What should you know about physical activity?
Exercising can help you to manage your weight. Physical activity burns up calories and so helps to create a healthy energy balance. Exercise is essential for everyone for maintaining a healthy weight. Regular physical activity, therefore, helps to prevent overweight and obesity, which, in turn, lowers the risk of many chronic diseases, such as heart disease, type 2 diabetes, stroke and some cancers.
It's medically proven that people who do regular physical activity have:
- up to a 35% lower risk of coronary heart disease and stroke
- up to a 50% lower risk of type 2 diabetes
- up to a 50% lower risk of colon cancer
- up to a 20% lower risk of breast cancer
- a 30% lower risk of early death
- up to an 83% lower risk of osteoarthritis
- up to a 68% lower risk of hip fracture
- a 30% lower risk of falls (among older adults)
Physical does not just have physical benefits. Mentally, it can help to lift your mood, reduce stress, prevent or improve depression and prevent the onset of dementia.
It is therefore vital that you maintain a good level of physical activity no matter what your age is, as it has benefits throughout your life. It is recommended that you do 150 minutes of physical activity over 5 days each week. It doesn’t have to be a vigorous workout and you can find ways to fit physical activity into your daily routine – it may be as simple as walking to and from the shops.
More information can be found at the NHS Choices website.
Where can you go?
The Bracknell Forest Council website provides an A-Z of sports and recreational activities that are available locally. The guide provides links to exercise classes, cycling, swimming and walking to name but a few.
If you are suffering from a long term health condition and would like to learn how to be physically active without causing further harm, your GP can refer you to the Bracknell Forest Activate Health Scheme. The 12 week scheme introduces you to physical activity and shows you the benefits of regular exercise. For further information please visit Activate Health Scheme and fill in an enquiry form.
If you like the open air and would like to undertake moderate exercise that is not too physically demanding then the Bracknell Forest Ramblers’ route offers a 26 mile walking trail around the countryside.
Similarly, the East Berkshire Rambler’s group offers the opportunity to join a group of people who take part in walks throughout the East Berkshire area on Wednesdays and Sundays. For further information please visit the East Berkshire Ramblers’ website.
The Bracknell Forest U3A walking group has two walks a month and range from 4-5 miles to 7-8 miles.
The Bracknell Forest Leisure Centre offers a range of physical activities and facilities for all ages. Three swimming pools, over 60 BodyBeats classes every week, the BodyWorks gym (also offering TeenWorx sessions for years 7 to 11) and the option to hire courts and pitches means that there is something for everyone. For prices can be found in the Bracknell leisure centre price guide.
RunFit Bracknell offer a well-rounded weekly exercise session which aims to get you fit whilst preventing injuries. The sessions include dynamic warm ups, strength and conditioning exercises, technique drills, core strengthening exercises, supported runs to suit all abilities including intervals/hills, static stretching and lots of fun!
Get Berkshire Active is a charity dedicated to delivering improved sporting and physical activity for all. It allows you to search for sports and clubs that are available within and around Bracknell Forest.
Exercise for people with long term conditions
If you have a long term health condition and would like to learn how to be physically active without causing further harm, your GP can refer you to the Bracknell Forest Activate Health Scheme. The 12 week scheme introduces you to physical activity and shows you the benefits of regular exercise. For further information please visit Activate Health Scheme and fill in an enquiry form.
Exercise and activities for people over 50
- Fit for Life offer classes for the over 50’s. These include yoga, swimming, zumba, dance, badminton, short tennis, racquetball, squash, table tennis, keep fit, short mat bowls and splash fit. This is located at the Bracknell Leisure Centre.
- Age UK Berkshire offer Active Living classes around Berkshire.
Contact details for local services
Bracknell Leisure Centre
Tel: 01344 454203
Activate Health Scheme
The Activate Office
Tel: 01344 482255
East Berkshire Ramblers’ Group
Membership and Recruitment Contact: Neil Adamson
Tel: 01753 776627
Bracknell Forest U3A Walking Group
Open Learning Centre
Tel: 01344 457427
Get Berkshire Active
Bisham Abbey National Sports Centre
Tel: 01628 472851