Exercise has many benefits, and it’s never too late to get started.
We all know the scenario: it’s cold, wet and dark and you’re too tired to go for a run. You’ll go tomorrow instead…does tomorrow ever come?
You’re busy, you’re tired, your favourite programme is on TV – there are often more reasons not to do exercise than there are to pop on your trainers and feel a bit of a burn.
- Exercise helps to prevent the risk of heart disease, high blood pressure, diabetes and cancer, amongst other illnesses. It can also delay the onset and severity of dementia.
- Exercise improves stamina by training your body to become more efficient. Your heart and breathing levels will return to normal much quicker after exertion as you become fitter.
- Exercise strengthens and tones, developing muscles and helping with bone density. Your posture and flexibility will improve and your ability to carry out daily tasks will increase.
- Exercise burns calories and will therefore help to maintain a healthy weight or to lose excess pounds.
- Exercise improves quality of life – regular exercisers report feeling generally ‘better’. Those who start exercising often report improved sleep patterns and lifting of depression. The immediate post exercise endorphin levels help with this – but often the feeling of being in control can lift our mood.
It can be daunting to start exercising – but a good gym or a Personal Trainer will help you to work out what is right for you and help you to progress your fitness levels.
- Aim for a mix of cardio vascular and resistance work
- Make sure your GP is happy for you to exercise
- Do something that raises your heart beat – how much and for how long depends on your current fitness level
- Lift some weights! Yes, really. Don’t worry about becoming ‘muscly’ – when we lift weights our muscles tear a bit, repairing these tears takes calories (so when they are sore the next day, don’t fret – just think calorie burn!)
- Hold yourself accountable for getting in some exercise for about half an hour, 5 or 6 times a week