Exercising in prison is as important as exercising in the outside world. Physical activity for inmates really helps their physical and mental health. Researchers say that ‘even moderate exercise in a prison setting has a positive effect on mental health and is effective in reducing the risk of depression’1. Prisoners usually spend at least an hour working out each day to look after themselves.
Prisoners are able to use cardio equipment as well as strength machines to meet their goals of either to lose weight, improve their health and their overall well being. The good thing about completing a workout is that inmates get a chance to enjoy some fresh air which is great for their mental health rather than them staying in their cells at all times.
The most common machines that are used in prisons are treadmills, rowers, bikes and weight benches. ‘Prison exercise equipment range comes in an array of colours, makes and models. The different machines are perfect for inmates, as they allow them to release stress and better themselves as a person’2. Exercise machines create a great factor for inmates as it allows them to accomplish their workouts. Prisoners spend a lot of their time lying down and not being as active as they would be in the outside world. Therefore, it is crucial for bodies to maintain strong and healthy through regular exercise. There are three different types of exercise that should be completed in a prison; 1) stretching: this helps reduce the risk of muscle strain, 2) resistance: helps build muscle by completing push ups and sit ups, 3) aerobic: helps pump your heart and lungs by walking or jogging for a minimum of 20 minutes per day.
‘Prisoners must learn to eat right, stay fit, and endure in prison’3. Exercise is not the only thing that inmates need to keep in shape, eating right is also crucial to maintain in good health. World Health Organization say, ‘supporting and ensuring a safe and healthy food supply in prison will help to prevent diet-related diseases and promote better overall health of prisoners’4. The amount of food prisoners eat and the quality of food plays major role in an inmate’s life; especially nutritious meals that will empower them to avoid any life-threatening injuries and infections. With this being said, inmates are provided with three meals a day; breakfast, lunch and dinner. They have access to drink water through the entire day along with being able to have at least four hot drinks per day.
In this blog we have learnt how important is is for inmates to stay fit and healthy in prisons as this plays a huge role in their mental health, reducing the risk of going through depression. This research can be followed by people living outside the prison life to ensure they can also maintain a good well being.
2Commercialfitnessequipmentpackages.co.uk. 2021. Prison Fitness Equipment. [online] Available at: <https://www.commercialfitnessequipmentpackages.co.uk/usage/prison> [Accessed 12 October 2021].
1Mental Health Foundation. 2021. How to look after your mental health in prison. [online] Available at: <https://www.mentalhealth.org.uk/publications/how-look-after-your-mental-health-prison> [Accessed 12 October 2021].
4Euro.who.int. 2021. Nutrition. [online] Available at: <https://www.euro.who.int/en/health-topics/health-determinants/prisons-and-health/focus-areas/nutrition> [Accessed 13 October 2021].
3Prison Fellowship. 2021. How to Eat Right and Stay Fit in Prison – How to Survive Prison. [online] Available at: <https://www.prisonfellowship.org/resources/support-friends-family-of-prisoners/prisoner-resources/how-to-survive-prison/how-to-survive-prison-how-to-eat-right-and-stay-fit-in-prison/> [Accessed 13 October 2021].