This is where things get physical. I know that’s something we don’t always want to hear – unless it involves dashing down to the local Chinese for some Dim Sum – but it’s exactly what we’re trying to stop you doing (or at least get you to do less of).
It’s generally agreed that some form of regular exercise can help prevent a nasty bunch of health issues coming on earlier – or later – in life, as well as increase your overall wellbeing. This involves doing either 150 minutes (2.5 hours) of non-strenuous aerobic activity per week, which can include getting on your bike instead of leaving it to rust in the garden shed, or fast walking. Add to that some basic strength exercises, like working on your chest, shoulders and arms at least twice a week (baked bean tins make great alternative hand weights) and you’re well on your way to feeling a whole lot better.
If you’re feeling more adventurous, why not try an hour and a quarter’s worth of vigorous activity? Running, playing a game of tennis or cycling fast or on hilly terrain all help to get your heart pumping. And there’s the two or more days of strength building again, too, don’t forget that. The key here is that, apart from getting fit, you’re enjoying it; if that’s not happening, the motivation to carry on will most likely fade quickly.
Mixing and matching’s never been bad if you’re into that; try 2 parts vigorous and 1 one part moderate exercise or vice versa. If you’re finding this a particularly difficult habit to pick up, here’s a tip to help build it into your routine: how about dividing your exercise into 30 minute chunks throughout the working week? Easy peasy! And you’ve got your 150 mins recommended in there. Who knows, maybe after a week or two you’ll actually not sigh at the thought of doing exercise but – shock! – actually go at it for longer than you needed to.
This is five-part series of articles, to help you cope with whatever challenges life throws at you. Click here to view part 1 – The Five Ways to Wellbeing • Connect (1)