Research has shown that the more physical activity you do, the better! If you aren't sure where to start or regularly come up against barriers, here are some helpful strategies to consider.
Is lack of time stopping you moving more?
Try breaking physical activity smaller chunks and get creative with how you do it; move faster when doing household chores, stand when you are talking on the phone, get moving in the ad break of your favourite TV show.
Do you think you’re too unfit/overweight to be active?
To get started, choose a low intensity activity like walking and start slowly, building up gradually. You may need to visit your doctor first for a health check.
Measure your success
Measure your success, not just the number on the scales. Time yourself or count how many repetitions of an exercise you can complete. Tracking your fitness and strength improvements will help keep you motivated.
Try moving in the morning
Exercising first thing in the morning will make you will feel better and more energised for the rest of the day. It also means your exercise routine doesn’t suffer if you get held back at work or distracted getting the household organised for the next day.
Get the whole family involved
Teaching your kids to be active will ensure they have the best to life and will teach them healthy habits they can take through to adulthood. Try an active afternoon activity like backyard cricket or playing in the park.
Genuine tiredness, lack of motivation, poor diet or a health condition can mean we lack energy. Keep in mind that exercise can actually facilitate the opposite, and improve your energy levels through increasing oxygen-filled blood flow to the brain, and accelerating metabolic processes in your body.
Think of exercise as ‘Me’ time
You don’t need to dread exercise time. Do physical activities that you enjoy, this will make you want to fit it into your life.
Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic, Timely. Try using these factors to set your exercise goals. You are more likely to stay motivated and improve quicker with this clear sense of direction.
Make sure you reward yourself when you reach your goals, and give yourself an incentive to keep with your exercise program. Just try to avoid using food as a reward.
Set short-term fitness goals
Constantly challenge your body by writing down short-term fitness goals that you will aim to achieve every two weeks. This will give you a real sense of accomplishment and help those long-term goals seem closer and more attainable.
Mobility a problem?
Chair exercises are ideal for people with lower body disability. Building simple upper body exercises into an exercise plan is an effective way to increase your upper body strength.
Try using your arms to slowly lift yourself up and off your seat until your arms are holding your own body weight before slowly lowering yourself back to the starting position. Repeat this 2-3 times in different exercise sessions throughout the day.
Exercises for people who are visually impaired
Some great examples are walking and running, dancing, swimming, lifting weights, yoga and Pilates.