We hear a lot about how important exercise is to staying healthy and living a longer and better life. The latest government guidance from the NHS is for 150 minutes of exercise per week, which translates into 30 minutes each day, five days a week. We encourage people to get out and exercise as much as they can and are here to help them do that. However, there are instances where people may struggle to achieve even that amount of exercise per day or per week for various reasons. While many use various excuses to avoid exercise there is a small number of people for whom it is not as simple as lacing up their trainers and getting out to train.
This month we are taking a look at how you can maintain some form of exercise regime, and how you can build up to those 30 minutes. It is important to talk to your doctor if you have any health issues before doing any exercise so that is the first place to start.
If you have been sedentary for a long period of time – either through ill health, injury, or habit – then the trick to getting into some form of exercise is to do so slowly and incrementally. Perhaps stop thinking about it as something that you must do or as exercise and focus on sitting less and moving more. A few ideas to get you started:
- Be self-aware. Do you just not enjoy exercising? That’s fine, but the first step is to acknowledge that. You may not enjoy running or going to the gym, but you can still be active. Try walking to the shops instead of taking the car if it is only a couple of blocks away. Perhaps meet up with friends for a walk around the local park while you catch up instead of sitting in the coffee shop all afternoon.
- Know what you like and dislike. If you are an early riser, then there is little point in telling yourself you will go for that walk in the evening; do it in the morning and it will not only feel less like a chore, but it will also mean it’s done and you don’t have to dread it all day. Similarly, if evenings are better for you, set yourself a time for that walk and use it to decompress from the day.
- Keep going. If you miss a day, don’t give up. Everyone has an off-day once in a while, just don’t let it become another habit or excuse for not getting out and about.
- Start small. If you sit for long periods of time – for example at an office desk – try getting up every hour and moving around a little. Pace around the office while you are on the phone, or walk up the stairs to make a cup of tea. If you spend large periods of time in front of the TV, use the breaks to get up and move around the house.
- Build up to a little more each week. Once something becomes a habit, add a small new element to it. Already pacing while you talk on the phone? Why not add a flight of stairs as soon as you get off the phone? If you take the bus or train to work, why not get off one stop early or later and walk?
Using small changes to break bad habits or to get back into an exercise regime after an injury or illness will help you to develop new habits without even realising that you are doing it.
For help with training ideas or for a motivational boost give us a call at Valkyrie Personal Training and Massage on 07973 483314 today. We will help you find the right balance of fun and challenge no matter how new or experienced you may be when it comes to exercising.