This is the time of year that many people think of exercise… Whether it is the over indulgence of Christmas and Holidays, New Year’s Resolutions, Summer Sun.. We just tend to review what we are doing and consider doing a little more. Exercise has numerous well proven health benefits, from being good for your heart and vascular system, to also being protective against cancer. Not only does it help to make you feel better, look better, but it is great for your health!
What should I do? It doesn’t really matter… the key thing is to be more active than you currently are! If you enjoy running, swimming or cycling, then you tend to tick the classic correct boxes, but if dancing, ice skating, or rollerblading are your thing, then that is great too.
Taking the dogs on a regular bush walk is a great form of exercise, and you get some amazing scenery thrown in for good measure.
Some people love the Gym, some the great out doors. Some would rather do their exercise in private, others love big groups!
Motivation is a big thing… and I can’t tell you “be motivated”, you need to find what motivates you and fan those flames! Having a goal to achieve, such as the City to Surf or the HBF Fun Run, works for many… Another reason why some will go with a friend or group, is that they don’t want to let those other people down (by not turning up!) Having achievable goals to meet is another great idea.
If you are new to regular exercise, aiming for around 30 minutes of reasonably rigorous exercise, 5 times a week is a pretty good goal.. Even starting at 3 times a week is great! You can gradually increase your duration of exercise and the number of sessions. Some of us like to keep records and so use Strava, Garmin or Fitbit devices… if that helps the motivation, then go for it!
If you are a cyclist, then the decision becomes one of Road Cycling or Mountain Biking. Road can be scary for some, but there are some great Cycle Paths around Perth and it is easy to soon start chalking up the kilometers. The Hills out towards Mundaring Weir, have some amazing Mountain Bike Trails and there is always the Munda Biddi if you want to really travel. Get a good helmet and some bright cycling gear, even some bike lights. Be seen! Safety is more important than Lycra! MTB
If running, then some good footwear is important, again some bright gear to ensure others can see you.. For both running and cycling, sun cream and sun protection are also worth remembering.
Have fun, it is probably the most important aspect of it all… It can be difficult to keep those sessions up initially, but when you miss your run or cycle, you know you’ve made it! It’s all about improving lifestyle, it’s not about a fad for a few weeks or months.. And, it is going to help the success of any diets that you might choose … increased levels of exercise means increased metabolism, burning those calories…
It’s win, win all the way… hope we see you out there!
Dr Mike Civil