Health advice in the UK is that adults aged between 19 and 64 should aim to do 150 minutes of activity a week, that works out at half an hour a day for five days over a weekly period. Those thirty minutes equate to sitting on the sofa for just one episode of a favourite soap!
If you need a further incentive, the Diabetes Prevention Programme recommends that regular exercise with a healthy diet can reduce the risk of developing Type 2 diabetes.
Now is the time to devise a script for real life and be your own exercise star. One of the common reasons for failure is setting expectations too high and being unable to sustain a demanding keep fit programme. Think tortoise rather than hare.
Plan to succeed
The best advice is start slowly; plan a programme that accommodates your work and family commitments and perhaps just begin by going for a daily walk. As the days pass then gradually increase walking speeds as your body responds to the exercise.
When deciding on an exercise plan, the same rules apply. Always remember to undertake gentle warm-up stretches to avoid straining any tense muscles that will only send you back to the comfort of the sofa.
There is an array of exercise programmes depending on what you want to achieve. The NHS website is an excellent place to begin your research:
If you are tempted to buy exercise equipment, have a look at the second-hand options which won’t be so pricey. Set a weekly target that will slowly accumulate to the final goal. Record a ‘you can do this’ message at the start of each week as a reminder of why you are determined to keep on going.
The golden rule is that your exercise regime should suit you - and no-one else. If you want to combine 30 minutes on a second-hand exercise bike while watching your favourite TV programme - go for it. Hopefully, your keep fit plan will have a happy ending.