Appendix 1 The Busy Doctors Guide to Exercise guidance

 busy guide to exercise

Key messages

  • Physical inactivity KILLS MORE THAN SMOKING, DIABTES and OBESITY combined.

  • Psychological well-being is the commonest comment made on feedback questionnaires by individuals who start increasing activity.

  • A ‘fit and fat’ person has a lower risk of adverse health problems and death than an ‘unfit thin’ person.

  • The paradigm of sitting - that too much sitting or prolonged inactive muscle use, increases the risk of obesity, metabolic syndrome, type 2 diabetes, cardiovascular disease risk, cancer and total mortality, which is independent of daily moderate to vigorous intensity physical activity

 starting to exercise

More detailed advice on Starting to Exercise from:


For fuller details of how to learn how to do MI see here: 

Appendix 2   Getting Started

Increasing physical activity for many is difficult and we need encouragement and ideas that can help us integrate into daily life.

There are many ways of increasing activity and walking is one of the easiest ways. If 30 minutes all at once seems too much then try short bouts during the day:

  • Leave the car at home for short trips to shops or friends.

  • Walk to school with the children when you can.

  • Park the car when used, at the far side of a car park.

  • If commuting, get off the train or bus one or two stops early to fit in a walk to work.

  • If you work in a large office, walk to talk to colleagues rather than use the phone.

  • At home or work if you have a cordless phone, walk and talk.

  • Avoid lifts and escalators – use the stairs.

  • Meet friends for a walk.

  • Use an exercise bike whist watching TV; don’t store it in the spare room!

 Around the house many jobs involve activity and can help get you going.

  • Cleaning and polishing furniture, floors and windows.

  • Cutting the grass or the hedge.

  • Brushing the yard or raking up leaves.

  • Washing and polishing the car by hand.

  • DIY – carpentry, sanding, painting, building etc

There are many other activities that can be taken up and it is most important to find a form of physical activity that is enjoyable and achievable.

  • Walking – walk with a friend or join a walking group. Walk4life has information on local walks and walking groups for many areas.

  • Cycling – many cycle ways have or are being developed across the UK and is a fun activity for all the family.

  • Dance – increasingly popular, enjoyable and social with many alternative types such as salsa, zumba, line dancing and ballroom.

  • Swimming – traditional fun for the family and water aerobics for some.

  • Golf – 18 holes is five miles on most courses.

  • Tennis, squash, badminton – many clubs and courts all around the country for fun and competition.

  • Football – the nation’s most popular sport, but get out with your children and kick a ball again.

  • Yoga and Pilates – excellent activities for flexibility, core strength and posture to relieve and prevent many back problems.

Remember all activity counts


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