Feel better on the inside and more confident on the outside.
Improving your physical fitness will also help you feel better inside. Let us inspire you! From making small changes in your day-to-day to finding new activities you enjoy, be it on your own, with family or friends, you’ll soon discover how staying active is extremely healthy - and a lot of fun too!
Anyone of any age – young, or young at heart – can benefit from being active on a regular basis, not least from the positive effect on your body’s systems, helping them to work together and function better. And there’s one great bonus: once you start feeling better, that means you’ll sleep better. Each kind of exercise offers a range of potential benefits: swimming for toning your body, for example, or cycling for stamina and muscle strength. But you don’t have to train like an Olympian: social activities like dancing are just as effective. And, whichever activity you feel works for you, have fun. The change in you will be all for the good.
You could start getting into being active by introducing short, gentle, easy exercise into your regular daily routine. None of these require any special equipment but will make the most of even the busiest of schedules to provide a moderate amount of additional work for your body. At its simplest level you might decide to get off the bus or tube one or two stops earlier than usual and walk the rest of the way. That little extra can then build up slowly and regularly, and will lay the groundwork for all kinds of other activities.
'Going for a run' may be words which strike dread into many people, but it’s not as scary as it sounds. If you want to give it a try, all you need is a good pair of trainers and comfortable clothes, and some achievable goals that you set for yourself. As you progress you may start noticing a number of benefits: your stamina will increase, you’ll be out of breath less – you may notice some weight loss. Running is also considered one of the best activities for your heart. As you run more, you might even start to think about joining in organised runs: first fun runs and a 10K or two… who knows, maybe one day you’ll be crossing the finish line at a marathon!
No wonder cycling for fun continues to be so popular. It is a fantastic way of staying active that is exhilarating, liberating and gentle on the environment. Because the bike takes most of the strain, there is far less impact on your lower body, which makes it a great choice for anyone who hasn’t been able to exercise much recently. Apart from all the health benefits – it is generally considered to be particularly effective in reducing the risk of heart disease and diabetes – cycling is easy to incorporate into your existing daily routine: cycling to and from work, for example.
Walking is literally the first step along the road to a more active life! As with all activities, it’s sensible to start slowly then gradually increase – shorter, not too demanding walks before you think about hiking in the mountains! Aside from the physical benefits, walking gives you the chance to explore your local parks, green spaces and nearby countryside – perhaps joined by friends or family. Or if you just want some time alone to clear your thoughts, you can walk with some of your favourite music, relishing the solitude and the fresh air.
Swimming is a wonderful all-round activity: it works out and firms up virtually every muscle in your body; the buoyancy of the water supports nearly all your body weight (so it’s a perfect choice if you haven’t been exercising for a while or have stiff muscles and joints); you don’t need to buy lots of expensive equipment and it suits all ages, meaning you can swim throughout your life. There can also be significant benefits in terms of stamina and cardiovascular fitness as well as calorie-burning, and it’s a great cross-training activity. The natural, positive feeling of swimming makes your thoughts clearer and more relaxed.