16 April 2008

How to Start Being More Active

There are 3 main components to a good exercise programme. Cardio training, Strength training and Flexiblity. If you are new to exercise and wanting to lose weight, start with a cardio programme such as walking or swimming and as you progress add a strength training component. Stretches to improve your flexibility should be built in to your warm up and cool down phases to help prevent injury.

If you're not the sporty type, or dread going to the gym don't be put off. Exercise doesn't have to be boring or intimidating. Find something you enjoy doing and do it every day. You could take a dance class, or get down and boogey in the privacy of your own home. You could get out into the garden, take a walk with a friend, indulge your inner child and play with your kids at the park. If you build your exercise routine into your lifestyle, its much easier to make a habit of it.

Most Health Professionals recommend that we get at least 30 minutes of moderate to vigorous exercise daily. This can seem a bit daunting if you haven't been very active for a while. If you have been sedentary, start with 5 minutes of your chosen activity and increase the time and the intensity as your fitness improves. Keep a record of your starting fitness level so you have something to look back on to see how far you have come. A fitness diary can be a great motivational tool!

As well as setting aside a specific time each day to exercise, aim to become more active. Take the stairs instead of the lift, instead of phoning or e-mailing your work colleagues walk over to talk with them, park at the back of the supermarket carpark instead of right by the door. . . the more active you can be, the easier you will find it to lose weight.

Before you start any new exercise programme consult your Doctor.

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