The good news first – exercise does get easier and there are huge benefits to be gained.
The bad news – to be brutally honest, in the beginning exercise is hard – FACT. The flip side of this is that being unfit can be just as hard, especially as we get older. Sometimes simple everyday tasks such as bending down or even climbing the stairs can become more of a challenge.
Unfortunately, we are living ever increasing sedentary lifestyles and our bodies weren’t designed for sitting. Everything is geared towards making our lives easier (remote controls, escalators, electric bicycles). Sitting for long periods of time has been linked to obesity, type 2 diabetes and some types of cancer. According to Get Britain Standing, sedentary lifestyles are one of the fourth largest causes of preventable death. Our health and wellbeing is so important and exercise is an excellent preventative step we can all achieve.
I understand the reasons why for many people, just the thought of exercising can seem overwhelming and often exercise is treated like a chore or just ignored completely. Personally, I find exercise empowering both physically and mentally, it’s not just about changing your body its more about changing your life.
Let’s look at the benefits of exercise?
Physical – the most obvious one is the physical changes that will occur to your body from doing exercise. Your heart and lung functions will improve, your body will start to lose fat and you will begin building lean muscle and tone up. You may even lose some weight over time, your clothes will fit better and you should generally feel better. Your sleep may also improve.
Mental – exercise can be a great stress reliever and help balance out the negative effects that we sometimes feel from the pressures of everyday life. The release of those “feel good” chemicals called endorphins can help combat stress, depression and anxiety and boost our self-esteem.
Medical – exercise can reduce the risk of serious disease and illness such as Coronary Heart Disease, Diabetes, and Osteoporosis.
Social – exercise can be a fun way to meet new people and join in. There are lots of group classes or running clubs around for example. If you’re not feeling confident to join a class now it could be something to work towards in the future.
Nutrition – exercise and food, food and exercise. They just go together. By eating a well-balanced diet, you ensure that your body has sufficient energy to carry out your exercise and help you function better in daily life.
So how much exercise do we need?
The current NHS Livewell exercise guidelines say that to stay healthy, adults should:
- try to be active daily for at least 150 minutes every week
- perform strength exercises on two or more days a week that work all the major muscles (legs, hips, back, abdomen, chest, shoulders and arms).
We all need to become more active on a daily basis to burn more calories. It’s not just about sport, exercise and the gym. All adults should break up long periods of sitting with light activity. Sitting for long periods is thought to slow the metabolism, which affects the body’s ability to regulate blood sugar, blood pressure and break down body fat. Many adults in the UK spend more than seven hours a day sitting or lying, and this typically increases with age to 10 hours or more.
An easy way to do this is to have an active living approach, for example
– use the stairs instead of the lift
– walk or cycle to work
– park at the furthest point away in the car park
– do more gardening
– go for a long walk at the weekends.
Regular exercise should be a mix of:
Cardiovascular training to improve the health of the heart and lungs
Muscular strength training improves our ability to lift a heavy weight e.g shopping bag
Muscular Endurance training keeps our stamina up so we can enjoy activities for longer e.g tennis, walking
Flexibility training to improve range of movement
Motor skills training to improve our balance, co-ordination, speed, agility and reaction time.
If you still find the whole idea of exercise unfeasible then maybe Rosefit can help you start your journey. If you’re new to exercise we can begin gently and progress slowly as your fitness improves. If you’re already active and need a reboot, I can look at how you exercise and introduce new training methods to shock your muscles and keep your body guessing.
Head over to my services page for more information.
Rosefit can help you:
To reach your fitness goal
To feel motivated
To feel supported
To be held accountable