After nearly two years stuck inside with Netflix and blankets, it can be tricky to remember the importance of being fit and well, or where to begin when thinking about it. Now that lockdown is beginning to ease, you might be wondering how to get back on track with your health and fitness. So, let’s talk about it!
A Word from a Personal Trainer
Jack Taplin, personal trainer, and boxer, had this to say on the importance of exercise: “Exercise is important as it’s a break from a reality, a time in which all the stresses and pressures of day-to-day life dissipate. Not only are there physical and mental benefits to exercise, there is also a feeling of progress that is the most motivating thing! Knowing everyday you’re working towards something bigger and better, and making the unbearable days seem bearable whether you do it alone or as part of a group.”
What are the Benefits? According to The World Health Organisation, regular exercise can improve your mental health, sleep, and even academic performance. Exercise increases the production of endorphins, the brain’s ‘happy hormone.’ So, getting plenty of exercise is great not only for your physical health, but also for your mental and personal wellbeing. The NHS has medically proven regular exercise can reduce the risk of dementia by up to a 30%, and 20% lower risk of breast cancer, and even a 50% lower risk of colon cancer. Exercise is free, good for you, and doesn’t require a prescription.
Where to Start Great starting points for getting back into exercise might be a guided YouTube video on something you’re interested in, such as healthy cooking or running tips. If you have one, dust off your Nintendo Wii to learn some Yoga or strength training games. You don’t need a gym to stay active, just a can-do attitude and a pinch of motivation. Once you’re more comfortable with exercise, maybe an online charity challenge, like the MacMillian squat challenge, would be a fantastic way to stretch yourself and help a great cause; there are loads to choose right across social media, from push-ups to walking challenges.
Really, your health and fitness is what you make it. Starting small really works, even if it is something as simple as getting off the bus one stop early, or taking a subtly longer route home after a dog walk, it all builds up to make a stronger, healthier you.
Secondary sources: https://www.nhs.uk/live-well/exercise/exercise-health-benefits/ https://www.who.int/news-room/fact-sheets/detail/physical-activity