Has this January seen you making a new year’s resolution to get fit? If so, you’re not alone…
A recent survey showed that the most common new year’s resolution is to do more exercise.
But would it surprise you to learn that despite being the most popular of new year’s resolutions, just 24% of people promising to do more exercise, actually stick to it? Although at W5Physio, we massively recommend exercise to our patients…we get it! We know starting a new exercise regime can be scary, it can seem like a chore and simply something you don’t have time for in your busy schedule.
That’s why we’ve pulled together our top tips for making exercise FUN! And perhaps more importantly, sustainable. Read on to learn how you can be one of the successful minority who actually sticks to their new year’s exercise resolution and reaps the health benefits of getting fit this year.
The secret to success
The secret to success when it comes to exercise is to find an activity that you actually enjoy. A lot of people see their workout as something they just need to tick off their to-do list, either first thing in the morning or at the end of the day. It’s an errand, a duty, something they’d rather not do, but feel obliged to anyway.
Yet the NHS suggests everyone aged 19 to 64 should aim to be physically active every day. That includes two days of strength training and 150 minutes of moderate, or 75 minutes of vigorous, intensity activity a week. Is sound impossible to stick to? Well, it really is tricky if you’re not enjoying the exercise regime you’ve chosen.
But, we’ve got good news for you…exercise can be fun!
Fitness that fits you
There’s no one-size-fits-all when it comes to exercise. The best form of exercise for you is one you enjoy the most and that fits into your lifestyle. To begin with, try not to worry about hitting your targets in regard to NHS recommendations. Start small, build your fitness and your confidence and once you’ve found the right routine for you, picking up the pace and volume shouldn’t be that hard.
Enjoying the exercise and feeling happy is much more effective than simply going through the motions of a workout because you feel forced into it. It’s well-known that exercise in any form releases endorphins (happy hormones) in the brain – the more you enjoy your workout, the more happy hormones will be released! As a result, you’ll want to exercise more.
If you’re not sure where to start when it comes to finding an exercise plan to suit you and your lifestyle, talk to one of our physios. All of W5’s physiotherapists have the qualifications and experience to help you discover the wide variety of exercise options available to you.
How to make exercise fun
Here are just a few of our suggestions of making the mundane feel more fun:
- Want to start running? Find a ‘Couch to 5km’.
This running programme has become a bit of a phenomenon over the past few years. And it’s not difficult to see why. The thought of trudging down dark roads in the cold winter months doesn’t entice many people into taking up the sport. Instead, ‘Coach to 5km’ offers both online plans and apps for you to follow or in some areas, groups who meet to run together. The programmes work to build up your fitness and muscle strength gradually, preventing injuries and offering encouragement to participants. They can also offer advice on the right footwear and additional strength training to improve your running too.
- Want to start weight training? Join a gym.
It may sound obvious but if you’re just starting out with weight training, the best and safest way to do it is to join a gym. Not only do you receive the advice needed through induction sessions and ongoing support, but you also get to meet a whole host of like-minded people who you can work out alongside too. Many gyms offer weight-based classes and often joining a class can be more fun and motivating than simply working out alone.
To help you stick to your weight training regime, it’s important to set achievable goals. Your physiotherapist or trainer can help with this and once you start seeing results, you’re sure to have the motivation to continue with your weight training for the long term.
Many gyms offer January membership offers, so now’s a great time to compare offers and find the right gym for you.
- You want to learn a new sport. Join a club/team.
Many of us enjoy being competitive and that’s why competitive sports can add an extra element of excitement to our exercise. Sometimes, you become so enthralled in the game, you forget you’re even working out!
Take tennis for example. Lessons are a great place to starts and there are many affordable clubs across London that also offer all you need when it comes to finding the right equipment.
Also think rowing, football, rounders or bowls. Start with one lesson a week, and W5’s physios can provide you with some additional exercises that will build your strength and fitness so you’re increasing your activity lessons in no time at all.
- Want to move to music? Join a class!
Many of us confess to loving music and there’s no doubt that exercising to your favourite tunes can be a great way to make your workout fly by!
From dance and yoga classes to aqua aerobics, HIIT classes and spin, there’s an abundance of options on offer and bound to be a class not too far away from you.
Exercising in a group is proven to make people less likely to give up when it gets tough and the social C has great health benefits too.
- Want to work out at home? Download an app.
Let’s face it. Sometimes, no matter how hard we try, it’s really hard to physically fit a workout into our day! When that’s the case, don’t use it as an excuse to not exercise. Instead, try working out at home.
Nowadays there are thousands of online workouts to choose from, as well as fitness apps and home DVDs. Plus, how many of us have an exercise bike or rowing machine which is currently buried under a pile of clothes? Come on, make this year your year for dusting it off and putting that exercise equipment to good use. You can even do it whilst dinner’s in the oven or the kids are doing their homework!
Remember, exercise in whatever form should be part of everyone’s lives, but it doesn’t have to feel like a chore. Physiotherapy doesn’t just focus on improving injuries and getting people back to doing what they were doing before their problem started. It helps compliment your exercise routine and our physios really enjoy helping people be the healthiest they can. With that in mind, why not have us tailor an exercise programme to suit your lifestyle? Let us help you to stick to that most tricky of resolutions…to get fit in 2023!