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Movement & Exercise

Movement & Exercise

The Power of Exercise: Transforming Your Health Journey

As a healthcare professional, I often find myself in conversations with patients about the importance of incorporating exercise into their daily routine. It's not just about losing weight or fitting into smaller clothes; it's about enhancing your overall well-being and quality of life. So, why should you consider starting an exercise regimen? Let's explore some compelling reasons together.

Maintaining a Healthy Weight: One of the primary benefits of regular exercise is its ability to help you maintain a healthy weight. By burning calories and building muscle, exercise reduces your risk of chronic diseases such as heart disease, diabetes, stroke, and certain types of cancer. It's not just about the numbers on the scale; it's about nurturing your body and safeguarding your long-term health.

Enhancing Mood and Mental Health: Exercise has a profound impact on our mental well-being. It triggers the release of endorphins, often referred to as the "feel-good" hormones, which can uplift your mood and reduce feelings of anxiety and depression. Incorporating physical activity into your routine can be a powerful tool for managing stress and boosting self-esteem, leading to a more positive outlook on life.

Improving Sleep Quality: Struggling with sleep? Exercise might just be the remedy you need. Regular physical activity helps regulate your sleep patterns, allowing you to fall asleep faster and enjoy more restorative sleep cycles. By promoting relaxation and reducing insomnia symptoms, exercise contributes to better overall sleep quality, which is essential for optimal health and vitality.

Enhancing Physical Function: Exercise should be about feeling good in your own body and being able to move with ease. Whether it's improving flexibility, balance, or bone strength, exercise plays a crucial role in enhancing your physical function and mobility. By engaging in activities like yoga, swimming, or strength training, you can build a resilient body that supports you in all aspects of life.

Boosting Immune Function: In today's world, maintaining a robust immune system is more important than ever. Regular exercise has been shown to boost immune function, helping your body defend against illness and infection. By stimulating circulation and promoting the production of immune cells, exercise strengthens your body's natural defenses, keeping you healthy and resilient.

Fostering Social Connections: Exercise isn't just a solo endeavor; it's an opportunity to connect with others and build meaningful relationships. Whether you join a fitness class, a sports team, or a walking group, exercising in a social setting can enhance your sense of belonging and camaraderie. It's a chance to meet like-minded individuals, share experiences, and support each other on your health journey.

As you contemplate the benefits of exercise, I encourage you to reflect on your own motivations and goals. What do you hope to achieve by incorporating physical activity into your life? Whether it's improving your health, boosting your mood, or connecting with others, remember that every step towards a more active lifestyle is a step towards a healthier, happier you. So, lace up those trainers, step outside, and embrace the transformative power of exercise. Your body and mind will thank you for it.

Exercise & Movement: Where do I start?

  • Start slowly: Give yourself a realistic achievable goal to aim for. There is no point signing straight up for a marathon if you have never run before! Have a think about where you are starting from? Any slight increase in moving your body is a positive step forward. Be kind to yourself.
  • If you are new to exercise, start with low-intensity activities like walking, jogging, or cycling for short periods. Gradually increase the duration and intensity over time as you become fitter.
  • Walking: Could you walk for 15 minutes up the road, before turning to come back home? Where would you fit this half an hour walk into your daily routine? Before work? In the evening? Make it work for you. Is there somebody you could meet to walk with, making you accountable? Or do you prefer to walk alone, perhaps listening to music, a podcast, or the sound of nature around you?

Did you know: Going for a 30-minute walk 5 days of the week has been shown to decrease your risk of mortality by 50%, no matter what age you are! Another fact is, it’s free!

  • Ask yourself What do I enjoy? Exercise doesn’t have to be a chore. Is there a local club or gym class you could join? Perhaps a dance or yoga class you could sign up for? Or does the thought of exercising in public make you shy away? If you would rather stay at home behind closed doors, there are 1000’s of exercise videos available online for every ability. Some good examples to try are “Joe Wick’s 7-minute workouts” or “Yoga with Adriene” on YouTube.
  • Stretch. It is so important to stretch your muscles to prevent injuries. Stretching can also be very relaxing, wringing out tension held in the body. Yoga videos are a great way to do both, keeping your body strong and supple. If you have any old injuries preventing you from doing certain activities, speak to a physio who can set you up on a programme tailored to your ability.
  • Consistency. Try to create a regular exercise routine. Whether it is an everyday routine or a few times a week, write it down and stick to it. 
  • Support. Having somebody to join you for your workouts or signing up to a fitness programme/class can help you to stay motivated and accountable. 

Final Tips

  • Stay Hydrated! Drinking water is crucial when exercising. Try to aim for 2 litres of water per day but be aware that if you are sweating from exercise, you may need to increase this amount. Electrolytes such as Dioralyte sachets and O.R.S. tablets are super for rehydrating and replenishing lost salts after physical exertion.
  • Fuel your body. Certain foods will leave you feeling sluggish and unmotivated. Notice how you feel after certain food types and listen to your body. Try to choose unprocessed, whole foods, increasing your portions of vegetables and fruit in each meal. Consuming protein after a heavy workout will help your muscles to repair and grow.
  • Go easy on yourself! If you try something and you don’t like it immediately, give it a chance before quitting. If something really doesn’t suit you, that is OK, just try something else the next time. We are all different, so don’t compare yourself to others, as difficult as that can be! Find something that puts a smile on your face.


Good luck with your journey, and remember you can always speak to your pharmacist, a doctor, physiotherapist, psychotherapist, or other healthcare professional if you are struggling.

If you have a chronic health issue and are concerned about your ability to exercise safely, please speak to your pharmacist or your doctor.


For people living with chronic, long-term illnesses ask your GP or pharmacist about how to get referred to ExWell Medical.

ExWell Medical offers community-based supervised exercise classes, as well as home programmes to people with many different long-term illnesses.

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