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Taking the time to exercise

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Taking the time to exercise
Taking the time to exercise

Have you made a new year resolution to get fit? In the second of a two-part series on healthy living, Orwell-based nutritionist Susan Krueger looks at ?the importance of exercise and how to fit it into an already busy lifestyle.

For many us exercise is a topic we would rather ignore, either because we think we don’t have sufficient time to spare or simply don’t like exercising.

Exercise is essential if we want to stay fit and healthy. It can be fun and flexible – adapted to accommodate even the busiest lifestyle. Our bodies need between 30 and 60 minutes of moderate exercise daily: something that makes us breathe deeply and puff a little. A whole hour may seem like a long time, but it can be broken down into several shorter sessions of varying activities as variety helps reduce boredom. These activities are free if we use the Earth’s gymnasium.

Our bodies are designed for movement, so let’s move them. The gymnasium may be your preferred place to exercising but good exercise actually needs very few props.

■ You can fit a brisk walk into your daily routine either as a single event or broken down into shorter periods. Walk to visit colleagues rather than send an email, have a short walk before eating lunch. Park your car or get off the bus before you reach your destination, then walk the rest of the way. OK, you may have to get up a little earlier, but it is worth it because exercise will also energise you for the rest of

the day.

■ Invest in an exercise DVD and enjoy moving your body in the privacy of your home. Alternatively, turn your exercise into a social event and join an aerobics class.

■ Get yourself a skipping rope and join the many athletes who use skipping as part of their fitness regime.

■ Reshape your waist by using a hula-hoop; this exercises the abdominal muscles and back.

■ Invent your own exercise regime. This can be fun and empowering. It may include running and marching on the spot, star-jumps, touching your toes, cycling in the air and even press-ups for the adventurous (but you may want to build up to that one). If you are uncertain what to include, the internet provides many suggestions. You may even like to incorporate some pilates or yoga postures in your programme.

■ Use every opportunity to exercise. Rather than take the lift, walk up the stairs and if your work involves sitting at a desk for long periods, or even if you are watching TV, get up and move around frequently. Stretch your legs, stand on tiptoe.

■ Cycle, swim or take up a sport. Think of housework and gardening as an opportunity to exercise rather than a chore. You could even have the smartest car in Cambridge if you wash and polish it frequently.

Exercise offers us numerous benefits and is essential if want to make the most of your health. It can benefit heart and lung function, lower blood pressure, increase muscle strength and even improve your sense of wellbeing. So, make regular and frequent exercise your goal for 2017.

If you have any health problems or long-term illnesses, please check with your doctor before embarking on a new exercise regime.

Susan Krueger is a nutritionist and weight loss specialist and author of Overweight, So Whose Fault is That?



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