Friday, 9 January 2015

How to get your fitness on track

Physical activity is a huge part of a healthy lifestyle, says David Stalker, CEO of ukactive. And, whether you’re active by habit or not, it’s easy to go astray. Here are some tips to help you stay on the go

Just start...
That first step is always the hardest, so willpower is key. Focus on and remind yourself why you want (need!) to make being active an important part of your daily life. Even if you start small, getting started will make all the difference.

Make time
Decide on a time that works you and stick to it. If a walk at lunchtime fits your schedule, a light run after work is better or even a short fitness class before work – put it in your diary, then refuse to move it.

Find something you enjoy
It’s all about doing something that appeals. If running isn’t for you, try a new sport or an exercise class. There will be something out there that gives you a buzz.

Involve your folks
Tell friends and family about your fitness plans and they’ll give you the encouragement we all sometimes need. They might even join you in getting fitter and make it a part of your social life.

Don’t focus on losing weight
Even if it’s your weight that kickstarts you into exercise, getting fitter and healthier should be the priority. By being more active, the weight usually takes care of itself as long as you make good nutritional choices. Importantly, muscle weighs twice as much as fat, so weight isn’t always the best indicator of health or fitness levels.

You don’t have to be sporty
Being active doesn’t have to be all about sport, though. Recreational cycling, swimming, dance or anything that gets your heart rate up and your body moving will get you on the way to a healthier future.

Make sure you rest
Eating healthy food and having plenty of sleep after exercise is vital in recovering from exertion. I know as much as anyone that finding time to get enough sleep can be tough, but trying to do an hour of hard exercise after only 4 hours’ sleep isn’t fun for anyone.

Record your progress
Activity trackers can be great way to keep motivated. Apps that learn from your daily movements and give advice can act like a virtual coach, helping you improve and maintain your fitness. Remember effort leads to rewards so look for something that tracks heart rate so you can get an accurate picture of how hard you’re working. Listening to your body is vital, but knowledge is great and keeps you accountable.

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