Exercising regularly has multiple benefits - almost too many to count! When you stay physically active, you decrease your chances of developing many health problems, such as diabetes, heart disease, high blood pressure and even depression. It can also assist with maintaining a healthy weight. However, it can be intimidating if you have been inactive for a while. Here are few tips to get moving:
START SLOWLY AND BUILD UP OVER TIME
If you are just starting out, it is important that you build up slowly. You will have less chance of injury and are also more likely to enjoy the activity if it is doable. After a few weeks, increase the frequency and duration of your sessions. Consistency is key – choose something that you can fit into your lifestyle and commit to doing it regularly.
GET YOUR HEART PUMPING!
To experience the health benefits of exercise, do at least 150 minutes each week of physical activity that requires moderate effort. It should feel challenging but still comfortable. Ask your care coach to send you information on how to measure exercise intensity if you are uncertain. Choose activities such as brisk walking, cycling or swimming.
STRENGTH TRAINING FOR HEALTHY MUSCLES AND BONES
Try to include strengthening activities at least twice a week. Activities that build strength include lifting weights, doing push-ups and sit-ups anything that works with resistance can help strengthen muscles and bones.
CHOOSE SOMETHING YOU ENJOY
Don't be afraid to get creative! Dancing, tennis or even playing in the park can all help to increase your physical activity levels.
SET YOUR GOAL AND TRACK YOUR PROGRESS
Planning your workouts and setting goals can help to keep you on track. When you can see your progress it helps with motivation. There are many apps available that you can use or you can keep a simple logbook. Don't do all the work without getting to see how far you have come!
MAKE ACTIVE CHOICES THROUGHOUT THE DAY
Every small activity you do during the day adds up. Even little things (like taking the stairs instead of the elevator or increasing your amount of steps per day) can contribute to your daily activity.
Written by Dr Ruusa Shivute | Health Window
Reference: Williams MH, Rawson ES, Branch JD. Nutrition for health, fitness and sport. 11th ed. New York: McGraw Hill Education, 2017. Chapter 1: Introduction to nutrition for health, fitness and sports performance; p. 4-33.