With obesity predicted to grow at a truly alarming rate, we must surely take every opportunity to promote exercise and physical activity - especially given the health, financial and carbon costs associated with our increasingly sedentary lifestyles.
By 2050 the prevalence of obesity is predicted to affect 60% of adult men, 50% of adult women and 25% of children (Foresight 2007*), and treating obesity and the associated conditions will place an enormous burden on the health service.
The National Obesity Observatory says that "The resulting NHS costs attributable to overweight and obesity are projected to reach £9.7 billion by 2050, with wider costs to society estimated to reach £49.9 billion per year," (Foresight 2007*), and it follows that a healthy population means less healthcare and less carbon. (Learn the carbon cost of a heart bypass operation here.)
The good news is that research by the London School of Hygiene And Tropical Medicine suggests that even light and moderate physical activity reduces the risk of early death.
Meanwhile The Faculty Of Public Health, in association with Natural England, has produced a report highlighting the benefits to health - particularly mental health - of greater access to green spaces.
Have you considered taking part in the NHS Forest project? Get outdoors, plant some trees and cultivate community.
The Natural Health Service is a project run by Natural England promoting the health benefits of time spent in the natural environment.
Do your patients suffer from Carbon Dependence Syndrome? For an alternative take on our 'addiction' to carbon take a look at the late complications page of the Carbon Addict website.
As for me, I don't go to a gym but prefer to build exercise into my daily routine where possible. I do go to a yoga class each week and I can see that keeping up with my toddler is going to require increasing levels of fitness!
*These figures come from the National Obesity Observatory website: www.noo.org.uk