Have you snoozed on your plan to include more exercise in your routine? Here are 10 tips to help you get moving
The first 15 days of the new year have passed you by and you are still trying to figure out how to stick to your resolution to stay fit.
If you are interested and are keen to find easy ways to build activity into each day, follow these expert tips.
1 Start small: You don’t have to run marathons, play team sports or even join a gym to get fitter and improve your health. If you’re just getting started, simply aim to move more than you usually do. That could mean parking the car further away from work or taking the stairs and not the lift. Every step does count and you’ll soon notice a change in how much you can do.
2 boost Ad-break: As well as putting the kettle on, you might be surprised how much exercise you can fit into all those TV advert slots.
Stay motivated by setting yourself a different challenge each time – just how many lunges can you do before your show starts again?
3 Season to shop: Yes, it’s an expensive suggestion but all those extra steps are good for boosting your daily exercise. And walking with bags full of clothes you’ve bought is even better exercise.
Carrying any kind of weight creates resistance, so your muscles work harder.
4 Olympic games: When it’s cold outside, you can burn off energy indoors. Whether it’s a sprout-and-spoon race or an indoor hockey tournament using kitchen roll tubes and a sponge ball – a winter family sports day will keep everyone entertained. You could even make your own medals for the winners.
5 Out and about: Fresh air, lovely views, birds singing – no wonder a study found that people who head outside for a stroll feel their mood lift in less than 15 minutes. And while any walk that makes you feel warmer and speeds up your heart rate brings benefits, walking uphill works the muscles even harder, so find some inclines.
6 Strike a pose: Yoga uses body weight, so it counts as one of your two recommended strength exercise sessions a week. It’s also a good de-stressing activity, encouraging you to slow your breathing and release tension through gentle stretching. Try an online tutorial or find a class and get through the winter feeling calm and a bit more in control.
7 Musical chores: Vigorous cleaning counts as exercise, and music has been shown to motivate us to get moving. So, when you’re in the mood to clean, cranking up the music could help you increase the pace – speeding up your heart and the housework.
8 Strut your stuff: Learning to dance could be just the start for you. A dance class is a great way to exercise and it also gets your feel-good endorphins flowing.
9 Swimming at a stroke: Swimming is a great way to stay cool and active – it works your whole body and it’s easy on your joints, too. If you find just doing lengths a bit dull, look out for free apps to join virtual challenges to swim stretches of water, from Loch Ness to the Great Barrier Reef.
10 Be a sport: There are many reasons to give a sport such as indoor tennis a go. This full-body workout improves coordination.
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