IN the fourth of our NEW YEAR, NEW YOU series - aimed at improving your health and your lifestyle - reporter DAVID HIMELFIELD looks at how easy it is to keep fit.

EXERCISE is an essential ingredient in promoting a long and healthy life.

Physical activity strengthens the heart and protects the body against conditions such as heart disease, cancer, obesity and diabetes.

Vigorous exercise causes your body to release endorphins, which kill pain and give a sense of wellbeing.

But almost three-quarters of adults in Kirklees exercise less than the Government's weekly recommendation.

The picture in Kirklees is reflected nationally, with just 29% of adults in England meeting the recommended guidelines.

Experts recommend that adults take at least 30 minutes of moderate exercise five times a week.

Choose your exercise. It doesn't have to be dull or painful. Find a type of exercise you enjoy.

A 150lb (10½ stone) person doing the following exercise for half an hour will burn off the following number of calories.

Aerobics: Depending on the intensity, 180-400

Cycling: Depending on intensity, 120-400

Football (game): 315

Golf (carrying clubs): 200

Jogging (5mph): 370

Martial arts: 450

Racquet sports: Squash is the most intensive, 200-540

Running (10mph): 640

Skipping with rope: 375

Step aerobics: 400

Swimming: 135-270

Walking: (3mph) - 160

Housework and everyday activities can also be good ways to burn off calories.

Gardening: 180

Ironing: 100

Vacuuming: 160

Car washing and waxing: 300

Get off the train or bus earlier and walk the rest of the way to work or home.

Use stairs rather than the lift.

Park the car further from the office and walk the rest of the way.

Walk at lunchtime, ideally up a steep hill.

Cleaning and waxing the car manually can burn 200 calories.

* Always warm up by doing stretches and light exercise. This prevents injury.

* Start your regime with five to 10 minutes exercise and increase the duration and intensity gradually as your fitness improves. Don't overdo it. Never increase your programme more than 10% a week.

* Drink plenty of water. You can lose six to 12 ounces of fluid for every 20 minutes of running. Sports drinks contain carbohydrates, which help to keep water in your system.

* Persevere. Don't give up because your first sets or minutes in the gym are failing.

* Eat well. Aim to eat plenty of carbohydrates and proteins in five to six meals a day.

ALL sports centres in Kirklees have some form of keep-fit activity. The main ones have a big range of courses and sessions for all ages and abilities. Ring your nearest sports centre for details or visit:

The Stadium Business and Leisure Complex, Stadium Way, Huddersfield HD1 6PG

Phone: 01484 234101


Physical Activity Development Team: A gateway to a number of schemes for improving health through physical activity. Phone: 01484 234095. Email: