Making small changes to your lifestyle is the best way to get active and help ward off potential health problems.
Experts recommend a minimum of 150 minutes a week of moderate activity, combined with strength training that works the major muscle groups at least 2 times a week. Exercise doesn’t have to consist of intense workouts or going to the gym - there are simpler ways of sneaking more exercise into your day. How could you fit in 30 minutes of exercise, 5 days per week?
WALKING YOUR WAY TO HEALTH
The easiest way to start your active lifestyle is by increasing the amount of time you spend walking every day. Just 30 minutes of walking a day can lower your blood pressure and the risk of a stroke by 20% to 40%. Walking has plenty of benefits for your heart too; 30 minutes a day can lower your risk of cardiovascular disease by 30%, reduce your cholesterol and chance of developing diabetes.
There are many things you can change to get your step count up throughout the day and you’ll notice that it doesn’t involve making huge lifestyle changes either.
- Split up your recommended 30 minutes of walking into manageable chunks throughout the day. Break it into three separate 10-minute walks. If you’re looking for more intense activity, why not try a 10 minute workout, perfect if you’re short of time or are not the gym’s biggest fan.
- Walk part or if not all of your way to work. If you work too far away to walk or cycle the entire way, find somewhere to park a 15 minute walk from work. That way, you’ll have walked your 30 minutes without a major change to your routine.
- If you use public transport to get to work, try getting off a stop earlier so you can get your steps up before you’re at work (you may save some pennies on travel too!)
- If you are able, at any given opportunity, whether that’s at work or out and about: take the stairs instead of the lift.
We recommend using an app to keep you motivated throughout the day. This will give you the ability to set yourself goals and enable you to compete with yourself to achieve your desired objectives. It will help you feel a sense of accomplishment after achieving your goal, and will motivate you to keep going!
SMALL CHANGES TO YOUR DAILY ROUTINE
Making the minor changes to your daily routine is the best way to help you get active as you’ll barely notice you’re doing exercise, yet you’ll feel more energised and see positive changes as a result.
- Drink more water. As well as keeping you hydrated throughout the day, drinking lots of water means you’ll most probably have to get up to refill your glass and go to the toilet at least once every hour. This way, you’re adding a few extra steps by walking to the toilet and you’re less likely to feel hungry too.
- Fit in small workouts at a set time every other day. By setting a certain time to do physical activity every other day, you’re more likely to find time for your exercise and you are more likely to make it a solid part of your weekly routine. Even if it’s a 10-minute-workout, it’s better than nothing.
- Get moving on your lunch break. Rather than taking lunch at your desk, use your lunch break to get active. Go for a stroll and have your lunch at a picnic bench.
- Get fit with your friends. When your friends suggest getting together, think of more active ways to spend your time, rather than go for dinner and drinks. Propose you go and play some sport or go on a dog walk together so you’re staying active whilst having fun too.
Once you’ve taken the first step in becoming a more active person, you’ll find it so much easier to stick to it. Staying active is the key to being happy and healthy; so just by adding some simple exercises into your day to day life will improve not only your health and fitness but your mind set too.
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