Tips to help you start exercise
|The British Heart Foundation recommends that we all build up to 30 minutes of moderate walking 5 days a week to keep our hearts healthy. It has lots of helpful tips on how to start exercise. |
If 30 minutes all at once sounds like too much, start with a gentle 10 minute stroll, or five minutes - whatever your body & you feel comfortable with. Aim to build up to those 30 minutes gradually. Walk every day, or at least 5 days a week.
It may help to build those minutes into your normal routine, so that you don't have something extra on top of all life's demands.
- Walk to see a colleague at work instead of emailing them.
- Park further away than you normally do from your office buildling or the train platform.
- Get an excuse to go out at lunch, even just for 15 minutes
- Walk around a shopping mall instead of window shopping
- Walk around your house while the adverts are on between programmes
Get motivated to start exercising
- Choose something you enjoy. If you dread the thought of getting up at the crack of dawn to head to the local swimming pool & do your lengths, you're more likely to give it up. Choose something you love and have fun at - you're more likely to be able to sustain it
- Choose something you can do with others who also need to keep fit or who want to boost their health. Motivate each other!
- Pick a form of exercise which isn't going to cause you harm through over exertion, especially if you haven't exercised for a long time. Walking fits the bill perfectly for many returners to exercise. Do too much exercise in a day, and it may put you off.
- Pick an activity which means that someone who really needs help is dependent on your making the effort to walk so that you don't want to let them down. An example would be helping an elderly person with dog walking, or a friend who is recovering from surgery with pet care. Go for a win-win situation - you get the exercise, they get the help they need, and the animal gets his or exercise too! The Cinnamon Trust is always looking for reliable volunteers to help with pet care for the elderly
- Have variety! If you love walking, why not join up with a friend or local walking group and spend a weekend or afternoon taking a stroll around a nature reserve? Go to different places. (RSPB Membership gives you access to 100 nature reserves, places of beauty & stunning scenery plus wildlife - places you wouldn't normally get to - plus the knowledge your membership is helping preserve such wonderful places.)
- Decide how you most want to benefit from exercise. What is really behind this wish to be fitter, healthier or whatever it is you're aiming for?.
Keep track of what you're doing to motivate yourself.
Key things to do:
Why animal activities can help you start exercising