Step 1 – Set some goals
Try and make these goals intrinsic – for example become stronger so you can get up and down from the ground to play with your grandkids or improve your cardiovascular fitness so you can walk around the shops without feeling exhausted.
Try not to make the sole reason for starting an exercise program based on how you look (weight loss), exercise has far greater benefits than a number attached to the scale (for examples, better energy and mood, decreased risk of developing cardiovascular disease, cancer and diabetes to name just a few!)
Step 2 – Find something you actually enjoy
Why run if you hate running? If you hate competing against other people, don’t do it. Lets face it most people are not the biggest fans of exercise, so if you are doing something you really don’t like every day, chances are you won’t stick to it long term!
Step 3 – Make a plan
Have a look at the calendar and see when you can fit some exercise in, maybe after dropping the kids at school or in your lunch break. Write what exercise you are going to do in your diary and stick to it. Think of it as a non-negotiable appointment!
Step 4 – There is no need to run marathons
Start slow, any exercise is better than nothing. Trying taking the stairs, parking your car further away, going for a short 10 minute walk, committing to one group exercise class a week. These are all going to have positive impacts on your health.
Step 5 – If in doubt, ask a professional
Accredited Exercise Physiologists (AEPs) are 4-year university qualified allied health professionals. They specialise in the delivery of exercise, lifestyle and behavioural modification programs for the prevention and management of chronic diseases and injuries. AEPs provide physical activity and behaviour change support for clients with conditions such as cardiovascular disease, diabetes, osteoporosis, depression, cancer, arthritis, COPD and many more.
Exercise physiologists are knowledgeable about the effects that exercise has on the musculoskeletal system, as well as on the cardiovascular and endocrine systems. They can prescribe a course of exercises for either fitness or rehabilitation.
They can also advise on behavioural modification programs as well as encourage you to develop new and healthy habits to help manage your medical conditions in the best way possible.