Food is one side of the energy equation. Now to have fun with the other side: physical activity.
We all know that exercise is good for us, in fact, being more active is proven to be one of the most effective ways to control the weight for good. It is important to appreciate the extent to which being active helps both our physical and our mental health. Try seeing every opportunity to move as being a positive way to help you be fitter and slimmer.
These simple tips will help you get started on (and stick with!) a new exercise program.
GOALS Set short-term, achievable goals – it’s always more satisfying to over-achieve than under-achieve. Tell your friends and family what your exercise goals are too – it’s a great way to keep focused and motivated.
FRIENDS Exercise with a friend – it makes the activity more fun and also provides great motivation.
SHOES Invest in a good pair of trainers. They are the most important piece of kit – supporting your feet and helping to prevent injuries.
HYDRATION Drink plenty of water. When you exercise you will sweat and as a result your body will become dehydrated. It’s important that you replenish lost fluids during and after exercise.
HAVE FUN Choose activities that you really enjoy. There are so many different ways to exercise – going to the gym, swimming, cycling, tennis, dance classes or just brisk walking in the park. If you have fun while you work out you are more likely to stick with it.
DIARY Make a note of your workouts in a diary in the same way you do for other activities in your life. Plan the number of times a week you are going to exercise in advance and work it around your daily routine.
BE REALISTIC Don’t try to do too much too soon. Start slowly and build up gradually.
MEET THE PROFESSIONALS Book in for regular appointments with a fitness professional. They will make sure that your workout program develops with your improving level of fitness.
REWARDS Give yourself rewards and encouragement for your achievements.
STICK WITH IT! Don’t give up. Some days exercise will be tough but keep sight of your goals and remember all the health benefits of leading an active lifestyle.
One simple way to motivate yourself to be more active every day and have a bit of fun at the same time, is to use a pedometer such as Fitbit, or a phone app. These gadgets simply let you know how many steps you take each day. To help your health and your weight, the aim is to take 10,000 steps daily – perhaps even more if you can! If you don’t walk much at the moment it could take a couple of weeks or so to build up to that. Remember any increase in the amount you do is progress.