Mind for Life

PHYSICAL HEALTH

WAYS TO KEEP ACTIVE BY
INCLUDING EXERCISE IN
YOUR DAILY ROUTINE

By Roberta Smith
Counsellor, Mind For Life
Simple tips to help you stay active and
choose activities that suit your lifestyle
Exercise releases endorphins and helps you focus on the day ahead. It is also good for increasing your energy throughout the day. My favourite exercises are weight-lifting, resistance training, dance and yoga. I find that having a varied repertoire of activities helps keep me motivated to remain fit and healthy.

Despite this, exercise can be hard to maintain if the activities you are doing are not enjoyable. For example, I am not fond of running, but I occasionally go on a run and enjoy the aftermath of feeling that I’ve tried something challenging. If the only activity I chose to do was runing, I wouldn’t be very active at all!

With this in mind, here’s a few suggestions on ways to keep active by including light,moderate or high intensity exercises into your daily routine:
Have a goal in mind
Focus on what you want to achieve, whether it’s to tone up your body, gain muscle, burn fat or increase overall fitness. It is important to target your activity for meeting your goal, such as high intensity workouts and regular walking if you aim to burn fat.
Daily manual handling tasks are a form of exercise
I don’t know if you have noticed, but cleaning the house leaves you feeling a little tired sometimes, like if you’ve been vigorously scrubbing and mopping for example. Manual tasks such as washing your car or gardening require you to use force against your body weight and can be considered resistance exercises.

Other tasks requiring lifting normal household items and boxes require physical strength and thus you can be exercising and helping your joints and muscles to maintain fluidity. I recommend that you try to make the most of tasks which require strength and stability.
Shop locally once a week without taking the car
This is a great way to start weight-lifting lightly. I tried this during lockdown as I am a keen weight-lifter, but the gyms were closed. Therefore, I started lifting bags of flour and cat food and it kept me remarkably fit.

If you are aiming to burn fat, gain muscle or generally tone up your body, this really is an effective means of doing so.
Go for a walk regularly
I like walking because it feels relatively low impact, and it is easy to make your daily walk a habit, like going to buy a coffee first thing in the morning. The great thing about walking is that you can choose to make it harder by selecting routes with an uphill incline, and you can also alter your pace regularly. As an added bonus, you get the opportunity to enjoy the scenery, open green spaces and fresh air which are all great for calming the mind.
Make it a social event and buddy up

Exercise shared really can be exercise halved, because you’re both supporting one another to keep motivated to finish the workout. It’s also a great way to build your friendships and reward each other.

Get creative
The novelty of carrying out new activities makes it more fun and encourages you to choose exercise over sitting on the couch. Try and shake up your old fitness routine of going to the gym by completing a workout at the beach or local park, for example.
Be kind and encouraging with yourself

If you don’t make it to the gym four times this week, perhaps you can reassess whether you need four visits. Instead, organise one or two workouts at home per week, for example.

Recommendations for exercise based on your ‘fitness’ style
01
Obstacle:
You like to exercise but don’t like going to the gym
Solution:
Try stretching and yoga at home
Alternative option:
Try taking a daily outdoor walk or jog
02
Obstacle:
You enjoy working out with friends or other people but not on your own
Solution:
Pair up with a friend or family member to work out together; that way you can hold each other accountable to reach your fitness goals

Alternative option:
Join a fitness club and make new friends to workout with
03
Obstacle:
You only like keeping active with a hobby or routine
Solution:
Try using your hobby as your exercise such as gardening or DIY projects
So make the most out of your exercise by keeping it fun and enjoyable and you’ll keep coming back for more!
I hope you enjoyed reading this blog and I wish you a happy,
healthy day today.

Please see the link below for outdoor yoga classes and online classes if you wish to try yoga.

Olivia Alice’s Yoga Page for yoga videos and weekly outdoor classes:
https://www.facebook.com/Livy_oga-105703184272407

If you are struggling with a problem of any kind today and would like some support, please get in touch with us at info@mindforlife.org.au or call us on +61 449 601 435

To seek help from a clinical professional or in a time of crisis please contact:
Lifeline Australia: 13 11 14
Beyond Blue: 1300 224 636

Thank you for reaching out to us at Mind For Life and taking control of your health and happiness.
Stay safe and remain calm.

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