Some practical hints and tips....
In a related blog (here) we asked questions about why people are so resistant to doing exercise.
We all know that an element of exercise is good for health, so why are we so good at avoiding doing it? And we often seem to avoid exploring ways we can do simple things to up our activity levels?
It takes a certain amount of mental effort and commitment to embark on any sort of exercise regime – whether it’s one that is very gentle or a full-on gym membership.
Here at KFEF, we deal with all sorts of companies to try to get their staff to embark on a fitness membership, and one London based food wholesaler said their delivery staff reckoned they were physically active enough not to need it, and the office admin staff could hardly be bothered to respond when asked if they would like to be given a free company membership.
How difficult should it be to get people active?
Often the hardest part is making the decision to do something, as it’s all too easy to convince ourselves that the status quo is perfectly fine, and we have managed to live our lives without incorporating too many healthy activities into it – or that exercise and healthy pursuits are for other people, not us.
This is a mistaken belief, as all human beings are made of the same stuff and suffer the same issues – none of us are immune to the need for keeping fit and healthy.
As with all things in life, you get out of it what you put in, and if it seems harsh to say that if you don’t exercise you will suffer some kind of health problems in your life, it is usually true.
How to start on the path to a healthy life – and what does Confucious have to do with it?
Many people have ambitions they don’t follow through with, because sometimes it just seems to be too much like hard work.
When it comes to doing exercise, eating healthily and following a generally wholesome kind of lifestyle that will see you happily through to old age with minimal health problems, it’s tough to find a starting point and plan a course that you can stick to.
But remember the sayings of the Chinese wise men who can offer some wise words here.
The philosopher Laozi said: “a journey of a thousand li starts beneath one’s feet” – or more often quoted as “a journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step”.
So while it may take some time to achieve your goal, you have to start somewhere, and that first step is the biggest one you will take.
Then there’s also Confucious, who added his wisdom to the debate. He said “it does not matter how slowly you go so long as you do not stop”.
These sayings are still relevant today, and never more than when you are trying to turn over a new leaf and create a healthier lifestyle for yourself.
There are so many distractions when attempting to change well-entrenched habits, as well as friends, colleagues and family who may not always help you in the process.
They may find it inconvenient to discover their pal is now adopting lifestyle habits that don’t match their own, and feel a little bit threatened by the new approach if it affects them in some way.
But as with any change you believe in, you should carry on carrying on, as you are the one who will see the benefits – and who knows you may even gain a few converts along the way.
We've written some other blogposts about this subject, one of which you can read here, the importance of exercise. There are some easy to do exercises in here you can try too.
Health and fitness in bite-sized chunks
This is unashamedly used as the strapline for our company, Keep Fit Eat Fit, as this is the whole point of our website.
We want to help people develop healthy habits one step at a time.
Even small, incremental steps will make a difference, and the aim is to make the changes permanent, and gradually add to them as you go along.
Trying to do too much too soon is often a mistake, as you may not be able to keep the continuity and that’s when you can fall off the wagon.
For example, if you’ve never been into exercising you can start with only 5 minutes a day – making changes that you can build upon.
Get familiar with the individual exercise moves and routines you can see on our website and in our membership portal, and practise them often.
The more you practise, the better you will get at doing them, and the more familiar you will become and the more effective they will be.
Over a period of time, you will start to feel tangible benefits – better muscle tone, more energy, increased flexibility and expanded heart and lung capacity, to name but a few.
And if you can partner that with a bit of healthy eating using our cooking videos and recipe sheets, you are off to a great start.
We want to help you to change your life one step at a time, and get you on a path to a healthier way of life that feels comfortable for you.
So no obsessional thrash metal gym work, no silly diets based on flimsy thinking, just common sense and simple guidelines anyone can follow.
In time you will build up your own knowledge and feel more confident with the topic – it can creep up on you almost silently, but you will be glad it did!
And to get you on your way, we've got a great free exercise video download below that you can try at home - start building up some core strength with Scott's simple exercises, enjoy!