Becoming more active is beneficial for anyone at any age. We don’t need to get caught up in attempting to run a marathon, partake in a 100 mile bike ride or join a gym straight away. What’s important is that we try to improve on what we are currently doing, no matter how small or large the improvements are. Any amount is better than none.
Sometimes getting active can be daunting, not knowing where to begin or what we will enjoy. Setting goals help keep us focused and will serve as motivation. We should make sure our goals are realistic and achievable. It’s a good idea to have goals that we can reach relatively quickly to keep us motivated and some which are longer term (being able to jog for 5 minutes vs completing a 10k).
Where do we start?
To start with, we can think about ways of increasing our activity levels without dedicating serious time commitments: park further away from the shops, increase our walking pace, take the stairs instead of the escalators and use break times at work to get up and walk around. Perhaps try completing exercises while doing daily chores: static glute stretches while watching tv, squeeze your core and hold on/off while making dinner or heel raises while brushing teeth. Maximising the opportunities that won’t necessarily eat into our spare time is always a good way to becoming more active.
We should also consider trying or returning to an activity we know we will enjoy! The odds are we will have a better experience and stick to it if we actually enjoy it!
Patience can sometimes run short when we’re trying to lose weight, gain strength or feel more energetic, so having someone there to talk to support us can make all the difference. We’re all human – we need someone we can vent to on a bad day, someone who can offer guidance when needed and someone who will motivate and encourage us to keep going when we’re feeling tired.
Keeping reminders as to why we are becoming more active (photos of grandchildren/children, old photos of ourselves, clothing we’d like to wear, photos of places we’d like to visit) all helps us to stay focused and bought in to the idea of being fitter and healthier.
Get friends or family involved can also be a great way to maintain our focus – it can sometimes be tough when we feel like we’re alone on the journey, so doing it with someone means we are less likely to use excuses such as “I’ll definitely do it tomorrow…” or “I can’t be bothered, I’m tired today.”
It is important to remember that if we are ever worried about our health or doing more harm than good, free advice is available. Talk to one of our physiotherapists for guidance or advice. Sometimes all we need is reassurance we’re doing the right thing.
If we ever ‘fall off the wagon’, we don’t need to beat ourselves up! Just try again.
Remember, everyone is different, so we don’t need to compare ourselves to others. What works from some, may not work for ourselves. As long as we are actively making improvements to our well-being, we are doing the right thing.
To talk to one of our therapists, use our FREE online service at www.physiofusion.co.uk or message us using our Facebook messaging service.
Alternatively, you may call us on 01282 453 110
You may be interested in: NHS’ tips on ‘Getting Active Your Way’