Getting active. How can you get more active if you hate exercise?

Getting active: How can you get more active if you hate exercise?

Well, you’ve got to start by trying to find out exactly what it is you hate about “it”.

Exercise is just being active, just sometimes in a way that will challenge you a little more than say, walking the dog. If you’ve walked the dog every day for years, then although it’s a good activity and gentle exercise, it’s not going to push the levels of your fitness by any great shakes. Your heart & lungs aren’t challenged to work harder and your body isn’t pushed to burn extra calories. Now, all that would change if you decided to up the speed of your walk & changed the route so that it included some hills or banks. This would be a challenge to you and that’s what you should be aiming at – build it up gradually though for your dogs sake as well as your own!

So, getting back to the word exercise. Maybe it’s just the word we hate. Maybe is conjures up memories of old school P.E. lessons. Freezing cold on the hockey field or netball court, stuck out of the way waiting for a ball that never got passed to you because you were never very good at it. Coming last on school sports days with all the parents looking! These were my memories of P.E. and so, for many years I thought I hated “it” – exercise – so I just didn’t do it.

Then, I went to an exercise class because my friends said it was a laugh. It was & then I realised that there are so many different ways to exercise, it’s really just about finding something that you enjoy.

Something that doesn’t feel as if it’s exercise but is!

Maybe you’ve had a bad experience at a gym which has put you off exercising? You wouldn’t be the first. I encountered the same thing the first time I went in to a gym.

I stood outside the door for ages, too afraid to go in, not knowing what the people were going to be like on the other side. Would I look out of place, would everyone look at me, how would I know what to do, would there be other “new” people like me? I plucked up the courage and went in and all my worst fears were realised – it was full of super fit, super tanned, beautiful people and no, I didn’t know what to do & no one showed me. I never went back!

My advice to you would be to do your research. Ask friends, colleagues, family for reports on the place you’re thinking about visiting. Ask the gym for a free trial session and attend at a time that you’d normally be going at. Ask questions, make sure they have systems in place to look after you throughout your visits and most importantly, see how being there makes you feel. Did you feel comfortable, were the staff and other members friendly, did you feel as if you fit in? All gyms & health clubs are different as are the people who go to them so don’t make a decision until you have tried a few and by doing that, you’ll find the one that’s right for you.

Compared to years ago, you have so many options available to you now. At one time it was just running on the streets or going to a gym. Now there are hundreds of different ways to get fit from yoga & pilates classes to all types of dance classes. There’s swimming, climbing & cycling –  indoors as well as outdoors! The list is endless and it’s about finding a variety of activities to do so that you don’t become bored doing the same thing over and over, and so that you challenge your body in different ways.

The more we advance in this world, the less physical activity we do. We drive instead of walking, we have machine to help clean our clothes, clean our floors, mow our lawns, all with minimum effort from us. Many people spend hour’s stationary at a desk all day and we think nothing of lying watching T.V. for hours on end each evening. So you can see the importance of getting up and getting active, not just to look better & feel better, but to prevent weight related illnesses such as type 2 diabeties, heart problems and so on.

If it’s the thought that exercise is just too much like hard work, too strenuous, too sweaty then you need to think again. Not all exercise is like this. There’s a well-established theory that mild to moderate physical activity is, for most people, the best way to better health. Apart from anything else, unless you do something you enjoy – or can at least put up with – you won’t stick at it. Similarly, if you start off doing too much too soon, you’ll get fed up and stop, get injured or even make yourself ill.

So what’s the right amount of exercise to get fit and healthy without injuring yourself in the process?

Read more on the right amount of exercise