Exercise. Are you getting enough?

Over a third of UK adults aren’t getting enough exercise. We get it — between commuting, work, school runs etc. it can feel like there isn’t enough time to fit everything in. So, let’s run (literally!) through what you can do at home and how to make the most of your time.

NHS recommendations

You should be doing 2½ hours of moderate-intensity activity a week

  • An easy way to reach this is to split it into 5 x 30 minutes — this includes things like brisk walking and easy cycling

  • Also, try to include some type of activity that works on your muscle strength two days a week

  • If hard and fast is more your style, up the intensity of the activity and you only need to do 75 minutes a week — this includes things like running, football, and swimming

Why you should make the time

From the outset, it’s good to remember why exercise is so good for you. The benefits go way beyond maintaining a healthy weight, it reduces your risk of developing a chronic disease, boosts your self-esteem, and reduces the symptoms of anxiety and depression. Plus there’s nothing like that elated feeling of reaching your first 5k or how nice it is to put some time aside that just focuses on you.

Tips to get it done

  • Make use of your commute — walk to work if you can or hop off the bus a few stops from work.

  • Be efficient — you don’t need to spend hours walking, opt for a short but sweet 15-20 minute high intensity workout.

  • Buddy up — throwing on your runners after a long day at work is hard, but it’s easier when you’ve got a friend to do it with.

  • Make it fun — pushing your body to new limits can be really fun if you choose something you enjoy doing .

  • Get competitive — something like an upcoming race is a great way to get you moving.

A PT in your pocket

If you want to get started but have no idea what a plank is, how to do a press up, or how to run a kilometre (let alone a 5k), there are loads of apps you can use to guide you. We love Nike+ Training Centre, Sworkit, Qinetic, and Pocket Yoga. For some extra running guidance try out Nike+ Run Club and Couch to 5K.

Weekly guide

Monday: Start you week with 30 minutes of strength exercises — think lunges, press ups, planks, and squats.

Tuesday: Try 15-20 minutes of stair runs (sprint up and walk back to the bottom) or go for a 30 minute brisk walk.

Wednesday: Put your feet up — you’ve earned it!

Thursday: Set your alarm clock a little earlier and do a 20-30 minute mix of high intensity and strength moves (use a free workout app for some guidance).

Friday: It’s time to rest again!

Saturday and Sunday: Use one day at the weekend to rest and to get outdoors! Hit the park or the trails for a walk — aim for at least 30 minutes and reach your 75-150 recommended minutes).

It should be challenging but you also want to enjoy it and not injure yourself. So if you’re a beginner, make sure to build your way up to this.

LifestyleEB