We are often told that to feel good and keep healthy, we need to do more exercise but in January the gyms are full of well-intentioned people who go for one or two weeks then give up. (Even when they’ve paid for a year’s membership!). Somehow life just seems to take over and other priorities intervene. Here are ten ways to make sure you are doing just a little more, no matter what your current level of fitness:
- Use the facilities at home! Go up and down the stairs twice instead of once whenever you need to.
- You could try arm curls with a can of tomatoes whilst watching your favourite TV show
- Get up 20 minutes earlier in the morning to walk, run or cycle. Don’t use the car where possible – park a little further away, and make the most of the opportunity to notice and enjoy the environment around you in a way you never can when you’re in a car
- Get off a bus early and walk the rest of the way
- Make lunchtime a real break-time by getting out of the office for a brisk 15 minute walk – It will clear your head
- If you have a dog, walk him twice a day and extend his walk time. It will be good for both of you
- Get up and out with the kids or friends at weekends – go to the park or the countryside. It really makes a distinction between days off and weekdays to do this, so that weekends become events to look forward to and not just about catching up with household chores before work again on monday
- Be more selective about the amount of TV you watch and use exercise to relax you instead
- Find out what sort of exercise you enjoy and take up a new hobby, whether its golf or pilates, yoga or belly-dancing, but don’t waste your money signing up for something that you already know you don’t like because you won’t stick to it
- Phone a friend! Exercise is easier when you make a commitment to someone else and they share the ‘pain’ as well. It becomes a shared goal and an opportunity to talk and catch up and suddenly doesn’t seem such hard work after all.
Whatever your current level of exercise, you can take it just a little further with almost no effort at all. The more you exercise, the less you eat. More exercise will speed up your metabolic rate to help you keep your weight manageable.