Updated: Jan 22, 2020
Physical exercise is vital for a healthy body and a happy mind, but this doesn't always mean we have to run 10km a day, deadlift 200kg or swim the channel.
Exercise is personal. People prefer different ways of maintaining and getting fit however there are barriers in everyday life hindering those with even the best intentions.
Here are my first 5 ways to improve your daily fitness:
Stretching when you wake up can get those muscles going that have been sedentary all through the night. It gets your circulation going ready for the day. So when you wake up try a standing forward fold letting your arms hang loose, slowly curling your spine down to the ground with soft bent knees and then curl back to standing.
Try stretching your arms out wide and backwards to open up your chest.
2. Eat a healthy breakfast
Or a healthy smoothie/juice if you're not a breakfast eater. There is a lot of research saying "eating breakfast makes you lose weight" and "eating breakfast makes you gain weight" and other absolute statements all with little evidence to support claims. Starting the day with a healthy meal or drink can wake up the digestive system, give you an energy boost and for some people who wake up hungry it will satisfy those pangs. Try some fresh berries with yogurt and granola, some granary toast with peanut butter and a banana or a smoothie loaded with fresh fruit.
3. Take every opportunity to walk
Walking everyday is a great way to improve your general fitness. Its low impact, low intensity and you do it at your own pace - and have an opportunity to get out into nature. Benefits include; increased cardiovascular fitness, reduce risk of heart disease, strengthen bones the list goes on.
Don't have time to take 2 hour walks? No problem! Walk when you can. Take the stairs to get to your 3rd floor office, walk around on your lunch break, walk to and from work, get off the bus one stop earlier, skip the escalators, walk the kids to school, park further away from the shops - no one needs the stress of fighting for that one space near the entrance when there is an abundance of spaces further back!
4. Inconvenience yourself
Avoid the easy way! Instead of trying to balance all six shopping bags from the car to the house, make two trips; even better make six trips! Left your jumper upstairs? Go and get it don't just go without or get someone to grab it whilst they're there. Rethink those services you use that minimise your activity level.
5. Minimise snacking and change to healthy snacks
If you've had a healthy breakfast just think if you are hungry for that snack or just a bit bored? And if you know you can't make it through the morning without biting someone's head off in the office make sure you pack healthy snacks. Make your own granola bars, cut up carrot sticks, a little bit of fruit or even a small portion of mixed nuts.
So there are my first 5 ways to improve your daily fitness, check back tomorrow for my final 5 and start making those small changes to your routine for an all round healthier lifestyle.