Obesity has been a problem in the UK for a number of years with the NHS estimating that 1 in 4 adults is technically obese as well as 1 in 5 children aged 10 to 11. This is always a cause for concern, but never more so than during the pandemic as obesity is heavily linked to more severe cases of Covid-19 along with a higher chance of death.
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Exercise in the UK
In 2018, the World Health Organization (WHO) found that more than a third of UK adults were not getting enough exercise which increases the risk of cardiovascular disease, type 2 diabetes, dementia and cancer and now Coronavirus is obviously a threat. The recommended level of physical activity to stay healthy is at least 150 minutes of moderate exercise or 75 minutes of vigorous exercise each week.
A Fitness Movement
While obesity issue is a concern during the pandemic, the good news is that it seems to have kickstarted a fitness movement with people exercising more since lockdown. This is, in part, due to the health concerns and how being in good shape gives you a better chance against the virus, but also because more people are working from home and able to socialise less so exercise is a good use of time and a way to get out of the house.
Running has proven to be hugely popular with nearly 1 million downloads of the “Couch to 5K” app designed for people new to running. Cycling and walking have been other popular forms of exercise along with home workouts. These are all great forms of exercise and should help people to lose weight and improve their fitness if they are performed on a regular basis along with having a healthy diet and getting enough sleep.
Exercise should certainly be encouraged during times like this, but it is also important that people are aware of the dangers and how they can stay safe. The National Accident Helpline carried out research which found that a third of respondents had been injured while exercising from home and that accidents were common with running, cycling and walking.
The University of Salford’s Running Performance Clinic found that around half of the nation’s 2 million recreational runners suffered an injury every year, largely due to poor technique which can lead to issues like shin splints and runner’s knee. Slips, trips and falls are also common (especially during the winter) and cars are a major threat to runners, cyclists and walkers.
So, what can you do to protect yourself? Learning proper technique, warming up and investing in proper exercise clothing and equipment is key, but you should also be mindful of your surroundings. If you suffer an injury that is not your fault, you might want to think about filing for compensation which can help with recovery and closure.
Obesity is a cause for concern in this country and particularly during the pandemic, but there has been a surge in exercise since lockdown which is great to see but people must be careful and wary of accidents and injuries while exercising.