Exercise doesn’t need to be hard work. The main thing is to do it regularly and keep the body moving from day-to-day. The saying “use it or lose it” is just so true when it comes to our bodies.
The best way to get regular exercise is to make it fun or build it into your daily routines. The less excuses you can find not to do it, the better! Here are 5 gentle ways to keep active.
Definitely the easiest way to get some exercise and there are plenty of studies that show it is as effective if not better for you than running. Make it fun by downloading a walking app for your phone and visit new neighbourhoods or places you haven’t been before. Nike+ or MapMyWalk are two great options for iPhone or Android.
You don’t need to join a class or even spend any money, there are thousands of exercise routines on YouTube for all levels of experience. We really like the routines on Yoga with Adriene but a quick search will find a channel that's right for you.
While it tends to cost money unless you're near the sea, swimming is a low-impact exercise that builds endurance, flexibility and strength. You’ll use muscles that you may not even know existed. You can also make your workout as easy or as difficult as you like, building up from walking in the water to lengths of the pool using your favourite swimming stroke.
You’ll increase your flexibility and strength and reduce the risk of injury. Moving the body also helps the immune system by activating the lymphatic system and increasing blood flow. As with yoga, there are thousands of stretching routines you can follow along with on YouTube.
Getting fresh air (and hopefully sunshine) in the garden has been shown to benefit mental and physical health. Gardening can lower your stress levels and while it doesn’t have to give you a strenuous workout, it is a great low-impact exercise using and stretching different muscles than you might use day to day.
As with all new forms of exercise, take it easy when you start and speak to a doctor if you have any concerns about whether it will be right for you.
Get going and we’ll see you out there!