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Updated 09 October 2017

No time for exercise? Just move more

Exercise doesn't have to be a structured event in order to for you to reap the benefits. You can keep healthy by simply staying active.

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It is common knowledge that exercise is beneficial for your health.

But if you hate the gym or any form of exercise, we have good news for you.

Scientists are discovering that if you keep moving, you can enjoy health benefits throughout your life, especially later on.

Active people had lower risk of metabolic syndrome

According to a study published in the British Journal of Sports Medicine, people over 60 who stayed active in their everyday lives – even without participating in a formal exercise programme – had a lower risk of developing metabolic syndrome. This syndrome can lead to diabetes, heart disease or heart attack, and even death.

The study participants' waistlines were trimmer and their cholesterol was lower. The men in particular also had lower levels of insulin and blood sugar.

The kinds of activities cited in the study included things like gardening and taking care of your car.

Several other benefits

Being active on a regular basis also benefits everyday living. It can help you fall asleep faster, be more energised during the day, and boost concentration – all of which make work and play much more satisfying.

So, if you've slowly turned into a couch potato, it's time to get up and get moving. You'll have a happier outlook and greater quality of life.

But what if you have a physical condition, like arthritis, that makes it harder to get off the sofa? Physical activity actually helps with both osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis. It's OK to start slowly and add movement as you get more comfortable, researchers say. Be consistent and, over time, you'll have less pain and move more easily.

Start moving

Right, so you realised that you are never going to use that gym membership – so what can you do to move more in your daily life? We have a couple of ideas:

1. Take the stairs

Stop waiting for the elevator and rather take a flight of stairs. This will be enough to raise your heartbeat significantly.

2. Spring-clean

A thorough cleaning session can burn a significant amount of kilojoules. Put on comfortable clothes, grab that vacuum cleaner and start moving.

3. Walk to your brunch-spot

If you are in the habit of having coffee or breakfast at the corner cafe in your neighbourhood, spare yourself the stress of looking for a parking spot. Walk there.

4. Tend to your garden

Are those weeds starting to take over? Get out there and do some gardening.

Image credit: iStock

 
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