For the first time since 2011 the UK has new physical activity guidelines.
These guidelines are based on the most recent international evidence and are used by health professionals to provide suitable recommendations for the general public.
So what’s new?
The new guidelines have a major focus on building strength, which you can do by carrying heavy-ish bags, using a basket instead of a trolley in the supermarket, or trying strengthening exercises like yoga or Pilates. To keep muscles, bones and joints strong, it’s best to do something like this at least two days a week. The guidance now states that every minute of activity counts. If you do nothing just starting today and doing some physical activity is good, though more is better and it’s never too late to start.
Public Health England have also released physical activity guidelines specific to women during pregnancy for the first time. For this group the guidelines recommend aiming for 150 minutes of physical activity per week during pregnancy but reinforce the importance of listening to your body, adapting and not ‘bumping the bump’.
Importantly there is no evidence that physical activity causes harm during pregnancy, in fact activity can control blood pressure and prevent diabetes during pregnancy as well as improving mood, fitness and sleep. Check out Leeds Girls Can for information on pre and post-natal classes near you.