Month: January 2014

Coming soon – reasons to exercise

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There will follow a short series of reasons to exercise – when I get five minutes in between the exercise 😀

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‘I don’t like exercise’

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Sometimes people are put off exercise because it reminds them of those awful PE classes at school, climbing ropes, jumping on and off benches and so on.

pe class

Many people also don’t like the rules and regulations of organised sport but are happy to have a ‘kickabout’ with a ball.

footie

For those of you who hate sport exercise can be dancing, walking, gardening, doing housework. Any activity which you do that leaves you a little warm and breathless is exercise!

dance

I used to hate the thought of doing any exercise but now I am a little fitter and thinner I look forward to beating my personal best at rowing (indoors) , the treadmill, weights, walking and running. Look at these pictures to see the difference just walking and eating sensibly can make!

1

One of the tricks is to not think of it as exercise, make it fun, going for a long walk with the dog/friends/grandchildren. Playing football with friends, a charity event like Race for Life – that’s how I started.

Excuse number 3 for not doing exercise – “I don’t have the willpower”

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Motivating yourself is always a big factor in both starting and continuing exercise.

give up

There are many ways to help you ensure that you start and continue:

1. Do the exercise with a friend/family member – no-one likes letting their friends down!
2. Join a group, there is the team feeling that builds up, also makes the exercise partly a social activity
3. Set achievable goals and reward yourself when you achieve them.
4. Keep a diary, start a blog
5. If the exercise is part of a weight loss programme – buy an item of clothing one size too small, you will be amazed at how quickly you can drop a size if doing regular exercise and eating well.
6. Get a sheet of paper and divide in half on one side write all the reasons to exercise and on the other all the reasons not to. Then make a plan to get rid of the barriers to doing the exercise. Your list could look like this:

For Against
Better health Tired
Slimmer Cost
Fitter It’s boring
Able to do more I can’t do it
Less illness No time
Feel better I’m happy as I am
Look better
Able to play with kids/grandkids/friends

Once you have the list work through the reasons for and against one by one and hopefully the for list will win

Excuse no. 2 not to exercise – “I’m too tired”

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This is a very common excuse/reason not to exercise. We all lead busy lives. We juggle work commitments, children, hobbies, households duties and so on, it’s rush, rush, rush.

“Fatigue is often a real barrier. You might get home from work at the end of the day and feel worn out, but often you are just experiencing mental fatigue. If you do go out and exercise, you’ll find you’re invigorated and it will give you a whole load more energy. It’s a nice paradox that exercise will relieve that tiredness.”   Dr Clare Stevinson, Loughborough University.

tired

The BBC says that exercise is known to boost performance at work, and counter lethargy, stress and depression.

tired3

The NHS website says:

Perk up with exercise

You might feel too tired to exercise, but regular exercise will make you feel less tired in the long run and you’ll have more energy. Even a single 15-minute walk can give you an energy boost, and the benefits increase with more frequent physical activity.

tired2

Exercise can release both endorphins and serotonin into the blood and these are the ‘feel good chemicals’ . Physical exercise can make us tired for a short while, but what we normally refer to as being tired is a combination of mental fatigue and stress, both of these can be helped with moderate exercise each day.

Even better than exercising alone is exercising in a group, it is often easier to keep motivated when doing activities with others and the chatting while walking can stop it feeling like exercise!

Excuse number one not to exercise – “I don’t have time to exercise”

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This is one of the top seven reasons that people gave the BBC and NHS for not doing exercise, I would like to explore this reason in a little detail

There are 24 hours in a day

clock

We sleep about 8 of those hours – average

sleeping

Some people work for another 8 hours a day – again average

office

building work

Leaving a balance of eight hours to do all the other stuff we want to do and have to do – washing, cooking, travelling, going to the pub, watching TV, reading, computer games and so on.

busy

The general recommendation is that adults exercise for a total of 30 minutes a day for at least 5 days a week.  That still leaves seven and a half hours for everything else. So where can we scrape up a total of half an hours exercise during this busy day?

Basics:

  • Check with doc that you can do the exercise you have selected
  • If new to exercising you can do ten minute chunks and build up to a thirty minute session.
  • Do not overdo it, go steady
  • Set achievable goals
  • ENJOY IT!

Finding the time:

  • Walk in your lunch break
  • Walk to the local shop rather than taking the car
  • If going by bus get on/off one stop later/earlier
  • Do some on the spot jogging during the television adverts
  • Cycle during TV programmes on an exercise bike.
  • Get up a little earlier and have a walk before work.

In ten minutes you can have a walk, climb up and down stairs, do a bit of gardening, wash the windows.

There are many clubs, groups and classes for you to join. Some, like Walking Well are designed to help you and go at your pace.

Why not do exercise?

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Did any of you make a New Years Resolution?
res

Was it one of the top 3?

Losing weight, doing exercise and eating healthier.

We all know that getting fitter and healthier, eating ‘properly’ and losing a bit of weight is good for us, so why on earth don’t we all just go and do it?

According to the BBC and the NHS there are many barriers to doing exercise:

“I don’t have time”
“I’m too tired”
“I don’t have the willpower”
“I don’t like exercise”
“It’s hard work”
“The weather is too bad for exercising”
“I’ve missed a session. I’ll never get back on track”

These are the top seven reasons for not exercising regularly; I have said all of them myself from time to time! I hope over the next few days to be able to show you that none of these are real barriers to exercise that they can be overcome, and also how we can help you to do that.

Please feel free to comment on the articles and ask any questions that arise.

Joining the group

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The start of 2014 is an ideal opportunity to join Walking Well Carmarthenshire.

Fancy a chat and a bit of a gossip?

Want to improve your health and fitness?

Fancy a bit of a stroll in the area near to where you live?

Would you like to meet new people and make new friends?

If the answer to any of these questions is YES, then joining Walking Well Carmarthenshire might be just what you are looking for…

Walking Well Carmarthenshire currently has seven Groups around the County, walking on a weekly or fortnightly basis.  These are in Carmarthen, Gorslas, Llanelli, St Clears and Whitland.  Llanelli has three groups walking at the moment to suit a variety of interests, including  a new wildlife-themed group.  More groups are planned – see below if you would like to start one up in your area.

It is free to join a Group and there is also nothing to pay when you go on a walk.  Walks are fairly gentle and go at a pace to suit everybody.  There is always plenty of time to enjoy everything that the walk has to offer, including chatting with your fellow walkers.

More information, including a calendar of future walks and contact details for the group and walk leaders, is available on the Walking Well Carmarthenshire website – http://www.walkingwellcarmarthenshire.org.uk – or you can contact the voluntary co-ordinator, Andy Kurzfeld, on 01994 448743 or by email to walkingwellcarmarthenshire@gmail.com.

If you would like to help Walking Well Carmarthenshire by becoming a Walk Leader or starting a new Group in your area, please also contact the co-ordinator.  Full training and support are available, courtesy of funding provided by the National Lottery and the National walking scheme, Let’s Walk Cymru.  Walking Well Carmarthenshire is a project of the Carmarthenshire 50+ Forum so you know you will be in safe hands.