We don’t need to tell you how important keeping active is for our physical and mental health, but we all recognise how difficult it can be to find the time and to motivate ourselves.
Here are our 10 top tips. Remember making changes can be difficult – why not start by trying one or two and see how you feel?
- Exercise doesn’t need Lycra - any increased activity is going to help. You don’t even have to call it ‘exercise’ – just think about moving more!
- Start with small and achievable goals – you are far more likely to stick to a new regime if it is easy to achieve and you feel good about it.
- Make it easy – try and remove as many barriers as possible preventing you from starting to exercise e.g. going for walks or runs from home (rather than having to travel to a gym), trying a kitchen workout, or bringing a bit of exercise kit into the living room where you can see it.
- Incorporate exercise into your daily routine – walking to the shops or work/school, taking the stairs, or parking in the most distant car parking space ‘reserved for those that want to live longer’!
- Good behaviours turn into good habits when we feel good about them – so why do a run that makes you feel tired and sore?....setting targets such as 10 000 steps/day, entering a challenge, or completing a course such as the NHS Couch to 5K can help reinforce these longer term benefits.
- Join a friend – exercising with a friend can be motivating and you get the benefits of social connection as well. Events such a Parkrun are a fabulous way of meeting people of all abilities trying to stay active.
- Get outside – we get a huge benefit to our mental health from just being outside – so why not double the benefit from your activity!
- Do what you enjoy – there is no single form of exercise that is ‘better’ than another, so stick to what you like doing whether dancing, walking, yoga or skate-boarding!
- Download an App – using a social media app such as Strava can be inspirational and motivating….you may even find a doctor that you know?
- Get some skin in the game! – purchasing a new piece of kit, clothing, or a gym membership can be motivating – you wouldn’t want to waste that hard-earned money!