Health & FitnessLife & Style

‘Exercise is the single best thing you can do’: Dr. Andrew Murray

On the occasion of the Extreme Medical Expo in Scotland (November 18-21), Relaxnews spoke to one of the event's speakers, Dr. Andrew Murray a medical doctor and endurance runner. Dr. Murray offers his best professional and personal tips for improved health and happiness.

As a doctor why would you recommend we all try to incorporate more exercise into our lives?

I say this as a doctor and a father, exercise is the single best thing you can do for your own health, and that you can encourage your family to do for their health. Some might say you risk injury, and, yes, you might get a few blisters, but it's worth it.

Exercise gives you on average seven years of extra life, helps combat 40 different chronic diseases, cutting the risk of diseases such as type 2 diabetes by up to 40 percent, cardiovascular disease by up to 35 percent, depression and dementia by up to 30 perfect, and the risk of cancers such as colon and breast. It even helps improves kids' school results!

You're an endurance runner, but endurance training obviously isn't for everyone! How much exercise do you recommend people actually aim for each week?

Aiming for 30 minutes a day will get you that extra 7 years I mentioned earlier. But the more you do, of course the bigger the benefits. To make it easier, though, it doesn't even have to be a 30-minute run or 30 minutes in the gym — take the stairs, for instance, or walk instead of taking the car. The main thing is just to keep moving.

Are there any sports or exercises that you particularly recommend for good health?

Walking is great, so sit less and walk more, and then feel free to do more sports on top. Even just taking the stairs will get those happy hormones going. All sports are good so just choose which you like.

What are you top tips for people to follow daily in order to improve health?

Don't believe a lot of the stuff on the internet — people are trying to sell you things. You don't need lots of fancy supplements, just eat real food. Vegetables, fruit, nuts, an occasional treat — keep it balanced. If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is.

Any big food no-nos, things you think people should avoid in their diet? 

There is never anything I would say you should never eat, but I would limit processed foods. Reasonable choices made consistently will offer good health and happiness.

Other than diet and exercise, what other factors influence our health and how can we improve them?

Alcohol, smoking, diet, exercise are the four main areas where you can make small changes that really make the difference, and I see it in my own patients who tell me "I cut out soda and naturally lost weight" or "my mood feels better." As well as these four areas, fresh air, nature, laughter, water, sleep, and some relaxation time without electronic devices are all the best doctors you can have for improving physical, mental and emotional wellbeing.

And finally, any other advice on what we can all do for better health and wellbeing?

Change can be daunting, but try and get over the first few days and you'll not only start to feel better, but you'll also start to enjoy it. Find some excercise that you're happy to try and then do it with a friend for some extra support.

Related Articles

Back to top button