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Answer these key questions and get mentally ready to start your fitness journey.

So you have been a bit of a couch potato recently, maybe you've had an injury, you've been on holiday, been in lockdown or you just haven't felt like being active. Getting back to where you are regularly moving your body and pursuing exercise can be a mental stretch. It's easy to be put off by questions like: Where will I get the time? What exercises can I do? What will I wear? All of these are the mental barriers to fitness that we need to work on to get moving. Beat your mind then you can work your body.

I want to get moving 

You know you want to get more active so the first hurdle has already been overcome. Write down a list of all the reasons you want to get more active. 

This is something to look back on when you are struggling to keep to your fitness goals and a way of giving yourself inspiration to keep going. Now you have a plan to make it happen.

Before you get started make sure to talk through any health issues with your doctor to make sure you are ready for your new fitness life.

Finding time for fitness

If we are truthful we can usually find time for fitness - it just needs to be prioritised and for the sake of our future health it should be near the top of the list. The best times of day for most people are;

  • First thing in the morning, especially great if you are an early bird. Catch the worm by getting out the house early for a refreshing walk or jog?
  • Lunch hour - Many of us have an hour lunch break which we don't fully utilise. Do a little research, are there classes near you, a park to walk in, a swimming pool to have a dip? By putting aside half an hour for exercise you'll still have time for prep and a sarnie at your desk!
  • Evenings - Straight after work is a great time to go if you don't have any pressing family demands. This is when many of the sporting clubs meet for practise too, so you can mix the social with the exercise.

What exercises should I do? 

No matter your level of fitness or health there is something to suit everyone! If you haven't exercised for a while the key is to start slow and build up. The aim is to try and get all your major muscle groups moving for at least 10 minutes at a time and then build up from there. Ideally you should be exercising at a medium intensity for between 20-40mins per day. Medium intensity means your heart rate is raised but you could still sustain a conversation. Once your body is used to a regular work out including some higher intensity work - where your heart is beating fast and you can no longer maintain a conversation - can add further health benefits. 

Variety is your friend - It can be hard to maintain walking the same route on a daily basis, but if you swim one day, walk the next and take relaxation yoga the day after, it is easier to keep yourself interested in your fitness activities. It has the added benefit of working different muscle groups so your body gets a more thorough work out.

Exercise ideas  

  • Walking and running - It could be a scenic walk around your local beauty spot or interval running to timed increments, all you need are decent shoes and a footpath.
  • Swimming - find a pool or an expanse of water, you can jog in it, swim in it or do aqua-aerobics in it, it's always more fun to add water.
  • Sports clubs - Join a club to get moving, bowls for a gentle stretch, soccer for a run around or dragon boating to get on the water. This non-exhaustive list is just the tip of the iceberg as far as the diversity of sporting clubs out there. What takes your fancy?   
  • Gym - Some love it, some hate it, but if you want to build some muscle this is the place to fast track it. Take a tour of your local gym to see if it feels good for you, with most gyms offering a free personal training session where you can get a routine based on your fitness level. 
  • Classes - If you want to be guided through your exercise session find some local classes. Classes cover a gamut of different styles including aerobic, weight focused, high intensity interval training (HIIT - think fast but furious), yoga, pilates, spin (static cycling), boxing (non-contact) and dancercise. Before you join the class talk to the the providers to get a sense of how active you are expected to be and whether anything is modified for those just starting on their fitness journey.

What will I wear?

You don't need branded kit to get active. The one essential purchase for on land activities are a good pair of sports shoes. These will help cushion your joints and lessen any impact related injuries. Besides this, any clothes that are comfortable, give your joints room to move, and will not make you overheat are good enough to get started in!

How can I incorporate exercise in my everyday movement?

When you start on your fitness journey it becomes easier to see the everyday opportunities in your life to take the active option. Choosing the stairs instead of the lift; walking to the bus stop that is further away; choosing the walking activity at the weekend rather than the static. These small changes to your life can build up, one flight of stairs at a time, to a healthier more active you. 

If you are living with or at risk from chronic and complex medical conditions and injuries our Accredited Exercise Physiologists (AEPs) can help you with clinical exercise interventions. We provide physical activity education, advice and support on lifestyle modification to assist the restoration of our client’s optimal physical function, health and wellbeing.

Contact us at OccHealth by Altius on 1800 258 487.