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Health advice from the West Berkshire Public Health and Wellbeing Team

FITTING some physical activity into your day is easier than you think.

To stay healthy or to improve health, you need to do two types of physical activity each week – aerobic and strength exercises.

Around one in two women and a third of men in England are damaging their health through a lack of physical activity.

Twenty-four per cent of adults in West Berkshire do less than 30 minutes of physical activity a week, so are classified as ‘inactive’.

Being active is really good for your body, mind and health; it can reduce your risk of major illnesses, such as heart disease, stroke, type 2 diabetes and cancer by up to 50 per cent and lower your risk of early death by up to 30 per cent.

It doesn’t have to cost money and has an immediate effect.

There are lots of easy ways you and your family can get moving in West Berkshire, including a free beginners running programme called Run Together West Berkshire (visit www.westberks.gov.uk/runtogether for more information and to view the timetable).

Runners have a great deal of fun, making new friends and getting to know the local area.

The beginners’ running sessions are not only an ideal way to improve fitness, they are a great opportunity to meet new people and enjoy the outdoors.

The weekly sessions are free of charge and 90 per cent of participants surveyed strongly agreed that running together has helped them achieve their health and wellbeing goals.

One Newbury woman who took up running with the group, said: “Running with the Wednesday group is really good fun.

“Nobody is under pressure to do more than they are capable of and I love the way it makes me feel – both physically and mentally.

“I have so much energy now that I run and it's a great way to let off steam.

“At my age (70) I know I’m racing against the clock and running with people younger than me, but it offers me a way to challenge myself.

“Why don't you come along? You can only benefit by joining our group.”

Brisk walking can also benefit your health in so many different ways. Did you know that walking briskly for just 10 continuous minutes counts as exercise? It’s easier than you think to fit into your day.

West Berkshire Walking for Health (www.westberks.gov.uk/ wfh) offers regular walks for people of all abilities.

The walks are friendly and welcoming, a great opportunity to explore the outdoors, discover new places and meet new people.

Specially-trained volunteers lead the way and make sure no one gets left behind.

It’s easy to start walking.

Walks are free and easy, ranging from 30 to 90 minutes, so they can easily be fitted in as part of your everyday routine.
Some stop for coffee afterwards, a good opportunity to socialise and relax after the walk.

Find out about other opportunities to be active including cycling, sports and leisure opportunities near you by visiting www.westberks.gov.uk/physicalactivity.

Start the fight back to a healthier you.

Get a free personalised health score when you complete a 10-minute quiz at www.nhs.uk/ oneyou#wJtfxYfKccEImIRw.99

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