Lack of physical activity can contribute to poor health. Insufficient physical actvitiy has been associated with cardiovascular disease, obesity, cancer and diabetes. Therefore, it is essential that we increase our physical activity levels in order to reduce risks. There are different things we can do to be more active daily and stay active! Being active everyday will not only reduce risk of certain health conditions but can also improve your overall mood, helping you to feel good and look good too!
Below are some tips on you can get active everyday!
Set yourself a goal
Realistic goal-setting and giving yourself a challenge is a great way to encourage yourself to be more active. For instance, taking part in a 5K will prompt you to commit to a fitness program that will allow you to be in shape by the day of the race. Having said this, you may not want to take part in 5K, you may want to enhance your overall physical health and wellbeing, improve your stamina or lose weight. Whatever your goal is, you should write it down, think of how you will determine if your goal has been achieved (e.g. aim to lose 0.5kg-1kg each week if the goal is weight loss, spending 10 mins extra on the treadmill if the goal is increase stamina, etc.….) and stay focused.
If you do not see changes or any improvements, do not feel disheartened. Just allow yourself to work harder and motivate yourself to continue until you do, and when you do see changes, CARRY ON!
Try something new
Doing the same physical activity can be boring and eventually you will no longer have an interest in continuing. This is why you should try to do an activity you have never done before. There will be an element of fear at first in trying new things but it will shortly be overpowered by fun and excitement. It might be playing football for the first time? Or Zumba? Or shadow boxing? Think of an activity you have never tried and do it.
Switch up your commute
You can sneakily raise your physical activity level whilst on the go – whether you are on your way to work, school or visiting a friend. If you are taking a bus to your destination, you can get off a couple stops before and walk to your destination. Or if you are driving, you can park your car further away from your destination in order to get yourself moving more and increase your steps. Also, you can take the stairs instead of taking the lift and walk up the escalators instead of standing still.
Look into your community
Most gym memberships can be very costly and not everyone has the means to sign up to one, which deters people from exercising and being active. However, there are other things people can do to be active without using the gym. Most community centres offer fitness classes for local residents to participate in, it can be free or at a low cost – it is worth checking if your local community centre has any fitness classes that may be of interest to you.
Furthermore, there are local parks that have free outdoor gym facilities which anyone can use at any time. This is a great way for people to engage in physical exercise in an outdoor setting. You can also go for a jog or brisk walk around your local park if you do not feel comfortable using the facilities.
There are walking groups within the community aimed at people who do little or no exercise, but who would like to become more active
Find free apps/tools to support you
There are free tools and apps to help support you to be more physically active. NHS website have different advice and plans on how you can get yourself moving more, such as Couch to 5K – a running plan for beginners and Get fit with Strength and Flex. Furthermore, there are apps that you can download on a smartphone like Map My Walk GPS and Nike + Running App that can tracks your route, time, distance, speed, pace and calories burned.