Keep active, stay well
What can I do to improve my physical health?
Being active regularly has countless benefits for our physical and mental health. Good physical health can be seen simply as our body functioning at its peak performance. Furthermore physical activity enriches our concentration, allowing improved performance at work and enhances that special feel-good factor increasing happiness and energy levels.
- Exercise. The body needs to be physically active. We must take time out of the day to exercise to keep our body healthy.
- Eat healthily. Diet is hugely important in fuelling our body. We need to eat regularly and we need to eat nutritiously. Being careful what we eat by avoiding sugars and fatty foods that make it harder for our body to function optimally.
- Rest. This helps our body recover after hard work, heavy exertion and during difficult times. It is a highly important aspect of physical activity which allows your body to recuperate to grow stronger. Without this excessive demands can lead to burnout.
- Hygiene. Good personal hygiene helps protect against illness and infection and definitely makes you a nicer person to be around!
- Wellbeing. Negative emotions and extreme stress can tire our body and makes it easier to catch an illness. Staying emotionally well keeps us in peak condition.
- Avoid smoking, alcohol and recreational drugs or substances.
Move Imperial leads several fun and engaging programmes
Impetus is a free participation program that allows staff and students to enjoy a wide range of sport on a daily basis across campus. The programme also provides free coaching to anyone new to support so you can enjoy learning a new sport. The focus is all about fun making friends and getting active.
Active lifestyle team
The active lifestyle team organise a range of activities that prioritise fun and fitness over competition to make sure that sport is no barrier to anyone who wants to stay in shape. The active lifestyle team offers free classes such as Zumba, Boxing, Les Mills and outdoor fitness sessions, free health assessment and advice on exercise programs, nutritional advice, personal training and postural assessments.
30 minutes of physical activity a day
Exercise isn’t always about lifting the heaviest weight or training to run marathons. It is important to remember that exercise can be a simple activity that gets the heart beating a little faster, increases our body temperature and quickens the breathing. Therefore our 30 minutes of physical activity can be accumulated through a variety of activities, for example:
- House work – hoovering, dusting etc.
- DIY – painting etc.
- Gardening – mowing the grass, sowing the lawn
- Active commuting – cycling, walking, rollerblading and skateboarding
- Everyday activities – walking the dog, walking to and from the station instead of catching a bus, or even getting off the bus or tube a stop earlier
- Sports – football, basketball, rugby, tennis
- Exercise – dance, aerobics, spinning, swimming, weights, yoga or pilates
These activities when performed for a minimum of 10 minutes at a time (to ensure we are getting health benefits from the activity) will provide a range of health benefits including:
- Improved heart and lung function – the transport of oxygen around the body
- Improved blood pressure
- Improved balance, muscle strength and flexibility
- Good core stability which can prevent and manage lower back injuries
- Elevated mood, through the release of endorphins
- Helps improve sleep
- Help weight management, when combined with a healthy diet
- Helps manage stress levels
- Can be a treatment and recovery from mild/moderate depression and anxiety
Overall, physical activity can improve health and reduce the risk of developing a range of diseases including diabetes, cancer and cardiovascular disease. Exercise can have instant and long-term health benefits. Moreover, it can improve your quality of life.