- Physical activity ranges from competitive sport and exercise, to everyday activities like walking and housework
- Any movement that makes you feel warm and slightly out of breath is classed as physical activity
- Activity and exercise form part of a healthy lifestyle
- Helps manage and maintain weight
Benefits of exercising
There are many benefits of exercising more, these are just a few.
- encourages healthy growth and development in childhood
- helps maintain a healthy weight
- keeps your heart healthy by reducing blood pressure, and reducing the risk of heart disease and stroke
- strengthens bones and muscles and reduces the risk of osteoporosis
- can help to prevent Type 2 diabetes
- makes you feel happier and more energised
How much exercise should I be doing?
It’s recommended that all adults do at least two hours and 30 minutes of moderate intensity activity (such as brisk walking or cycling) or 75 minutes of vigorous intensity activity (such as running) each week. You can do your physical activity on a single day or you can break it up over several days. For example, you could aim to do at least 30 minutes of moderate intensity physical activity, five times a week. You don't even have to do it all in one go – if you prefer, try three ten minute bursts of activity spread throughout the day.
The activity can be anything that gets you out of breath and raises your heart rate. If you feel warm and slightly out of breath, your heart is working slightly harder, meaning your cardiovascular fitness will improve.
You may already be doing this, but here's some ways to include exercise in your everyday routines. Going the extra distance by using the stairs instead of the lift, getting off the bus a stop earlier or parking your car in the furthest spot and walking the rest of the way. Household chores, cleaning windows, vacuuming cleaning, dusting and gardening. Taking a short brisk walk at lunch or playing with your children in the park!
Walking and Cycling
Walking is a great way to get out and about, either on your own or walking the dog, and can be a good opportunity to meet up with friends and family. You can also explore and learn more about your local area.
If you fancy walking a dog but don’t have one, why not volunteer at the local dog rescue centre as a dog walker? Live in a city? Don’t let this stop you; there are lots of interesting walks in urban areas and who knows, you may discover some local hidden gems – a café serving gluten free could be lurking just around the corner! A wide range of walking routes and maps can be found on the Ramblers website.
Go further and discover the National Cycle Network – around 12,600 miles of cycling and walking routes in the UK. Cycling to work, college or school is an easy way to incorporate activity into your day, saving money and also helping the environment.
Eating a well balanced, varied gluten free diet, which includes a wide range of foods, will make sure that you’re getting all the nutrients you need to perform well at whichever sport you choose.
If you are training for a sporting event, adequate nutrition is essential.
Carbohydrates are the most important sources of fuel for sporting activities and the timing and type of carbohydrate consumed is essential – 50% of energy should come from carbohydrates. If you train on a regular basis, you need to make sure that you eat enough carbohydrates to avoid fatigue and reduced performance.
Good sources of gluten free carbohydrates for basing meals on are:
- gluten free bread*
- gluten free pasta*
- rice and rice noodles
- pulses (peas, beans, lentils)
*check our food and drink directory for suitable products.
It’s important to make sure you are well hydrated before exercising. If you’re dehydrated when exercising, you may not perform as well as you could. During exercise you lose fluid through sweating as your body tries to prevent a sudden increase in body temperature. How much fluid you need and when depends on you and your training plan.
After doing exercise, your body muscle glycogen levels will be depleted and will need replenishing with carbohydrates. Refuelling post exercise is essential to reduce fatigue and enhance your future performance. It should begin as soon as possible after exercise. Most sports drinks don't contain gluten, but make sure you check the ingredients, especially on cloudy and powdered drinks as they could use wheat or barley in the ingredients.