Dr Simon Gazeley, a GP at Springfield Surgery in the Canalside Healthcare Centre in Bingley, will be sharing with The Hub readers exclusive advice on topical health issues and giving his tips for a healthy life.
The Olympic Effect
The whole country is buzzing with Olympic fever. After the amazing sights and sounds of the opening ceremony, everyone seems to have been gripped by the London Games, discussing who’s going to win the next GB medal.
I think few of us could deny that it’s not a great sight to see a British Olympian, at the peak of fitness, going over the finish line to claim a medal, to see the joy on their face and the joy of the ecstatic crowds. One thing that’s struck me about all the Olympic athletes is how fit and healthy they look, and how positive and happy they are.
The Official Olympic organizers hope the games will be “a catalyst for positive change and inspiration….that as well as the physical legacy of the London 2012 Games, new initiatives and programmes will create sustainable social, economic and sporting legacies at home in the UK and around the world”.
Is this all a load of hot air and waffle, or can our sportsman and women really inspire us all?
The week before the Opening ceremony, The Lancet (perhaps the Worlds most respected Medical Journal) published a series of articles presenting work from scientists from 16 countries around the world.
Their work describes how harmful the effect of lack of physical exercise is on our bodies. It is recommended that we all do 150 minutes of exercise (that makes us short of breath) every week, but only one in three actually achieves this. Perhaps more concerning is that only 4 out of 5 teenagers are thought to get enough exercise.
We all know about the dangers of smoking, but many of us are less aware of the dangers of lack of exercise. The Lancet described how lack of exercise is causing as many deaths as smoking; that’s about 5.3 million deaths each year worldwide!!
Being inactive contributes to high blood pressure (and therefore heart disease and strokes), diabetes, and breast and bowel cancer.
If we are serious about looking after ourselves, we all need to get more active, and build exercise into our daily routines. Whether that’s going to the gym, cycling to work, doing some gardening, going for a jog, or walking to the shops, there’s lots of ways to achieve this.
Hopefully the London Olympics can be the inspiration the country needs to get more active. We may not have the weather to take up beach volleyball, but there are plenty of opportunities for us all to go cycling, swimming, running, join a local team, or to try a completely new sport.
You may not end up being the next Bradley Wiggins, Becky Adlington, Mo Farrah or Jessica Ennis, but you’ll probably have fun trying! Even if you don’t quite achieve Olympic standards, you may look and feel better for it, and you’ll certainly live a longer and healthier life.