We've all heard that exercise is good for us. But that doesn't mean we do it. Or at least not as much or as often as we should. It's not necessarily about running 10km or lifting heavy weights at the gym. Not if that's not your thing. What it is about, is incorporating physical activity into your life and sticking with it.
The documented benefits of regular exercise and physical activity are numerous. We know that it helps to prevent and manage a wide range of health concerns including heart disease, type 2 diabetes and stroke. We know that exercise helps to control weight, improve mood, boost energy levels and promote better sleep. But knowing these things is not always enough to motivate us to move.
It's hard to know what to do. Where do you start? Firstly you need to make sure that the activity or exercises you choose are appropriate for you. We are all individuals and we all have individual needs. Not everyone responds to exercise the same way and, like many aspects of ours lives, there is no 'one size fits all' approach when it comes to exercise. Your exercise routine needs to be as unique as you are.
But a great place to start is simply incorporating more movement into your day. And making it a regular thing.
My top tips are:
- Keep it simple. Aim to get more steps into your day by taking the stairs instead of the lift, get off public transport a stop earlier or take a walk at lunchtime.
- Choose an activity that you enjoy but also keep it interesting by trying different activities. Variety is the spice of life.
- Schedule time for your exercise. Life is busy - ensure it happens.
- Get a family member or friend involved as a training buddy for fun, encouragement and also accountability.
- Set an achieveable goal.
Getting started is often the hardest part of developing an exercise routine. If you would like some guidance with what to do to ensure you are exercising right for you, come see our team of practitioners who would love to educate and empower you to take control of your health.
Author: Madeleine Linton
As an Accredited Exercise Physiologist, Maddy aims to inform and inspire her clients to be more physically active and as a result, healthier.