It is safe to say that we all know that exercise and keeping healthy is important and that most of understand to, some degree, the reasons for this (such as reducing our risk of heart disease, type 2 diabetes and cancer).

But… did you know that for women, there are even more reasons to keep in shape and keep moving?

Did you know that the average working person in the UK takes circa 6 sickness days per year? However, these absences are not always related to bugs, coughs and colds. For some, these sickness days can relate to other things such as mental health, back problems and other musculoskeletal problems. Those who work in office jobs cannot escape being impacted by health issues. Sitting constitutes physical inactivity and sitting for too long each day or on most days implies having a sedentary lifestyle.

We all know that exercise is good for our physical health, but did you know that exercise is also great for our mental wellbeing?

According to recent statistics from Mind (, approximately 1 in 4 people in the UK will experience a mental health problem each year, and within England, 1 in 6 people report experiencing a common mental health problem (such as anxiety and depression) in any given week.

But what exactly contributes to better mental health?

When it comes to training, most of us have our preferred time of day to get the job done! Some prefer to wake up early to train and some enjoy the evening; whereas some of us do our best to fit it in whenever we can.

But when is the best time to train? Should science dictate our schedules?

As with anything in life, there are always pros and cons to each option which should be considered by each individual.

It’s never too late to start moving! In fact, exercise is beneficial to us all, whatever our age. As we age, inactivity can have a greater impact on our health and can subsequently impact our quality of life.

(There is a happy ending to this one, promise!)

One of the greatest fears for getting older is that we will lose our independence and/or quality of life – both of which can unfortunately take many forms and be caused by a number of factors…

Women’s Health Magazine recently posted and article in which the journalist gave their account of one particular workout they had done and the nasty consequences that followed. In this example, the author’s workout resulted in Rhabdomyolysis – a condition in which damaged muscle tissue breaks down and releases into the blood stream, subsequently impacting the kidneys.

Before we start – I just want to point out that Rhabdomyolysis is RARE. A few hard sessions in the gym or on the bike at home is highly unlikely to get you such a diagnosis. However, it did get me thinking about how much is too much?

Many people at some points in their life will experience phases of not feeling like they have the ability or inclination to be as active as they usually are. Work, family, home pressures can all trigger the stresses that make us feel this way, and as the nation enters coronavirus lockdown there will be many who feel its just not the right time to be hugely active.

Our advice at this time - or any other time of stress - is not to put yourself under un-necessary pressures where it isn’t needed. If you want to use time away from your usual routine to work on your fitness, then that’s great – go you! If you want to reconnect with yourself, your loved ones and are taking one day at a time, then that’s great too. Listen to your body and do whatever is best for you in the here and now - even if that changes on a daily basis.

I think we can all agree, the year 2020 hasn’t got off to the greatest start! In light of recent Governance guidelines, there is likely to be a prolonged period of isolation for those experiencing COVID-19 symptoms, those over 70s, those with underlying health issues or those who are pregnant. The numbers of people working from home will also increase. It is therefore likely that we will all be impacted by COVID-19 in some way or another.

This may seem like the perfect opportunity to binge that Netflix series you keep meaning to watch. Or perhaps polish off those Easter eggs you bought for the kids last week, and promised yourself you wouldn’t touch! But now it is more important than ever to make sure you are taking care of yourself – both physically and mentally.

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