All about getting active

We all know regular exercise is a beneficial thing to do, and there are plenty of reasons why. Get some tips on how to start exercising regularly, including what to do if you need a little push.

This can help if:

  • You want to start becoming active
  • You want to improve your current exercise routine
  • You’ve stopped exercising and need a kick-start

Two boys in a swimming competition

Why Exercise?

There are hundreds of good reasons it’s worthwhile to get active and fit. Some of these include…

It charges you up
30 minutes or more of vigorous exercise releases endorphins (the good stuff) in the brain, giving you energy, vitality and the most intense natural high.

It helps your positivity
Studies show that exercise is a great way to manage depression. Not only does it release those happy hormones but also it can help clear your mind of stress, confusion and worry.

It helps your social life
Exercising with others, going to the gym or playing sports, can be a great way to meet new people and to keep each other motivated.

It helps you sleep
Working the body and clearing the brain puts you in great stead for a good nights sleep, and can help regulate problematic sleeping patterns.

Getting started

Many people give up on exercise because they haven’t learned the best way to go about it. Here’s some help:
  • Little by little – If you’re just getting into it, start gently with an activity you can manage. You don’t go straight into playing Mozart as soon as you start learning the piano. Start small and then little-by-little increase the length and intensity of your session.
  • The ideal workout – Once you’re a little more fit, try and get in 30 minutes of moderate intensity exercise a day.
  • Work it into your daily routine – try walking or cycling instead of driving or taking public transport.
  • Pick the right workout – Choose something you enjoy doing. If you see exercise as a chore, it will become a chore, and nobody likes chores. Don’t plan half an hour on a treadmill if you’d rather be shooting hoops.
  • Stretch – The way your body handles exercise and how quickly it recovers is directly linked to how much you stretch. It prevents muscle problems and increases flexibility. A five to ten minute warm-up and warm-down is all you need.

If you need a little push

It’s not always easy to get the motivation to start becoming active, so it’s helpful to learn ways to get that push you need. If you plan your activities and personalise them to your interests and fitness-level, as well as try to see exercise as the positive and rewarding thing it is, you’ll be much more likely to keep it up. To get that push, see Maintaining Regular Exercise.

What can I do now?

  • Talk to your doctor to assess your health first.
  • Remember that just moving is exercise. Try something fun like dancing or gardening to start with.
  • Start small and work your way up to a regular exercise routine.
Last reviewed: 04 November, 2015
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