Exercise is linked to mental and physical well-being. It has the ability to change your state of mind in both the short and long term in ways that give you more energy for dealing with life’s challenges. Exercise gives you a sense of control of your body and is often the first step to feeling in control of life events.
All adults will benefit from 30 minutes of moderate intensity activity each day.
If you can’t do something every day, it still helps to exercise fairly regularly. If you haven’t exercised for a while, gradually introduce physical activity into your daily routine. Exercise does not have to be done all at once; you can break it down into sessions of at least 10 minutes. Even a short walk can help you clear your mind and relax. Any exercise is better than none!
Different types of activity suit different people. Some people prefer team sports, some people like individual sports. Some people prefer to play competitively, others like a more social environment. Some people prefer the gym, some prefer games or sports.
If you’re not sure what would suit you, try a few things out. You don’t have to be an athlete to boost your fitness. Yoga and Tai Chi are recommended.
Some people find it really helpful to exercise with a partner or friend. Exercising with someone has the benefit that you can motivate, encourage and support each other to go for that walk in the middle of winter or to the gym when you are still aching from the last session. The main thing is that you find something that is fun or gives you a sense of achievement.
Tips for exercise:
As well as structured exercise or activities, there are day to day things you can do that don’t take much time, effort or organisation.
Work in an office?
- Keep your walking shoes handy and be active whenever you have the chance.
- Park your car a few blocks from work.
- Get off the bus or train at the stop beforehand and walk.
- Take the stairs instead of the lift.
- Walk up the escalator instead of standing still.
- Sit straight in your chair.
- Get up from the chair and have a regular stretch and walk
- Walk the longer way around to the photocopier or printer.
- Enjoy a walk during your lunch break or team up with a friend to walk after work.
- Walk to your colleague’s office instead of sending an e-mail.
- Use a standing work station.
- Walk around while you’re talking on a cordless or mobile phone.
- Do some gentle stretches or movement while watching TV.
- Use TV ad breaks as a chance to do a quick household chore.
- Do some energetic house-cleaning, gardening or odd jobs on the weekend.
- Get a pet.
- Park the car further away when going to the supermarket.
- Join a friend for regular walks.
- See jobs at home as opportunities to exercise.
You can even book in a regular reminder to exercise.
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