A Beginner’s Guide to Moving More
For some of us, the prospect of diving into exercise having perhaps not done any since P.E. lessons, is daunting to say the least. If this is you, don’t panic - you’re not alone!
You don’t have to book yourself into a half marathon or join a netball team straight away, just make small manageable changes to your everyday life that you can gradually build up and you will see results.
Getting active isn’t just good for your physical health but also for your mental health. It is thought to cause chemical changes in the brain which can help improve mood, self-esteem, self-control and even help with mild-depression.
Here are some ideas on how to build more movement into your day:
- Take the long way to your local corner shop, or perhaps visit a post office that’s further away than your regular one.
- Start walking up and down stairs instead of taking the lift or standing still on an escalator. Stair climbing is a great workout – it gets your heart rate going, burns calories and tones your legs and bum!
- Try walking short journeys instead of driving. A car journey that takes 2 minutes will only take 15 to 20 minutes to walk.
- Try walking or cycling to work, or if that’s not possible, why not try parking the car further away than normal, or getting off the bus a stop earlier?
- Sitting for too long is bad for our health and can lead to weight gain, so set a reminder on your phone to get up and move around every 30 minutes. Stretch those legs!
- Stand up on public transport - it’s a great way to work on your balance.
- Household chores such as washing the car, carrying shopping bags, cleaning and hoovering also provide a great workout, so get stuck in!
- Doing exercise is easier if you’re not alone - so enlist friends and family to join you on your mission to move more.
Pedometers are a good way of monitoring how much walking we do each day. You can download a pedometer app, or even splash out and buy a wearable one; some of the will tell you how many calories you’ve burnt, how well you sleep as well as counting your daily steps. Why not challenge friends and family to see who can take the most steps in a day?
THERE’S AN APP FOR THAT...
There are endless apps available to help you get active and track your activity levels and a lot of them are free.
- Active 10 app - this app will help you get track your steps and doing a brisk 10 minute walk each day.
- MyFitnessPal – monitor and track what you eat using the barcode scanner.
- Strava Cycling – this GPS tracker measures your speed, distance and elevation as you cycle as well as helping you find good local cycling routes.
- Nike Training Club – provides a range of workout routines based on your own fitness level and targeting specific areas of the body.
- Couch to 5k – the NHS app promises to get you running 5km in nine weeks.
- Global Yoga Academy – 5 minute to 60 minute classes for beginners to advanced.
Check the app store or YouTube for plenty more ideas.
Do you have an impairment or long-term health condition that prevents you from getting active?
See this content from the NHS for getting active with a disability.
Check out this content on the NHS website for getting active with a disability
Remember to talk to your GP before starting any new exercise or weight loss regime.