Did you know, that in a recent study, only 5% of adults participate in 30 minutes of physical activity each day and only one in three adults receive the recommended amount of physical activity each week. These figures are staggering, especially when you consider how enormous the benefits of exercise really are. Exercise releases endorphins which create feelings of happiness. It is a great way of loosing weight, toning your body, keeping fit and relieving stress.
I was a very active teenager and played many team sports. When I hit my late teens and early twenties I got lazy. Even walking to the nearest bus stop was an effort. After many years of putting on weight and doing little or no exercise I knew that I could not continue to carry on as I did. So I changed and started to exercise everyday. Now I am glad to say I make up part of the 5%.
Thinking about exercise is the hard bit. Believe me when I say I could think of a thousand excuses not to exercise but, I know how wonderful the benefits are and it is all worth while. Ask yourself, have you ever felt horrible after a quick walk, cycle or fitness class? I always feel great and glad I made the effort.
Some people hit the gym or pound the pavement. Some people go to exercise classes. I tried a few spinning classes but I didn’t enjoy them. Exercise needs to be FUN and finding the exercise that suits you is very important.
When you first start exercising it might take you a while before you feel any kind of progress. So don’t quit after the first attempt. Give yourself a chance.
So what kind of exercise do you like doing? Are you one of the 5% or 95%. If you are one of the 95% maybe it is time to change.
Here are a few ideas that might get you up and moving more:
•Think of activities you enjoyed doing as a child
When you were younger, were you part of team or did you hop on your bicycle and fly around to visit a friend. Just because you have had a few birthdays since, doesn’t mean you are too old to join a team or cycle to meet a friend for a coffee.
•Exercise with a friend or a family member
When I trained for the Marathon I ran a lot on my own. My long runs were 10, 15 and 20 miles. This meant running for up to 3 hours. On these long runs I had somebody accompany me. It was great having them (even if they were cycling beside me). Ask a friend or a family member to go for 30 minutes walk with you. This time together will give you both a chance to catch up and time goes much faster when your busy chatting.
•Set yourself a challenge – Try something you have always thought of doing like couch to 5k, learn to swim or learn to dance.
There are lots and lots of activities in every village and town from walking clubs, running clubs, zumba classes, set dancing classes, swimming classes. The list is endless. If you have never danced and love music then maybe now is your time. If you don’t have anybody to go with don’t let that stop you. Once you make it into the class you will realise that you are not the only person who came on their own and before you know it you will be happy you made the effort.
Remember we are never too old to learn something new. Try a few different activities until you find one that is right for you. Your primary reason should be to have fun and the bonus is loosing weight. So this week find 30 minutes every day to exercise. Put on some music, check out a new exercise video or find a dance class near you but most importantly exercise and have fun.
Thanks for reading.