News & Insights 7 January 2022

Make physical activity your New Year’s resolution

New Year’s celebrations around the world often go hand-in-hand with resolutions, many of which are related to health, such as to lose weight and to get fitter. The subject of weight loss is a minefield, in which experts’ opinions about the “best” diet for weight loss change almost every day. However, a growing number of experts believe that weight loss may not be the most important benefit associated with an active lifestyle.

Research shows that physical activity affects pretty much every cell in the body, not just our heart or our muscles, but all our other organs, as well. Thus, living an active lifestyle is something that is vital for good health.

Gaesser’s research suggests that intentional weight loss is usually associated in studies with a lower risk of all-cause mortality, however the amount of weight lost doesn’t seem have any impact on the risk of premature death. Moving more and eating better are both consistently and strongly linked to reduce risk of all-cause mortality. Gaesser commented that “the health benefits of exercise and diet are largely independent of weight loss”. Increasing physical activity lowers the risk of death from any cause by 15% to 50%, and the risk of cardiovascular disease (CVD) mortality by 15% up to 40%. Indeed, the greater reductions in all-cause and CVD mortality are observed with increases to fitness, with greater mortality reductions seen in those moving from low fitness categories to a higher fitness category.

So, if you find weight loss difficult and tend to make the same New Year’s resolutions every year in an attempt to become a healthier version of yourself, it may be time for change. This research highlights that you may not necessarily need to focus on losing weight to get healthier, and that the health benefits that come from increasing your physical activity are independent to those associated with weight loss. Instead, you could make a goal to decrease your sedentary time by moving more throughout the day, whether that’s from a stroll in the park, hanging out the washing or whatever activities you most enjoy. In fact, focusing on movement has numerous benefits to our physical and mental health, and can prevent getting disheartened by the number on the scales, because the likelihood is if you’re moving more, your health will be benefitted as a result.

Participating in regular physical activity is an essential part of preventing and managing health conditions. All the movement that makes up our daily lives are essential to our body working well and there are many accessible ways to increase our everyday movement, whether that be going on walks with your friends and family, taking the stairs instead of the elevator, or even doing some gardening.

At KiActiv®, we believe there are so many ways to be active and we aim to put you in control of your movement and your health. Our goal is to help users better understand their physical activity habits to optimise their personalised physical activity. Our user-centred approach focuses on individual choices and self-management so you can make improvements to your health that can be sustained long term. So, if you haven’t made a New Year’s resolution already, or fancy a change from your usual resolutions, why not focus on physical activity this year and start to unlock all the benefits it provides!

The KiActiv® Team