Exercise is vital to keep us physically fit, improve our mental health, and promote restful sleep. It’s often tempting to ignore it when we’re young and invincible! Then we start to get a little creaky and exercise suddenly seems like a good idea to get us moving again, but it’s hard to know where to begin.
And, if you’re a wee bit unfit there’s also the concern of overdoing it, which is just as unhealthy as not doing anything.
Happily, it is possible to gently ease yourself into better health. Here’s how…
We All Make Excuses
When it comes to starting something new, we all have the same old excuses; too busy/tired/unfit/old/inexperienced. But none of these is good enough to keep you on the sofa!
When you start exercising from scratch your goal is simply to move about a bit more than you were before, whether you’re a beginner or experienced but rusty. It’s not about dramatically changing your entire routine overnight – that’s daunting for anyone.
Start with Something Easy
Walking is the safest and easiest way to start. You don’t need to charge off on an epic hike – a short gentle stroll is all you need to be doing at first.
The wonderful thing about even a little walk is that you’ll start to feel the benefits very quickly. It’s surprising how fresh air perks you up physically and mentally (even if you’re tired), so even a short walk will help, and it’s most definitely better than doing nothing.
Don’t forget to give a little thought to your walking style. Posture is important and so is your footwear even for a short distance, so try not to slouch and look straight ahead.
Start with Tiny Steps
For real benefits, you need to exercise regularly but it’s hard to incorporate something new into your daily routine even if you have the time, (it’s not just you – we all have this problem). Thankfully, the best way to overcome this is actually very simple.
Take the tiniest of steps. This could mean a walk to the end of your road and back, or you could time yourself. Walk down the road for five minutes and then turn round and walk back home. There’s no hard and fast rule here, but less is definitely more at first. It doesn’t matter if you’re only out for a few minutes.
It’s a few minutes more than you did last week, which means you’re making progress.
If you can do this every day that’s great, but every other day or twice a week is fine to start with. The important thing is that you stick with it – and you will be able to keep it up if you’re kind to yourself and don’t do too much too soon.
As time goes by, you can add an extra minute or two or go a few steps further. Tiny increments will seem insignificant at the time, but if you continue like this after a month or two you’ll be surprised at how far you’ve come.
Check Your Feet Before You Start
You won’t get far if your feet aren’t in good shape, and you must wear the right shoes – otherwise, even gentle exercise will lead to all sorts of problems.
At Feet By Pody our experienced podiatrists will give your feet a complete MOT and advise you on the correct footwear.
Contact one of our London clinics today