Simple exercise tips.
Some of us invest a significant amount of time and money to exericse. And some of us lack the confidence to know where to start being active.
There has been a significant amount of research conducted on exercise. The concluding principles of this research are consistent and surprisingly common-sense.
Read on for simple exercise tips that I believe will help you reap reward and enjoyment for your efforts.
First of all, let me say it has taken time and personal experience for me to find the right type, balance and intensity of being active that works for me.
So if you are not quite where you want to be or do not know where to start, that is okay, it is normal. Here are some tips and insights I believe will help you on your journey.
Simple exercise tips
1. Find an activity you enjoy.
Find what works for you and what will give you the level of fitness you need to lead the life you would like. We do not all need to be able to run a marathon, some of us just want to run after the kids, feel energised or be able to enjoy riding a bike.
2. Losing weight and managing weight is not all about exercise.
60-75% of what you eat is used as energy to run the body’s 11 major systems, 5-10% is used to digest and absorb your food with somewhere around 15% used for activity. If you are not eating right, exercise alone will not be the answer to losing those extra kilo’s or keeping the weight off.
3. Aim for a balance between cardiovascular, flexibility and strength for well rounded fitness.
There is not much point being really strong, if you are out of breath and/or cannot bend down to pick something up or vice versa. Try and pick activities that use different muscle groups throughout your week. Your muscles actually like to be surprised. Doing the same thing over and over again may lead to muscle imbalance and increase your risk of injury.
4. You need to give your body rest days.
Your body needs time to rest and recover from high intensity workouts. Not building rest days into your routine can ultimately undermine the goals you are seeking to achieve due to fatigue or increased risk of injury.
5. Include an element of cardiovascular fitness
There is a truckload of research that confirms physical inactivity increases your risk of poor health. It can increase your risk of heart disease, type-2-diabetes, colon cancer, your risk of premature mortality (dying earlier) and even cognitive decline. None of us would wantingly choose any of these things. We know being active via cardio activities (think very fast walking, jogging, swimming, riding a bike, dancing, playing sport, going for a surf etc.) help combat risk of poor health.
6. Start by moving your body
There is no quick fix to healthy eating or living. We are all different, and we are all starting our healthy journey at different points. Do not compare yourself to others or be defined by their activities or goals. Be your own person and if your first step is walking so be it. I applaud you for starting your journey. If you are new to being active, I would encourage you be realistic in setting your health goals, ensure you are healthier enough to start your chosen activity and if necessary seek our support and guidance.
How to stay active?
So you are keen to start moving your body but not sure you can remain committed, here are some further tips that may help:
- Exercise with a friend or two. Find someone or a group of people that will keep your accountable, make it fun and share in your goals.
- Buy a outfit you would like to exercise in. Ladies and gents we know we like to look our best. Getting out in those old shorts and grungy T-Shirt are not always sufficient inspiration, so buy an outfit that you know you will be happy to put on.
- Consider using music as a natural motivator. Or make a list of activities that will keep you active longer term. I often walk, run and dance to music. I am sure sometimes when I am jumping around people may think I am a little unusual, however you know what, I am happy and enjoying myself, which is what matters.
- Plan a reward for yourself. It can be small, medium or large. Whatever takes your fancy.
- If you have a large goal that will take time to achieve in the fitness arena, I encourage you to break it down into smaller sized chunks. Looking at a big hairy goal can be overwhelming. All change takes time, so break it down into achievable steps. It will help you chart your progress and allow you to add additional rewards for your hard work along the way.
- Become aware of how you feel when you are active versus when you are not. I would be very surprised to hear that you do not have more energy, can think clearer, are in a better mood and generally have a more positive outlook on life when you are staying active.
Wishing you fun in moving your body.