Simple steps to help you get more active!
For many, January brings the inevitable New Year resolutions. It may be about losing those extra festive pounds or perhaps getting more active and improving fitness levels. It may sound easy but if you’re juggling work with keeping the kids happy, running a household and managing your weekly family budget, getting fit is probably the last thing on your mind. However, increasing activity levels by taking small steps can be surprisingly rewarding.
Whether you are looking to get your family more active or you want to get fitter, we asked a fitness expert for her top tips:
- Find something you enjoy. The most effective exercise programme is the one you’ll be able to stick to. And getting the whole family moving and fitter doesn’t have to be hard work…
Try al-fresco family fitness. The park is a great place for everyone to let off a bit of steam. Whether you rise to the challenge of getting to grips with the outdoor equipment, enjoy a kick-about with the children or try body weight exercises such as push ups on a park bench, there’s something for all the family. And when you feel like a bit of a push, why not challenge the whole family to a parkrun event?
Sign up for swimming sessions. Swimming is a great, low impact way to boost fitness levels and burn calories that the whole family can participate in. And you’ll be teaching your children life-saving skills that will stay with them for life.
Discover front room fitness. Game consoles, fitness DVDs and online workouts can all play a part in keeping you fit. You can divide the family into small teams and devise a competition – whoever’s last to finish does the washing up!
- Find a fitness buddy. Whether it’s someone you work with who is in the same boat, a supportive other half or the whole family just needing to burn off some excess energy, having a training partner can make all the difference. Double the resolve means you’re twice as likely to stay committed to being active and the chances are, you’ll find it more fun with someone else too. And there’s nothing like a bit of competition to help you power through when the going gets tough.
- Don’t assume exercise has to involve a big time or financial commitment. Cost should no longer be a barrier to getting fit. There are dozens of great free fitness apps and online workouts nowadays while many parks and green spaces now offer a good range of effective, easy to use outdoor fitness equipment. Check out the helpful resources below for some useful links.
- Keep going once the novelty of the New Year wears off. A few weeks can seem like an eternity particularly when you’ve had to struggle to find the time to exercise amongst all the others things you have to do every day. If the novelty of that celeb-inspired workout has worn off and your mouth’s watering at the thought of a takeaway, set yourself some new goals. Persuade the family to enter a fun run or walk to the shops …It may take a little effort in the form of planning and thinking differently but you’ll be amazed at what you can achieve if you set your mind to it.
When it comes to getting active, it’s about finding something which is right for you and your family, which isn’t going to feel too hard and which you could all actually enjoy. It’s not always easy but you and your family will soon start to see and feel the benefit.
Our apps page has some great suggestions for fun living room fitness routines.
The NHS Live Well site has plenty of information and ideas for getting the whole family involved in fitness.
Go Swimming has an excellent pool finder resource on their site.
parkrunUK offer free, timed runs in a supportive and welcoming environment aimed at all ages and levels .
To find out what your local council is offering in terms of fitness initiatives, contact your local authority.