This article includes links I have been paid to include but all opinions are my own to help you exercise little and often.
We can get swept up in the idea that we need to ‘get fit’, which must mean spending hours in the gym right? Not so – it seems that if you want the physical health benefits of exercise, you are better off doing it ‘little and often’ – making active movement a part of your daily life, and seeing the intense gym sessions as an optional added extra if you have time.
Have a daily 10-15 minute walk
You might want to start your day with a stroll around the block, fit one into your lunch break, or make it part of your wind-down routine in the evening.
Walks are fantastic because everyone can join in, it’s free and easy to get started. Walking is nicer if you can find somewhere pretty to go – ask your local dog owners if they know of some woods or fields, or check out Ordnance survey maps to find some green spaces near you!
Aim to hit my 10k steps a day. Most smartwatches remind you to get up and walk around every hour. Find one that suits you with a simple online search such as compare Garmin watches for women and then find the best price for it online! I have had a few different brands and they are all very similar so just check out your needs and what is available.
Try 10-minute yoga
Ten minutes is a great amount of time to spend on exercise – that’s because it’s long enough that you can get your heart rate up, but short enough to squeeze into a busy day. It’s also not an intimidating amount of time!
There are a lot of ten-minute yoga videos on YouTube. Yoga is great because it builds strength and flexibility, raises your heart rate, and improves blood flow. I have not tried yoga yet but really want to! Yoga is great for all the family too.
Have a family weekend adventure
The weekend is a chance to do something you really enjoy! There are so many family-friendly adventures you can go on that are outdoors, active and fun. Here are just a couple of ideas:
Go to the beach. Trips to the beach usually include swimming, walking, and digging in the sand – all great things to do.
Go hiking or walking in the countryside. We’re lucky to have so many beautiful national parks in the UK – there should be one within a reasonable distance of you.
Go to a museum! Great if it’s raining, so many museums in the UK are free entry, and you’ll rack up plenty of steps walking around the exhibits. All without really noticing you are doing it!
Join a sports club or exercise group
There are groups for every sport you can imagine. If you enjoyed netball or badminton as a kid, chances are you will enjoy it now. If you’re less of a team player, try an exercise class. Try out a few different options at a leisure centre to find something you enjoy.
Join a group that meets once a week – it will mean you feel committed to go, plus you’ll meet new people. If free time out of the house without kids is difficult try a regular online class.
If you would rather exercise alone why not check out my easy home exercises?
Have a dance
Exercise shouldn’t feel like a chore. It should be something that brings you joy. Our bodies were designed to move, and movement is essential to our well-being.
You don’t have to sit around thinking ‘I really need to go to the gym’. Instead, put on your favourite upbeat tunes and start dancing! It is so easy to dance a bit while cleaning and burn off more calories!
A few safety tips
Always warm up gently before exercising. This just means going at a gentle pace to start with, to help raise your heart rate slowly.
Always cool down and stretch afterwards. This means slowly decreasing your pace or intensity to bring your heart rate down slowly. Stretches help get rid of lactic acid buildup, which is the thing that makes you ache the day after.
Go at your own pace. If you’ve been sedentary for a long time, start with what you can manage. The important thing is to set daily habits, not push yourself to your limits.
If you worry about exercising outside alone there are some tips for you here.