Exercise in simple terms is any movement that makes your muscles work and requires your body to burn calories. Several types of physical activities are classed as exercise including aerobic exercise such as running, swimming and dancing. Lifting weights, Pilates and Yoga are also forms of bodily exercise which you can partake in.
Exercising provides countless benefits to your brain and body, particularly when done regularly. These benefits include making you feel happier, helping with weight loss or weight maintenance, increasing energy levels and reducing the risk of developing chronic disease. Exercise also boosts brain health and memory, improves sleep quality and helps improve your general sense of wellbeing.
There are so many ways to exercise that there will always be one suited to your lifestyle. Some people prefer to take brisk walks through nature, while others could prefer a team sport, such as a game of football. These all have the same overall benefits when done regularly for at least 30 minutes three times in a week.
Below are some tips for making exercise a daily habit.
- Break your workouts down: you don’t need to do 30 minutes at once, you can split your workouts over the course of the day, for instance 10mins each in the morning, afternoon and evening.
- Exercise with a friend: having someone else you exercise with can really help with motivation
- Try a pedometer: Step counters (pedometers) are an easy, inexpensive way to motivate yourself. Since the steps are being tracked, you can set goals and daily challenges.
- Sign up for a class: you can join a class at the local gym which can help put structure to your fitness goals.
- Get enough sleep: getting enough sleep at night is crucial to recharge the body’s batteries.
- Eat healthy foods and moderate meal portions: increase your intake of fresh leafy vegetables and whole foods like whole-grain rice, whilst avoiding processed foods which contain minimal nutrients.
- Reward yourself: set short term goals and reward yourself for achieving them.
Including regular exercise in your daily routines can be very hard initially but it gets easier the more you do it and soon becomes fun! For the numerous benefits we get from regular exercise, it is definitely worth it if we want to live a long, healthier life.
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