But, is it also a health insurance? Can regular gym visits improve our health?
Okay, keeping fit and healthy is a great way to reduce the risk of getting ill. Of course, if you fall ill, then you need health or life insurance in the normal way.
However, regular activity is key to reducing the risk or preventing serious illnesses.
This is a topic that has received a lot of attention lately and one of the most commonly accepted pieces of research is by Dr Warburton, Cardiovascular Physiology and Rehabilitation Laboratory, University of British Columbia, who says that
“there is irrefutable evidence of the effectiveness of regular physical activity in the primary and secondary prevention of several chronic diseases (e.g., cardiovascular disease, diabetes, cancer, hypertension, obesity, depression and osteoporosis) and premature death.”
Interesting, Dr Warburton’s research leads him to compare the effect of physical activity on health in comparison to other behaviours – such as what we eat, drink or whether we sit out in the sun etc… and found that some kind of physical activity plays the largest part of any behaviour in impacting on good health and reducing diseases – especially heart disease and cancer.
Warburton also quotes other research such that of Dr J Myers who found that “being fit or active was associated with a greater than 50% reduction in risk [of heart disease] ”
The good news is that even a small increase in physical activity relates to a significant reduction in risk.
Therefore, you don’t need to start running marathons at the age of 40, 50 or 60 to reduce your risk. Simply, getting up from behind the computer or the steering wheel or the desk and doing some moderate activity, will have a major difference.
The other area that fitness studies have focused are the reduction of what is termed ‘premature death’. Again, Dr Warbuton found, in research by Dr G Erikssen, compelling evidence that moderate physical activity reduces this risk too.
However, not only does moderate activity make a big difference – which should give us a good reason to get up from the sofa and go to the gym or go for a run; but also, Warburton sourced evidence that maintaining a basic level of fitness over time is also very important.
So, what do I do? Here are our three tips…
- Simply put, go to the gym two or three times per week and start gently (there is no hurry and even minor activity significantly increases your health)
- Keep going to establish a decent base line of fitness and keep that up over time to gain additional health benefit.
- Don’t worry about the marathon runners – you don’t need to do this (unless you really want to, of course).
So, is gym membership some kind of health insurance policy? Yes, it is. You can check our latest list of top personal trainers and Chester gyms and trainers from Liverpool and Manchester.