Dear Reader,This is a 2012 Article, click here to read the most recent blog posts of Jacqueline Harvey London Personal Trainer, Author & Lifestyle Consultant.What a mind-blowing summer of sporting activity we’ve had the pleasure to witness in London! The Games surpassed all expectations and delivered a stunning display of exceptional fitness. I managed to see the Brownlee brothers win the triathlon in Hyde Park – you never quite get a sense of the strength required to perform in endurance events until you see it live … the atmosphere and support from the crowd was truly elevating.
And just when we thought Team GB could not bring more to the table, earlier this month, Andy Murray showed true guts and determination in winning the US Open – I think we are going to have a rough time of it this Autumn naming the Sports Personality of the Year – can you really pick between Murray, Ellie Simmons, Bradley Wiggins, Jessica Ennis, Mo Farrah, Chris Hoy or David Weir?
I found the level of commitment and sacrifice many of the athletes endured just to make it to the Games and perform their hearts out to win particularly touching – there was something very refreshing and clean about the Games that was infectious. Even the media gave up on their usual cynical pushing the latest celebrity crash stories and politician-bashing. For a short time we were blessed with images of women’s bodies of all shapes and sizes without being constantly judged on their attractiveness or cosmetically enhanced appearance. Instead they were simply respected for their talents, in peak health – if only things could remain like this …
Get moving to improve your health!
One message that really sang out from the summer is that we, the public could definitely do more exercise – did you not feel inspired to get fit after seeing the athletes’ achievements? If not, maybe the latest round of studies on working out may help to convince you.
In Brazil scientists have made a study of 122 countries, which is approximately 89% of the earth’s population, and have estimated that our lack of exercise may be responsible for approximately 10% of global yearly deaths – the same figure caused by smoking! The UK, along with Japan and Serbia, were amongst those countries at the top of the least active countries – the US was top of this list. Poorer countries in Africa, Asia and Bangladesh topped the table of the most active, largely due to high levels of manual labour and non-mechanised housework.
Meanwhile ,the New York Times has reported that being fit delays the onset of chronic illness. This large statistical study of medical care in the US found that being or becoming fit in middle-age, even if you hadn’t bothered with it before, helps to reduce the time you live with chronic illnesses – typically only for the last five years of their lives instead of 10, 15 & 20 years for those who were unfit. These illnesses include heart disease, diabetes, Alzheimer’s and colon or lung cancer.
Over the Autumn is the right time to address your activity levels and plan your days to include, if not a full workout, then more walking, stair climbing and less time sitting whenever possible – it’s clear that while being fit will not exempt you from illness, it can delay the onset of many age-related illnesses.
And finally:For those of you who’ve not heard, we had a new arrival to the family in August, baby Isabella, who’s pretty as a picture and growing fast!
Next month I’ll have more on getting a workout routine for the colder months ahead; bye for now.