How to get active

Not everyone was born an exercise junkie. Follow these tips to learn to love exercise and get the body you want.

Starting fitness plan can be difficult if you don't know how. Charmaine Yabsley has 4 tips to get you off the couch and living the healthy active life you want to.

Don’t try and achieve too much at first - remember slow and steady wins the race - but do aim for twenty minutes of light exercise such as walking or swimming every day. Even if it’s just a stroll to the shops to get the newspaper and milk, it’s still exercise. Then, the following week, aim for 30 minutes a day and pick up your pace a little. The following week, aim for 40 minutes. Within six weeks, you should be comfortably exercising for 60 minutes a day at a pace where you are left feeling a touch breathless at the end of your walk or workout.
Turn off the TV
Are you spending night after night watching TV while your middle gets wider and wider? On average, we watch around 2.5 hours of television every day, yet around half of us exercise for less than 30 minutes a day. Imagine how trim and fit we’d be if we reversed these two.
Use a pedometer
Studies indicate the use of a pedometer, especially with a daily step goal, is associated with a significant increase in physical activity (additional walking of about a two kilometres a day) and subsequent decreases in body mass index and blood pressure, according to an article published in the Journal Of the American Medical Association (JAMA). In one study, pedometer users increased their physical activity by 2,491 steps per day, compared to those who don’t keep track.
Find a training partner
In a study of 189 women conducted by the University of Connecticut, strong social support was key to maintaining a new exercise regimen for one year. Join a running or walking club or encourage your friends to work out with you. You’ll be less likely to miss your training session when you know that your mates are counting on you. Plus, you’ll encourage each other to do that extra ten minutes and push yourselves that little bit harder.
“Prioritise yourself!”
Says Personal Trainer Hamish Abbie. “No matter what you have planned for your day, week, month or year, it’s irrelevant if you don't have your health. Put yourself at the top of your priority list and stay there. Lock it in, schedule your training sessions into your diary and stick to them.” Hamish also suggests variety and recruiting a personal trainer. “A PT will design your program, set your goals, keep you accountable and provide you with fresh, effective and interesting workouts.”

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