Like I mentioned in a recent video about being more physically active (click here to watch it), our bodies are not designed for our modern-day sedate and inactive lifestyles! They are designed to move. As I always say, being healthy means helping your body work at its best, but your body will never work at its best unless it gets the opportunity to MOVE!
Exercise is not just for people who want rock hard abs! It is vital for everyone’s health. It has been proven to help with weight loss, energy levels, sleep, mood and overall mental health. Research also shows that people who are more active have a much lower risk of developing chronic health issues.
The Department of Health recommends that we get at least 150 minutes (2 and a half hours) of exercise spread over the week, from a variety of activities. Here are a few tips for getting more exercise:
1 – Try to Become More Physically Active in General
Like I mentioned in Wednesday’s video, something that is even more important than “doing exercise” is being more physically active in your everyday life. Because research suggests that even if you do the recommended 150 minutes of exercise per week, BUT you spend the rest of your time being very inactive, you are still at a high risk of developing the health issues that are associated with not doing any exercise! So try walking places instead of driving, get off the bus a stop early, take the stairs instead of the escalator, park further away from your destination, sit on the floor while watching TV, etc, etc, etc!
2 – Find an Exercise You Enjoy Doing (or at least one you don’t hate!)
It is really important that you don’t hate the method of exercise you have chosen to do! Because, guess what? If you do, then you will eventually make excuses not to do it. Willpower is simply not strong enough if your exercise regime feels like torture. In my life I have paid for 3 annual gym memberships and with all of them the last 9 months were completely wasted! Now, I do the types of exercise I know I enjoy – walking, dancing and yoga. So find a type of exercise that you can enjoy doing!
3 – Exercise with a Friend
Exercising with a friend not only makes your experience more enjoyable (see point 2 above!) but a friend can hold you accountable and make you more likely to actually go and do the exercise and not make excuses!
4 – Exercise Mindfully
During those few months that I did spend in the gym, I mostly pounded away on a treadmill with the earphones in, watching Coronation Street on the TV in front of me! I completely zoned out! But if you want to get all the benefits of exercise, you should try to do it more mindfully. Instead of trying to solve the world’s problems on my daily walk, now I try to look around me, notice the sights and sounds, and actually pay attention to what I am experiencing.
5 – Remember You Will Always Feel Better Afterwards!
Like I’ve mentioned before, exercise never came naturally to me. When gym bunny friends would say “exercise makes me feel soooo good” I was often filled with the urge to poke them in the eye! But when we exercise, our bodies release endorphins which do actually help to create feelings of euphoria! Fact! So no matter how bad you are feeling, remember your body will reward you after exercise with a happiness boost!
So, there you go, a few tips to help you get more exercise. Hopefully you find them helpful!