Cambridge Weight Plan encourages a physically active lifestyle.
We live in a busy world where, due to time constraints, physical recreational activity can play an increasingly smaller role in our daily lives.
Being physically active is an important part of your weight loss journey and is key to managing your new weight. The following guidelines are recommended by Cambridge Weight Plan's fitness expert Penny Porter.
How much exercise you undertake depends on a number of factors: what Step you are following; what medical conditions you have or medications you take; your capability for exercise; your age, lifestyle and current level of activity.
Since the early 1990s, there has been a steady increase in the use of cars and a decrease in walking and cycling to school or work.
Among children aged five to 10, the proportion that walked to school fell from 61% in 1992-94 to 52% in 2002-03 (ONS, 2010).
For adults (aged 17 and over), the proportion of journeys to work where the main mode of travel was by car rose from 66% in 1989-91 to 71% in 2002-03.
Ask yourself honestly how much exercise you are doing and then identify where you are on the chart below.
Slowly increase the amount of physical activity that you are doing, following the suitable exercise examples highlighted below.
Do not consider starting a strenuous exercise programme at the same time as you commence a Cambridge Weight Plan Step.
If you already follow a vigorous exercise programme, you may need to moderate it to a less active level for a week or two until your body adjusts to your Cambridge Weight Plan.
It is recommended that no exercise beyond gentle walking be undertaken in the first two weeks of Step 1. Your body will need this time to adjust to being on a VLCD.
After the initial two-week period, gentle to moderate intensity exercise* can be undertaken while on Step 1, providing that it is approached with caution and not done with excess.
Walking or cycling is excellent exercise but start slowly and do not overdo it at the beginning.
Before starting any physical activity, start with a gentle warm up and stretching. Ideally this should last for 5-10 minutes, be appropriate for the exercise that you are about to undertake, and not be too strenuous.
How active are you?
Keep a track of your weekly activities by filling out the Cambridge Weight Plan Active chart.
At the end of the week review your diary. You may be surprised at how much activity you have actually done, or be able to identify ways that you can increase your activity levels.
Get Active Articles
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Walking is a near-perfect exercise that can be enjoyed by almost everybody and can be performed almost anywhere. Other than supportive footwear, you do not need any special equipment and, best of all, it is free!
Regular brisk walking provides many health benefits including:
Reduced risk of heart disease
Reduced risk of stroke
Reduced risk of diabetes
Reduced blood pressure
Reduced risk of osteoporosis
Reduces high cholesterol and improves blood lipid profile
Boosts mental well-being, improves self-esteem and makes us feel good
Walking also plays an important role in helping to fight obesity and in weight management.
Across the world millions of people have taken up Nordic walking to improve their walking workouts and their natural walking experience.
Nordic walking uses two specially designed poles to work the upper body while walking. Like cross country skiing, the poles are used by the arms to match each step that a person takes when they walk.
What are the benefits of Nordic walking?
Nordic walking provides many benefits if done correctly. These include:
Promoting a longer arm swing and stride, which activates more muscles, especially in the upper arms
Improving posture, encouraging you to walk upright and not bent over
Adding stability and balance to your stride
Involving up to 90% of your body muscles compared to just 70% with regular walking
Burning up to 46% more calories than regular walking
Reducing impact on joints
Swimming is the most popular sport. Not only is it a fantastic form of exercise, but it is suitable for people of all ages and abilities. It is a lifelong skill – if you can’t swim, it is never too late to learn!
Regular swimming decreases the risk of chronic illness, including heart disease and type 2 diabetes. It also boosts your mood and helps to control weight. Swimming also works practically every muscle in the body and provides the best all-round, low-impact physical activity that we can participate in. When performed regularly, it is a great way to improve cardiovascular fitness, strength, flexibility, muscular endurance and enhance physique.
As body weight is supported by water, there is also less pressure on the joints, making it ideal for those with chronic back pain, joint problems, or those whose excess weight makes mobility difficult on land.
How to start
Beginners: Most pools cater for all abilities and will run learn-to-swim lessons for adults. These may be 1:1 lessons or in small groups. Ask at your local pool for more information.
Intermediate or Advanced Level: Most pools run “swim fit” schemes with many running coached sessions. These are a great way to train with other people, which will not only provide motivation, but will also be a great way to meet new friends.
If you do not fancy swimming, why not try Aqua Aerobics. Working at a level to suit you, Aqua Aerobics resembles traditional aerobics which is performed in water and is a great way to get fit. You don’t need to be able to swim, and with reduced pressure on your joints, it promotes fitness for life, maintaining stamina, strength and suppleness. Ask at your local pool for details of any classes being run near you.
Zumba literally means “moving quickly and having fun”.
Zumba fitness, or the Zumba programme, is a dance fitness programme that was created by Colombian dancer and choreographer Alberto “Beto” Perez during the 1990s. It is a dance-style aerobics workout to swinging Latin American music.
All the different Latin American and international dance styles – salsa, samba, merengue, hip-hop, belly dancing and reggae – encourage you to move your body and have fun; for added measure, squats and lunges are also included.
After just a couple of zumba classes, you’ll be hooked! The party atmosphere, dance moves and music make you use your whole body without even feeling like you are working out. Zumba can burn between 2090-4180 kilojoules an hour and helps to build stamina, lose weight and increase muscle tone.
Anyone can join in, from teens to seniors of both sexes. You don’t need to be able to dance and you don’t need a partner. There are eight different types of classes for different levels of age and exertion. These include zumba told – this mainly targets the older population and is specifically designed to the needs of the elderly. Zumba toning is for the people who do their workouts with toning sticks. Zumba toning will target the abs, thighs, arms and other muscles throughout the body. Aqua zumba is zumba in a swimming pool.