“THOSE WHO THINK THEY HAVE NO TIME FOR BODILY EXERCISE WILL SOONER OR LATER HAVE TO FIND TIME FOR ILLNESS” – EDWARD STANLEY

 

Food is one side of the energy equation. Now to have fun with the other side: physical activity.

We all know that exercise is good for us, in fact, being more active is proven to be one of the most effective ways to control the weight for good. It is important to appreciate the extent to which being active helps both our physical and our mental health. Try seeing every opportunity to move as being a positive way to help you be fitter and slimmer.

EXERCISE BRINGS THE FOLLOWING SPECIFIC BENEFITS:

 

  • Prevents and treats overweight and obesity
  • Preserves muscle strength (and metabolism) when weight is lost
  • Regulates appetite
  • Maintains a healthy weight after weight
  • Reduces high blood pressure
  • Lowers risk of heart disease and stroke
  • Lowers triglycerides and raise ’good’ HDL cholesterol
  • Reduces the risk of colon cancer and possibly breast cancer
  • Reduces the risk of osteoporosis (brittle bones)
  • Reduces the risk of Type 2 diabetes
  • Treats diabetes
  • Raises self-esteem and self-efficacy (belief in your abilities)
  • Improves mood and prevent depression
  • Allows better sleep
  • Manages stress and anxiety
  • Increases stamina and flexibility
  • Prevents low back pain
  • Our metabolic rate is increased by activity and encourages the body to burn fat.
  • Regular physical activity helps to build muscle and counteract muscle loss that normally comes with weight loss, so off-setting falls in your metabolic rate.
  • In 24 hours 0.45kg (1 lb) of body fat burns around 2 calories while 0.45kg (1 lb) of muscle burns around 35 calories, so you want to hang on to what muscle you can.
  • It helps us to feel more confident and in control of our weight, which makes it easier to achieve realistic and sustainable goals.

“IF WE COULD GIVE EVERY INDIVIDUAL THE RIGHT AMOUNT OF NOURISHMENT AND EXERCISE, NOT TOO LITTLE AND NOT TOO MUCH, WE WOULD HAVE FOUND THE SAFEST WAY TO HEALTH.” – HIPPOCRATES

 

TIPS FOR GETTING STARTED

These simple tips will help you get started on (and stick with!) a new exercise program.

GOALS Set short-term, achievable goals – it’s always more satisfying to over-achieve than under-achieve. Tell your friends and family what your exercise goals are too – it’s a great way to keep focused and motivated.

FRIENDS Exercise with a friend – it makes the activity more fun and also provides great motivation.

SHOES Invest in a good pair of trainers. They are the most important piece of kit – supporting your feet and helping to prevent injuries.

HYDRATION Drink plenty of water. When you exercise you will sweat and as a result your body will become dehydrated. It’s important that you replenish lost fluids during and after exercise.

HAVE FUN Choose activities that you really enjoy. There are so many different ways to exercise – going to the gym, swimming, cycling, tennis, dance classes or just brisk walking in the park. If you have fun while you work out you are more likely to stick with it.

DIARY Make a note of your workouts in a diary in the same way you do for other activities in your life. Plan the number of times a week you are going to exercise in advance and work it around your daily routine.

BE REALISTIC Don’t try to do too much too soon. Start slowly and build up gradually.

MEET THE PROFESSIONALS Book in for regular appointments with a fitness professional. They will make sure that your workout program develops with your improving level of fitness.

REWARDS Give yourself rewards and encouragement for your achievements.

STICK WITH IT! Don’t give up. Some days exercise will be tough but keep sight of your goals and remember all the health benefits of leading an active lifestyle.

“SCHEDULE YOUR PRIORITIES, DON’T PRIORITISE YOUR SCHEDULE” – STEPHEN R. COVEY

IDEAS FOR FITTING MORE WALKING
INTO YOUR DAY

AT HOME

  • Get up early and go for a walk, if you leave it for later, excuses get in the way.
  • Cancel the paper and walk to the shop instead.
  • If you run out of essentials, walk to the local shop to buy them – don’t take the car
  • Walk while talking on the phone.

AT WORK

  • Walk to work. Alternatively, park your car in the furthest space in the car park and walk. If done regularly this will really help to improve your fitness.
  • Don’t take the lift, use the stairs.
  • Don’t phone / email colleagues in the same office – walk to them.
  • Go for a walk at lunch time ask a colleague to join you and enjoy the break.
  • Cancel the sandwich man and walk to the local shop/ coffee shop instead.

WITH THE KIDS

  • Walk your children to school / playgroup /activities.
  • Take younger children out for a walk in the pram / pushchair – maybe to the park.
  • Find the time for one walk each week with each child – make this your special time when the two of you are alone and you can chat / catch up.
  • Plan fun exploration walks for the kids – get out and explore your local neighbourhood.
  • Make it your mission to plan a new walk for each weekend and discover new places.
  • If you drop your children at clubs / parties etc. don’t spend the time driving back and forth, go for a walk instead.

WITH FRIENDS

  • Plan to go walking once a week with a friend.
  • If you plan to meet friends, walk to their house, or get them to meet you half way.
  • Offer to join your friend when they are walking the dog.

DON’T FORGET TO KEEP A TALLY!

One simple way to motivate yourself to be more active every day and have a bit of fun at the same time, is to use a pedometer such as Fitbit, or a phone app. These gadgets simply let you know how many steps you take each day. To help your health and your weight, the aim is to take 10,000 steps daily – perhaps even more if you can! If you don’t walk much at the moment it could take a couple of weeks or so to build up to that. Remember any increase in the amount you do is progress.

“I HAVE TWO DOCTORS, MY LEFT LEG AND MY RIGHT.” – G. M. TREVELYAN

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