A weekly column by Dr Miles Langdon of South Lincolnshire Clinical Commissioning Group, addressing topical health issues
As autumn begins, there is sometimes a tendency to batten down the hatches and cut back on exercise.
Yet there’s no need to call time on a more active lifestyle as it really is child’s play for busy mums, families, young people, office workers and older adults to build movement into their lives.
Being physically active is easier than you think, especially if you make it part of your daily routine.
If you are a busy mum, then walking your children to and from school is a good form of exercise if that is possible. Take steps to be active with your child by making a splash in the swimming pool or playing in the garden or park. Why not set up a buggy group with other mums and go on long walks with the children?
If parents are physically active, their children are likely to follow their example and be active too.
Remember that brisk walking for 30 minutes a day is a great form of exercise and, best of all, it’s free!
If you work in an office there are a number of ways you can keep active.
Stand while talking on the telephone and walk over to someone’s desk at work rather than calling them on the phone.
It is always better to take the stairs instead of the lift, or get out of the lift a few floors early then use the stairs.
Go for a brisk walk during your lunch break. Use a pedometer and keep track of how many steps you take.
Try to find different walks, and alternate between them during the week. Build up gradually to walking 10,000 steps a day.
Try to exercise before or after work as well as during your lunch break. Your office may have a gym or you may have access to a nearby swimming pool or squash courts.
So being busy is not always a barrier to leading a more active lifestyle.
You might think being active involves going to the gym, an exercise class or playing a sport but it’s not just that. Just think of it in a more everyday way that incorporates some activity into your daily routine - even simple things like doing more walking.
Being active includes any physical activity that you do, including cleaning the house and gardening, travelling on foot or by bicycle, manual jobs at work as well as sport and activities in your spare time.
Pick activities that you like and that fit easily into your daily routine. Work out what time is best for you to exercise and stick to it. Above all, reduce the amount of time you sit or lie down during the day.