At Forever, we believe that fitness is for everybody. That’s to say that it doesn’t matter what age you are, what job you do, what size you are or what your fitness level is like right now – everybody can, and should incorporate exercise and fitness into their routine.
We understand that sometimes it’s not easy. Life can be busy, children need to be looked after, and there just doesn’t seem to be enough hours in the day to run a marathon on top of it all.
But we want to show you why fitness is so important for everybody to get involved in, and just how easy it can be to get stuck in. So, put on your running shoes and join us for your healthiest month yet!
Why is fitness so important?
The thing with exercise is that while some people have a healthy relationship with the idea of it, many other people just simply don’t. Unpleasant thoughts of school P.E. lessons spring to mind, making us feel unmotivated, or the idea of “burning off that chocolate bar I ate earlier” makes us view exercise as a form of punishment. These thoughts make us less likely to get stuck into exercise, because we feel it’s something we have to endure, rather than enjoy.
But there are many positives to exercise. Not only does it help to improve your health, reducing your risk of major illnesses, such as heart disease and stroke by up to 50% (according to the NHS), but it also has many other benefits, too.
For one thing, it can make us feel happier! When you exercise, your body releases chemicals called endorphins, which trigger a positive feeling in the body. Some health bodies even suggest exercise can help you to cope with feelings of mild to moderate depression. Exercise also helps us to feel more relaxed and sleep better, in turn having a positive impact on our energy levels throughout the day.
“But I don’t enjoy exercise!”
We may have preconceived ideas about what ‘exercise’ entails, but chances are you’re limiting yourself! All exercise needs to do is raise your heart rate for 150 minutes a week (you can break that down however you like, but as standard advice: that’s thirty minutes, five days a week).
Of course, you can do that by running, swimming, or playing a game of tennis - but have you thought about putting on a playlist of your favourite songs and just dancing away? Or have you thought about taking your dog on a longer, faster walk, perhaps incorporating some hills along the way? What about setting yourself challenges while cleaning your house, like doing things as quickly as possible to get your body moving, or planning to clean rooms in a way that means you’ll be walking up and down the stairs more than usual. Put a little muscle into the scrubbing you’d be doing anyway, and you’ll be surprised how much better you feel!
It’s important to remove the notion of exercising to lose weight. While this can be a side effect of getting stuck in, the scales don’t always reflect what you want to see (increased muscle mass can sometimes increase the number of the scale, even while making you leaner). Instead, track your progress in terms of your physical achievements: you walked further today than you did yesterday; you did two more push-ups than you managed before; you find the activity you’re doing easier than you did last week (that’s how you know it’s working and it’s time to push yourself a little further). Remember that it doesn’t matter how slowly you’re progressing, so long as you keep pushing forward!
How can I make it fit around my life?
Now you know the benefits of working out, have identified something you enjoy doing, and know how to track your progress in a way that doesn’t correlate to the number on the scales, how do you actually start to implement this in a way that really fits into your lifestyle? That will depend on your lifestyle, but we find the best and most motivating way is to team up with somebody else where you can – even if that’s via video call at the moment!
If you need to look after your children, why not get them involved in the exercise? Not only will they benefit from getting active too, but you’ll be spending more quality time with them - and let’s be honest, if you’re running around after them, you’ll be getting even MORE of a workout than if you just did it alone.
Perhaps it involves you waking up a little earlier than everybody else to get half an hour alone. If you want your exercise to be a relaxing bit of me-time, perhaps consider a slightly earlier wake up call. It’ll help you feel refreshed and ready for the day.
Remember that you don’t necessarily need to take thirty minutes in one huge chunk of time – if it simple isn’t feasible, break it up into 10-minute slots. Challenge yourself to do as many squats as you can while you wait for your pasta to boil. Dance to some music while you wait for the kettle to boil. Walk up and down the stairs a few times before going to bed, rather than just heading straight up and going to sleep.
If you use your imagination, you’ll see that fitness really can be for everybody! What ways do you use to stay fit and healthy? We’d love to hear from you in the comments.
We’re holding a nation-wide C9 Challenge on 18th May to help you to kickstart your nutrition. Why not join us? Find out more here: https://flpuk.info/FitnessForEverybody