Healthy Exercise Advice
By Dietitian, Juliette Kellow BSc RD
As we reported previously, being physically active can reduce risk of heart disease, at any stage in life. It can also help to keep the lungs healthy, tone muscles, keep bones strong and help to burn calories so that you lose weight – and keep it off.
Health experts recommend 30 minutes of moderate intensity activity five times a week. It might sound like hard work but fast walking counts as a ‘moderate intensity’ exercise.
Better still, you don’t have to do 30 minutes in one go – it’s fine to do two blocks of 15 minutes or even three blocks of 10 minutes if you prefer. If you’ve never exercised or you haven’t been physically active for a long time, it’s worth getting the once over from your GP before starting out.
Then, follow these tips…
- No matter what your age, level of fitness, ability, size or shape, there’s an exercise out there that’s right for you so start doing some research to find some activities that will suit you and your lifestyle.
- Don't neglect your muscles! Having more muscle will help you keep weight under control - muscles burns calories even while you're asleep. It's also important for keeping you strong and active, especially for older adults.
- Investigate what’s on offer in your local area – phone around the leisure centres, gyms and pools and find out about times, availability and prices.
- Don’t narrow your choices down to conventional gym or class based activities. If you think walking might be your thing, find a hiking or rambling club near you; if you liked team sports at school, consider joining a netball team; or if you love dancing, find a dance class.
- Always warm up properly before taking part in exercise. You’re far more likely to injure yourself if your muscles haven’t been warmed up. Remember to cool down, too.
- Start gradually and slowly increase the amount and intensity of the activity you’re doing. You’ll be amazed at how quickly you’ll see an improvement.
- Put your exercise sessions in your diary. If you set time aside for them, you’ll be far more likely to keep your ‘appointments’.
Track your diet and training using the tools and databases in Weight Loss Resources. You can keep online food and exercise diaries, make sure your diet is healthy and energy balanced. Try it free for 24 hours.