sleep patterns (closely monitored by my Fitbit) are confirmation of a healthy sleep.
So how much exercise does one have to do? I suppose the answer is to do as much as you can, some regular HIIT sessions every week or upping the daily step-count goal, making time to get to a pool or jogging to the office from the station rather than stepping on the tube. I often exercise with friends, and there is no doubt that being with others encourages me to push myself harder, not being tempted to put it off until the rain has passed or it has got a bit warmer outside! And it is especially beneficial if I have had a jam packed day.
Exercise is “A ‘wonder drug’ that cuts the risk of dementia, cancer and heart disease by more than a third… better than many existing medicines, has no side-effects and it’s free.”(Royal College of Medicine).