How to become ‘everyday active’ and improve your fitness levels.
We are less active as a nation than we were in 1961 (by 24%) and 22.5% of adults do not achieve even thirty minutes of activity over seven days. Given that the Chief Medical Officer recommends 150 minutes of moderate physical activity a week, we are not really doing very well. (‘Tackling Physical Inactivity – A Coordinated Approach’, All Party Commission on Physical Activity, published April 2014).
So, what about you? Does this include you? We all know that physical activity drives down the risk of heart disease, diabetes, cancer and diabetes.
We know that being active and keeping our weight at an acceptable level can help with our general sense of wellbeing.
‘Yes,’ we all nod wisely, ‘We all know that.’ But is it a priority for you in your life? We believe that we all have three or four key priorities, or big marbles, in our life and fitting those into our day means that we give time to them.
If your own fitness level isn’t really a priority, then how will you find time for it? How will you find time to park your car at the far end of the car park and walk to the shop entrance? How about getting off the tube one stop earlier and walking (when you barely have time to get to work in the morning as it is!).
Let’s think about the gym (that’s what most gym members do – just think about it) – if you can get there then there is every chance that with a good programme you can achieve a huge amount in half an hour – but it has to be scheduled into your day, it can’t be left to chance – a sort of ‘I will try and get there sometime’ approach.
We are all encouraged to do 10,000 steps a day: I recommend a good pedometer – you might be amazed at how few steps you do. Try making this the first part of your ‘healthy’ regime. Just measure your steps. Then, consider where you want to be in five years time. Fit, active, able to move about, a decent weight? If you answer ‘yes’ to the last few questions, then here is your chance.
Make activity a priority, designate it as a big marble and fit it into your day.
Try for those 10,000 steps, don’t leave things on the bottom stair for when you go up next, wash the car, clean the windows.
Basic everyday movements like the hoovering and gardening all count. Put your laundry basket on the floor and bend over for every single item that you are folding.
Don’t slump in front of the TV – don’t make that a priority, just move more – it really is that simple. And do join your gym and make use of your membership.
Oil your bike – just ten minutes round the block is a start.