You’ve made your mind up……you decided it’s time to start exercising. Congratulations! You have made the first step to a new and improved you. The UK Chief Medical Officers’ guidelines recommends a minimum of 150 minutes of moderate aerobic activity, or 75 minutes of vigorous aerobic activity per week.
It has been proven that regular physical activity can reduce your risk of chronic disease, for example, heart attacks and stroke, cancer such as breast and colon cancer, diabetes, epilepsy and seizures, arthritis, obesity, and oral health problems. As well as the physical benefits, regular exercise improves your mental health.
So where do you start? Talk this through with your health professional if you have any medical concerns, before starting any form of physical activity. Visit a few gyms on an introductory tour, explore the possibility of a personal trainer and even consider going to a bootcamp with friends. Whatever your decision, make sure it is one you will enjoy and can commit to. Whether it is swimming, dancing, cycling, the gym or any type of sport, it is a journey for life, so the decision must be right and fit around your lifestyle.
- It is important that you set realistic targets with the help of your fitness instructor or personal trainer, who will discuss the appropriate fitness plan for you.
- Set a minimum of two days that you can commit to and stick to it. As time goes on and you become more physically fit, try to increase your workout to three days per week.
- Don’t be annoyed if you find exercising difficult in the early stages. This will improve over time. Start off with light physical activity until you build your strength and stamina.
- Review your fitness plan after four weeks of consistent physical activity. Don’t be afraid to challenge yourself.
- Introduce new exercises into your fitness programme. If you regularly take a weights class at the gym or high intensity aerobics, then why not mix it up a bit and try spinning or cycling.
- Don’t over obsess about your weight by weighing yourself daily on the scales. Why not take a lighter approach and use a pair of old jeans that now fits perfectly, as an indication that you are well on your way to achieving your fitness goals.
- It’s ok to have off days, where exercise seems to take a back seat to your busy schedule. Don’t despair. Sometimes a break is what we need to recover. Get back on track and remind yourself why you started.
- Reward yourself with every milestone you make. Go out and celebrate with friends or buy that lovely red dress you so desperately wanted before you started your fitness journey, but just couldn’t fit into it.
- Don’t be afraid to ask your health professional for advice if you feel lost along the way. Help is always there.
- Fitness, health and nutrition go hand in hand. Once you create the habit you will be lost without it. Love the life you live and give yourself the gift of good health.