Ideas on getting more active
There are lots of ways to build activity into your everyday life. We are advised to aim for around 30 minutes of activity at least 5 times per week. That can seem a lot, but you can break it down. It doesn’t have to be sport or dedicated exercise classes. Many jobs around the house involve activity and can help get you going.
- Cleaning and polishing furniture, floors and windows.
- Cutting the grass or the hedge.
- Brushing the yard or raking up leaves.
- Washing and polishing the car by hand.
- DIY – carpentry, sanding, painting, building etc.
There are lots of ways you can add small amounts of walking into your daily routine too:
- Leave the car at home for short journeys, eg. walk to the post box.
- Walk the children or grandchildren to school, you’ll all benefit.
- Park the car at the far side of the car park, you might find it’s quicker than driving around looking for a space near the shops anyway.
- Get off the bus a stop early and walk the rest of the way.
- Avoid lifts, use the stairs.
There are many other activities but most important is finding a form of exercise that you enjoy. You can try:
- Walking – walk with a friend or join a walking group.
- Cycling – there are lots of cycle paths across the UK and it is a fun activity for all the family.
- Dance – increasingly popular, enjoyable and social with many alternative types such as salsa, zumba, line dancing and ballroom.
- Swimming – traditional fun for the family.
- Golf – 18 holes is five miles on most courses.
- Tennis, squash, badminton – there are many clubs and courts all around the country for fun and competition.
- Football – the nation’s most popular sport, so get out with your children and kick a ball again!
- Yoga, Pilates and Tai Chi – excellent activities for flexibility, core strength and posture to relieve and prevent many back problems.
Some people find it helpful to keep a record of what they have done and use this to motivate themselves. There are lots of ways you can do this:
- Keep an exercise diary – it’s a cheap and easy way to record your progress, success, feelings and maybe to help you identify your barriers to exercising.
- Pedometers (a small portable device that counts each step you take) – are cheap and easy to use.
- Some smart phones can be used to record your activity. There are also an increasing number of tracker bracelets that communicate with your phone or PC.
- Walk4life – the walking website uses Ordnance Survey maps. You can search for walks, draw and save your own walks and use the ‘track your progress’ page to monitor your fitness.