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  1. ITV Report

Menkind: Keeping active and getting into shape for the New Year

Being more active and getting fit are traditionally new year resolutions. Credit: ITV News Anglia

The start of a new year is traditionally the time we take a close look at our lifestyles and make pledges to be more active and get fitter.

Weight is a big topic the whole year round now and obesity levels are particularly high in men, especially those over the age of 55.

When it comes to eating healthily, men are particularly bad with less than a quarter of them managing to get their five a day fruit and veg.

It is estimated that physical inactivity contributes to one in six deaths in the UK which is equal to the deaths caused by smoking. It costs the UK economy £7.3 billion annually.

Our population is around 20% less active that we were in the 1960s.

The UK population is 20% less active that it was in the 1960s. Credit: Dinendra Haria/Zuma Press/PA Images

The Department of Health says being active daily can reduce the risk of heart disease, stroke and diabetes.

It also helps with maintaining a healthy weight, can improve self-esteem and reduces the symptoms of depression and anxiety.

The government's Chief Medical Officer recommends adults do at least 2½ hours of moderate actively a week which would include brisk walking or cycling.

Alternatively you could do 75 minutes of vigorous activity a week with activities such as running, swimming or playing football.

Former Norwich City footballer Darren Eadie knows how hard keeping fit can be. Credit: ITV News Anglia

"My job needed me to be on top form so I trained hard to get myself in peak fitness.

"I’d often push myself to the extreme and would end up working myself too hard, but since I’ve retired from football I have found it extremely difficult to motivate myself and keep myself in good condition.

"I totally get how hard it can be."

– Darrie Eadie, former Norwich City footballer
Goodgym runners on a evening jog around Norwich. Credit: ITV News Anglia

Department of Health physical activity guidelines for adults under 65

Guidance from the Chief Medical Office (CMO) on how much physical activity people should be doing. Individual physical and mental capabilities should be considered when interpreting the guidelines.

  • Adults should aim to be active daily. Over a week, activity should add up to at least 150 minutes (2½ hours) of moderate intensity activity in bouts of 10 minutes or more – one way to approach this is to do 30 minutes on at least 5 days a week.
  • Alternatively, comparable benefits can be achieved through 75 minutes of vigorous intensity activity spread across the week or combinations of moderate and vigorous intensity activity.
  • Adults should also undertake physical activity to improve muscle strength on at least two days a week.
  • All adults should minimise the amount of time spent being sedentary (sitting) for extended periods.
The Department of Health recommended people of all ages remain active. Credit: Martin Rickett/PA Archive/PA Images

Department of Health physical activity guidelines for adults over 65

Guidance from the Chief Medical Office (CMO) on how much physical activity people should be doing. Individual physical and mental capabilities should be considered when interpreting the guidelines.

  • Older adults who participate in any amount of physical activity gain some health benefits, including maintenance of good physical and cognitive function. Some physical activity is better than none, and more physical activity provides greater health benefits.
  • Older adults should aim to be active daily. Over a week, activity should add up to at least 150 minutes (2½ hours) of moderate intensity activity in bouts of 10 minutes or more – one way to approach this is to do 30 minutes on at least 5 days a week.
  • For those who are already regularly active at moderate intensity, comparable benefits can be achieved through 75 minutes of vigorous intensity activity spread across the week or a combination of moderate and vigorous activity.
  • Older adults should also undertake physical activity to improve muscle strength on at least two days a week.
  • Older adults at risk of falls should incorporate physical activity to improve balance and co‑ordination on at least two days a week.
  • All older adults should minimise the amount of time spent being sedentary (sitting) for extended periods
Over a week, activity should add up to at least 2½ hours of moderate activity. Credit: Joel Ryan/PA Archive/PA Images

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