How often do you spend your day sitting at a desk, then get home and spend the evening in front of the TV? If that sounds like your routine, then it’s important to remember that even a small amount of exercise is better than none. Low impact activity as easy as getting outside for a walk could mean serious long-term health benefits.
Take it slow and have fun!
It’s difficult to determine how much exercise is right for you. Regular mild to moderate physical activity is (unsurprisingly) one of the fast tracks to better health for most people, but picking the right type and rate of exercise is crucial to putting this simple statement into play. If you’re not enjoying the type of exercise you’ve chosen, you won’t stick to it. Similarly, if you start off doing too much too soon you’ll get fed up or injured and find yourself back at square one.
Have plans and goals
Make a plan before you start, with clear goals that you will be able to measure as you go along. Knowing what you’re planning to do to reach those goals will help you stay focused week by week, and hitting your targets will help you stick with it month on month.
According to the government, only 37% of men and 24% of women see any real health benefits from their exercise efforts. The problem? They aren’t exercising enough. To avoid obesity, heart disease and other life-limiting conditions, the UK’s chief medical officer (the government's top doctor) recommends that adults should do at least 30 minutes of moderate-intensity physical activity five days a week.
You don't have to do the whole 30 minutes in one go. Your half-hour could be made up of three ten-minute bursts of exercise spread throughout the day if you prefer - it's the total that matters. Squeeze in some walking before work or a set of mobility exercises after lunch, and you’ll be totting up the minutes with ease.
One step at a time
‘Exercise’ doesn’t need to mean climbing mountains or swimming the channel every day of the week (if you’re doing that, maybe consider cutting down. You’re making us all look bad!) Useful exercise can be something as simple as engaging in a 'lifestyle activity'.
‘Hoofing,’ it to the shops, taking the dog out (and chasing said dog down to save a squirrel), all count as valuable ways to get your heart pumping. Walking benefits the body more than you might think, and is technically an Olympic sport! Combine this with structured exercise or sport to create a regime that works for you. As long as your thirty minutes’ exercise is of at least moderate intensity, making you slightly breathless or a little warm, it’s good for you.
Let’s say you decided to sign up with British Military Fitness. You’d only need to do 3 BMF outdoor fitness programs (whether that’s a Military Fit class or Walkfit) a week to exceed the government’s recommendation, and you’d get the added motivation of getting active with friends and BMF instructors! Having exercise planned for you can be a fantastic way to ensure you’re getting enough of the right kind of activity in during the week.
Walk your way into a healthier lifestyle with our advice and you’ll have earned those nights in front of the TV!