By now most people know about the benefits of being fit and active, however a common barrier is often time, with people struggling to fit exercise into their busy weekly routine.
Even though the government recommend being moderately active for at least 30 minutes on at least five days of the week, a trip to the gym can easily turn into an hour or so out of your day. To make the 30 minute goal more achievable you can break it down into smaller chunks. You might start out with three lots of 10 minutes blocks eventually taking that to two lots of 15 minute blocks and one day being able to do it in a full 30 minute block.
There are four main types of exercise and you should aim to fit in all four during the week. These are
This is any repetitive rhythmic movement involving large muscle group. You can meet your 30 minute target by
Getting of the bus a stop earlier
Parking your car at the furthest point away from the entrance
Walking the dogs (sounds silly but I have had people looked shocked when I suggested this one!!!)
Walking the kids to school
Walking to work
Mowing the lawn or raking leaves
Kicking a ball around with the kids
My favourite one was a lady who took each item of clothing straight up the stairs to the wardrobe after ironing each piece!!!
By making your muscles work harder they get stronger! You can make your muscles work harder by
Doing free weights at home
Taking the stairs rather than lifts or escalators
Walking up the stairs two at a time
Carrying the shopping bags rather than using a trolley
Attending a circuit class
Washing the car
This is the range of movement at each of your joints.
To improve your flexibility you can try a yoga, pilates or tai chi class. These classes really help your flexibility and posture and can be great to help you relax at the end of the day.
Another great tip is to incorporate being active into your social life. If you usually meet friends in the pub why not suggest a pilates class instead. Its much more fun with a group of friends!
Balance and flexibility are so important for maintaining independence as we get older. The more you challenge your balance the better it will improve.
Try brushing your teeth standing on one leg and swapping half way through. You all (hopefully) brush your teeth twice a day and you will soon find that you are not needing to hang on to the side of the basin as you brush!!!!
Try making your 30 minutes fun, that way you are more likely to look forward to it and it will seem less like a chore. Involve friends, go dancing, play with the kids. If you find going to the gym boring – don’t go!! You are much more likely to stick to something you enjoy and see the benefits quicker.
You will be surprised at how easily you can achieve these goals by making a few changes to your usual routine. Remember “Every Little Helps!”
If you need personalised advice on how to fit more exercise into your routine please feel free to contact me.