Get active in the brighter nights

The clocks sprang forward last weekend, giving people the chance to get more active in the brighter evenings.

There are many ways to kick-start your journey to better health and wellbeing and the Public Health Agency (PHA) says that doing smaller bouts of activity, of 10 minutes or more, will soon add up and can improve your health.

The PHA’s lead on physical activity Colette Brolly said: “The stretch in the evenings means we have more time to get involved in physical activity, whether it’s getting out on the bike, having a kick-about in the park or taking the dog for a walk.

“Over the dark winter months, it is easy to get stuck in a rut, watching TV, playing computer games and generally being less active, but with the arrival of the brighter nights, we have a perfect opportunity to get out and exercise more.

“Being more physically active and reaching the Chief Medical Officer’s recommended target of a minimum 150 minutes of moderate physical activity each week can help you manage your weight, reduce your risk of developing many chronic conditions and reduce anxiety and stress. Being active can help us lead healthier and even happier lives.

“One hundred and fifty minutes can sound daunting, but you can break it down into smaller chunks. Thirty minutes on at least five days is a good approach, and you can break that down further into 10-minute bouts of moderate activity that will fit in well with a busy schedule. Basically, move more and move more often.”

There are free walking groups arranged by your local Health and Social Care Trust and the details of the walk leaders can be found at www.choosetolivebetter.com. The website offers tips on getting active, healthy eating and targets.