Physical Activity and the Olympics

Britain’s hosting of the London 2012 Olympics has clearly had an effect on the nation’s attitude towards health and fitness. What exactly are the benefits of exercise on your health and how can we make sure this knowledge is spread? Watch to find out…

Physical activity is obviously important, because it’s the key to good health. It’s been shown that becoming physically active is more important than taking any medication to help you live a longer, happier and more enjoyable life.

There’s now been research showing that people who take two and a half hours of moderate to vigorous exercise a week actually have lower inflammatory markers in the blood. In other words, Lower CRP and lower IL-6 levels. This suggests that it’s not just their hearts that could benefit; it’s everything about aging that could be slowed down if you just become that little bit more active.

This is going to happen as a result of having the Olympics in London in 2012. Every kid wants to wield a tennis racket and take up exotic sports but I think if we do nothing more, then that enthusiasm will quickly wane and we’ll get nothing.

I’m very enthused about the idea of a multi-strand approach, and there’s a recent paper, which I absolutely love, in the British Journal of Sports Medicine. It’s called Seven Best Investments for Physical Activity.

I really love this article; one reason is because it’s only four pages long. But the second reason is because it’s full of common sense. Common sense on doing things on many different levels.  It doesn’t just point the finger at one segment like schools or GPs who aren’t encouraging their patients to be more active.

I think it’s going to need also mass media campaign and one that lasts long enough, that isn’t just a flash in the pan. On the other hand, to get everybody moving and get everybody benefiting from physical activity, we do actually all have to play our part.

I can’t help thinking of Eldridge Cleaver, because if you’re not part of the solution, you’re part of the problem.