GPS ARE being overwhelmed with problems such as high blood pressure, type 2 diabetes, obesity and raised cholesterols. For many, these problems can be a sign that they have become unfit and out of shape. Doctors prescribe blood pressure lowering medication and cholesterol-lowering statins. However, even small increases in physical activity can bring about huge health benefits.
Physical inactivity is associated with many other health problems including premature ageing, depression, osteoporosis, falls and fractures in the elderly, cancer, increased pain in osteoarthritis and dementia. Physical inactivity is now regarded as the biggest public health problem in developed countries. Whilst modern medicine is keeping people living longer it seems more people are enduring more years with increasing frailty and multiple health problems.
Traditionally doctors have been recommending losing weight, helping people to quit smoking and reduce alcohol but little attention has been paid to the problems of a sedentary lifestyle. But lack of fitness accounts for more premature deaths than smoking, obesity and diabetes. Chief medical officers recommend that people achieve 30 minutes of moderate physical activity on at least five days a week.
The Annat Bank Practice in Montrose is proud to be one of five Tayside practices participating in an NHS pilot to promote physical activity. They will support people who currently take little physical activity but are keen to work towards achieving the recommended daily target.
Physical activity is not about recreational or competitive exercise. It’s about avoiding long periods of sitting and taking moderate activity such as gardening, walking, cycling for at least 10 minutes at a time for a total of 30 minutes a day. Anything is better than nothing.
A spokesman said: “We’re looking for people to give it a go and find ways of building physical activity into their daily routine such as leaving the car behind for short journeys or getting off the bus a few stops earlier. It’s about helping each other by going on family walks or outings, chumming an elderly neighbour for a turn round the block, or joining in a social activity which gets you moving.
“We will help encourage people to set some goals, address any anxieties or bust any myths people have about physical activities. We also hope to be able to signpost people to the rich activity resources available locally.”
The Facebook page is at http://www.facebook.com/AnnatBankPhysicalActivityPage