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Need to exercise more – get on your bike

What’s your exercise regime? Do you even have one or do good intentions falter under the pressure of work? If exercise falls into the occasional rather than regular category then two reports which have come out in the last month may give you pause for thought.


The first from the World Health Organisation (WHO) says that worldwide a lack of exercise is putting one in four people at risk from a range of conditions including heart disease, some cancers and type-2 diabetes. More worryingly, although this global figure is little changed from 2001 the report says that the higher the income country, the more likely we are to be sedentary. For example, in the UK 36% of people (32% men, 40% women) are now classed as being inactive; undertaking less than 150 minutes of moderate activity or 75 minutes of vigorous exercise per week.


What’s the solution? Well it seems as though we may do well to take the lead from the recently concluded Tour of Britain and get on our bikes. A study from America has concluded that people who exercise regularly report 43% fewer days of poor mental health than those who don’t exercise. Perhaps unsurprisingly those taking part in team sports fare best, benefitting from the social aspect of team work as well as the exercise, but cyclists aren’t far behind. So if time pressures and schedules prevent attendance at team practices and matches, then cycling is a good alternative.


Better still, you don’t need to cycle a lot to help your mental health levels. The researchers concluded that 45 minutes of exercise undertaken between three and five times a week is associated with the lowest risk to mental health. Exceed those levels and the researchers say you won’t gain any extra benefit.


With that in mind, in a technology-led always-on world how do we free up enough time to fit in three 45 minute cycles each week? Well, one way is to take a leaf out of the technology book and take some processes online. For example, why spend time in invoicing when payment card information can be taken at the time of booking? Similarly, why spend time in manual filing and retrieving of documents when an online system can make records available at the touch of a button?


Even small tweaks such as these can add up to a measurable time saving. And even if you don’t spend every freed up minute on exercise, the extra free time could be used to enhance your work/life balance. Either way, with work pressures reduced it could go some way towards helping to maintain a healthy lifestyle which in turn brings good mental and physical benefits. And of course, when we feel good then it is far easier to project a positive image which in turn helps those colleagues and clients who we come into contact with on a regular basis.


What’s your exercise regime? Getting on our bikes may not be the right solution for all of us but nevertheless maybe it is time to look again at how we exercise and stand up for the health of the nation.

Combining therapies

We are constantly reminded about the way in which regular exercise can improve our overall health.  Now researchers in America have published the results of a survey of 10,000 people into the benefits of exercise, for those taking statins to lower cholesterol and prevent heart disease.

The researchers found that middle aged people who take regular exercise, such as 150 minutes of brisk walking or cycling per week, are 50% less likely to die in the next ten years than those who take statins and don’t exercise.  Those who combined exercise with statins were 70% less likely to die in a ten year period than those who simply took statins.

The results add to a growing body of evidence on the way in which even modest amounts of exercise can help to lower cholesterol and prevent diseases such as diabetes from developing.  In commenting on the study, Natasha Stewart, senior cardiac nurse at the British Heart Foundation told the Daily Telegraph that the results showed that combining exercise and statins could “provide a winning combination to further improve your heart health, with higher intensity exercise possibly offering more protection.”

It is generally recommended that anyone with high levels of cholesterol or who has lived a sedentary lifestyle take advice from a health practitioner before starting on an exercise programme.  This may not necessarily be the local GP, with many GP practices offering support services for a range of conditions.  As with any health issue it is important to call on the service which is most appropriate and indeed the NHS Choose Well campaign is designed to help patients to choose the service which will meet their needs.

The aim of the Choose Well campaign is to free up A&E departments to concentrate on those who have a critical or life-threatening need whilst ensuring that all patients receive speedy treatment.  For health practitioners such as osteopaths and physiotherapists this may result in patients taking more responsibility for their treatment and calling direct for appointments.

This is where a virtual appointment service such as Clinic Appointments can come in handy. With Clinic Appointments’ trained receptionists taking calls and making appointments, health practitioners can maximise treatment times whilst eliminating missed calls.  So, whether you are treating patients who have responded to Choose Well and made appointments direct or coping with the aftermath of a sudden rise in exercise by the middle aged, you know you can concentrate on what you do best without worrying about diary management or missed calls.

Contact us today to discover how Clinic Appointments can help your clinic. Book your free demo call now to learn more.