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Reducing cardiovascular disease

The first step to getting fit is gentle, positive encouragement. If someone follows you round all the time shouting 'Give me ten sit-ups' (like a drill sergeant), you are probably not going to react well.

Once you feel positive about improving your level of fitness, make sure you get checked over by a doctor if you are really unfit.

Your doctor can check pulse rate, lungs, blood pressure and weight and can explain at what rate you will need to begin exercising.

It is common sense that someone who is out of shape should take it easy when they start out. The next thing to do is to establish any diet changes and exercises that may be part of your new healthier life.

A good diet is of key importance to improving health.

It is very important that all diets and exercise routines are started slowly.

Any exercise or diets should be interesting and varied enough to keep you interested. You need to use your imagination to find the right balance of ideas for attractive exercises and foods. Why not involve a friend? New regimes are more successful if you don't have to go it alone.

The ideal way to find the right level of exercise to start with is to find an activity that you can comfortably do for ten minutes after which it takes the pulse five minutes to return to normal.

Activities in Brentwood include:

  • Cycling from complete novices to advanced riders, general improvements in fitness through use of the trim trail, with the aid of instructors.
  • Trailnet, based at Thorndon Country Park, have a completely inclusive programme to increase sports confidence, suitable also for those with physical and learning disabilities.

A local clubs directory is available on the Active Essex site.