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Get fit for summer

As summer approaches and the evenings get longer, there’s little excuse for not venturing outdoors after work. But knowing how to start getting fit can be one of the main reasons why people put off doing exercise. Building up gradually with proper support can make it all seem far easier and more achievable and can help prevent Type 2 diabetes from developing.

Couch to 5k is a programme aimed at people who are complete beginners to running. It’s a nine-week long programme which, as its title suggests, gets you off the couch to achieving a 5k run. There are many different apps to download which offer the plan, all with the same approach and end goal. The programme’s success is largely down to the way it builds up your fitness and stamina gradually. So, for example, the NHS version involves three runs per week with a different schedule for each session, increasing the length of running time as you progress.

If you’re worried about your motivation flagging, then perhaps a few words of encouragement from Radio DJ Jo Whiley or Olympian Michael Johnson might help spur you on. Each app has its own virtual ‘coach’, often a celebrity, whose voice will guide you through each session. 

If listening to an app doesn’t appeal, then you could contact your local running club to find out what they offer for beginners. Most clubs will have a programme in place to build fitness levels up gradually and, as opposed to a celebrity, you’d have the encouragement of other like-minded runners to keep you going. There would also be the chance to get hints and tips from more experienced runners too.

There are plenty of alternative free and accessible ways to get fit gradually too. Why not walk or cycle your way to 5k, increasing the distance steadily each week. Plus, feeling the summer sunshine on your back as you exercise can make it all the more enriching!

It is very important to understand your risk of developing Type 2 diabetes. Our simple online health check takes just a few minutes. The Healthier You programme is free to join and you can sign up without visiting your GP. The sessions are now available with a British Sign Language Interpreter if BSL is your first or preferred language.

It might be the most important thing you do today.

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