We understand that getting a little exercise in our day is important but not all of us are keen to go to the gym. Not that there’s anything wrong with the gym, I high five those of you that enjoy going to classes and using the state of the art equipment. It can give you a good feeling when you have taken part of a class and a great way to stay accountable. I have gone to the gym from time to time in my life and have found it useful.
Times have changed. I live in the bayside town of St Kilda with stretches of footpaths along the beach front and going indoors to exercise seems like a waste (even in winter). It's budget friendly (it costs nothing) and you get the benefit of fresh air and a boost of vitamin D everyday. It’s also low impact which means if you have chronic pain from injuries you can take it at your own pace, for as long as you want and build it from there.
To do no exercise is detrimental to not only your physical health but also your mental health. Study after study show that one of the best ways to activate that ‘happy feeling’ is through the neurotransmitter serotonin. Exercise is one of the best ways to get this naturally going in your body. Taking small steps is better than none at all, so how do you get going?
Here are some quick tips to start moving your body:
Start walking everywhere. It doesn’t matter at what pace to start with. Even just to the end of your street and back is an achievement for some. Don’t be hard on yourself. Small changes are the best ways to make real changes.
Take the stairs. For those of you that work in a building with stairs and elevators, remember to choose the stairs! Take them slowly at first and build up to double stepping. This is great for a cardio workout.
Dancing - This is one of my favourites! Going to Zumba or dance classes are great if you can afford it but you can also do it at home. Put on your favourite tunes and shake your booty!
Walk to work - if you catch a tram to work during the week, hop off a couple of stops early and walk the rest of the way. This could mean leaving home 30 mins earlier but you can get your exercise in without disrupting much of your day. Exercising in the mornings is a great way to activate your metabolism.
Walk with a buddy - Lana and I walk along St Kilda beach every morning and discuss what we will do in the office for that day. It’s great to clear the head and the fresh air makes me feel good (even if I’m rugged up in layers of clothing!) Find a friend who will walk with you.
- Ride a bike - For those of you that want to be more active, a bike is a great way to get cardio workout. If you don’t own one, there are many ‘rent a bike’ stations around (hopefully there is one in your suburb).
Spring is a week away and it’s time to not only spring clean your home but also your most important asset, you! Get some movement happening now to start you on your way. Little steps become feel-good actions and before you know it, you’ll be wondering why you hadn’t started it earlier :)
Yours in health,
(BHSc Nutritional Medicine)
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