So 2017 has arrived, and we are looking to start the year being more physically active and moving more throughout the day. What can we do? Where do I start?
1. Choose fun and enjoyable activities.
Variety is key, if you get bored of one activity try a different one. All that matters is that we keep moving and staying active. Why not try walking – it is a very good activity simply because it is something that is easy to do on a continual basis. It’s good to vary your walking routes, the parks/woods you visit etc. Have a look at parkrun.ie to see local opportunities to complete a 5k.
2. Think about a new activity you would like to try.
Choose fun and enjoyable activities. Variety is key if you get bored of one activity try a different one.
3. Set one main goal for you to achieve.
Personal achievement will increase the enjoyment for you. This goal needs to be realistic such as being able to walk for a certain distance or to cycle without stopping. You will be amazed at how quickly your level of fitness improves and how quickly you can achieve these goals. Remember to progress slowly onto the next goal.
There are plenty of couch to 5k programmes if you fancy building up to a 5K jog. The programme below is aimed at helping you run for 30 minutes over an eight-week period.
Couch 2 5k beginners running programme
C25K is a fantastic program that’s been designed to get just about anyone from the couch to running 5km or 30 minutes in just eight weeks. Its secret is that it’s a gentle introduction to getting the body moving, starting off alternating between walking and running small distances, and slowly building up until after eight weeks, you’re ready to run 5km or 30 minutes nonstop. There are plenty of smartphone apps that will do the job. http://www.c25k.com/
When you run with a group of runners, it usually means you are more likely to turn up! You are also more likely to keep the pace and not take short cuts. Parkrun.ie organise free, weekly, 5km timed runs around the world including various locations in Ireland. They are open to everyone, free and are safe and easy to take part in. See www.parkrun.ie for more information.
Most athletic clubs run the GloHealth Fit4life programme, which is for all runners whether you are a complete beginner or a regular jogger / runner. A trained instructor will give you tips and information on how to run and build up your fitness. http://www.athleticsireland.ie/clubs/fit4life/
4. Use your diary to schedule your daily exercise onto your to do list.
Think of it as simply something you need to do as part of your day. At the beginnings of each week plan out your activity for the week. Write down when you want to be active and for how long. If you look at the diary at the end of the week it will help you identify reasons for not sticking to your proposed plan and could help you to stay motivated.
5. Stand and move more doing the work day.
Look for opportunities to stand up and move more at work. Can you take phone calls while standing? Is it possible to have a walk and talk meeting?
Adults at least 30 minutes a day of moderate activity on 5 days a week. Short bouts of at least 10 minutes can be accumulated.
Children and Young People at least 60 minutes moderate intensity activity every day of the week. All activity no matter how short counts.