We all know that staying active has so many health benefits. Yet in a recent survey 41% of British adults, between the ages of 41-60, fail to walk for more than 10 minutes a day.
We could all do with becoming more active, but it’s often hard to work out how much exercise is too little, enough or even too much for us to achieve our goals.
There are so many variables to consider and the type of exercise we do ultimately depends on our current ability, type of goal we have, what we like and dislike, equipment available, exercise history, injuries we may have, and how much time we have available to train.
We are all individual in our exercise needs, so there isn’t a one size fits all solution. However, there are a few guidelines that could help us all in our goal to become more active.
Whether we are a busy mum or dad, have families to look after, unsociable shift patterns, we can still build physical activity into our lives. Being physically active is easier than we may think, especially if we make an activity part of our daily routine.
Please remember the government guidelines are currently - one form of exercise a day such as a run, walk, or cycle. This should be done alone or only with the people you live with.
Let’s look firstly at how often we should exercise:
A well-balanced exercise routine should include a mixture of weight training and cardiovascular workouts, but if we don’t have time for both, we should focus on doing 2-3 weight training sessions a week.
These don’t have to be done at the gym, there are a whole variety of bodyweight workouts we can do anywhere. A simple google search for ‘bodyweight workout at home’ will give us plenty of ideas, we just need to pick one that suits our current ability.
Full-body workouts can be done 2-3 times a week, as long as we leave a day’s rest in between. These rest days are when we could go out of a brisk walk or even start a couch to 5km running program. U perform have an 8-week "U to Running" that is free to download – click here.
If you have any health concerns, we would recommend that you make an appointment to see your GP and discuss it with them first. Then hire the services of a personal trainer to help you put your plan together, this will help you start at the right level and progress at a rate that you can cope with.
Let’s now look at some simple ways to become more active:
Walking is a great way to increase our daily activity levels. This doesn’t have to be a long walk in the countryside, although that would be great for both our body and our mind. According to numerous studies, walking in nature has a very measurable benefit on our mental health.
Taking the time to walk for 10 minutes, several times a day can also be very beneficial for our health. If we commute to work, maybe we could get off the tube or bus a stop early and walk the rest of the way, take a brisk walk during our lunch break or take the stairs more.
Other great ways of getting more active without overdoing it include swimming and cycling, these are great family activities as well.
We all need to aim to be active for about 20-30 minutes every day, and we will notice the health benefits.
What do you like to do to stay active? How did you start becoming more active? We would love you to comment below and share your tips and ideas with us, and maybe one of the U perform family will draw inspiration from you and become more active themselves.