I have decided to get fit, but what exercise should I do, how often and for how long?
The following is what the government advises in the UK, even though I think it’s great advice, I would like to talk about what is practical. I’d like to talk to you about what I would do if I woke up tomorrow morning with body fat to shift and no experience in exercise.
1. Adults should aim to be active daily. Over a week, activity should add up to at least 150 minutes.
2. Alternatively, comparable benefits can be achieved through 75 minutes of vigorous intensity activity spread across the week or combinations of moderate and vigorous intensity activity.
3. Adults should also undertake physical activity to improve muscle strength on at least two days a week.
4. All adults should minimise the amount of time spent being sedentary (sitting) for extended periods.
Ok some of you may have read the above and still be scratching your head… I’m wondering if anyone has ever read the above and followed the advice through to the letter. Personally I think it’s great that these guidelines are there but for me I’d still be lost. If I woke up tomorrow morning looked in the mirror half naked whilst brushing my teeth and thought to myself “something has to change with my body”, “I quite simply do not feel sexy”, “if I don’t change things soon I will be flirting with heart disease and a whole host of other lethal disorders”…. This is what I would do to change that negative morning feeling.
First, before anything I would take stock of my diet…. I would ensure I eliminated processed food and stuck to fresh, unprocessed produce. I would also make sure I cooked for myself most of the time and if I didn’t know how to do that, I’d learn….. Why? I want change, and you don’t need to be a genius to know that change won’t be ringing on your doorbell tomorrow morning. You have to go out there and fight, hunt and track change down. It takes work, but in my mind I know that change is the key to making me look in that mirror in the morning with a smile on my face.
Second, I would have to look at fitness. Let’s face it, it’s mind boggling, there are so many avenues to choose out there and even more people with unhelpful confusing advice….. however do not let this stop you from moving. That’s right moving…. It is such a simple word and that is exactly what I would start doing if I needed to embrace change. Run, jump, skip, dance, walk, hike, ski, back flip….. Your body wants to do it all. It needs to do it all…. It was designed to do it all. So move, move, move move. We are quite simply not designed to sit down, lie down, stay still all day. Our bodies are designed to run, jump and leap… We were designed to hunt, so yes staring at a screen all day like I’m doing now is not what we were put on this earth to do. Movement does not only create a healthy body and a satisfactory sight in the mirror in the morning it provides us with so much more, increased confidence, self esteem, self worth and it also gives us something else to talk about besides moaning about the daily grind. Personally (and this is just my humble opinion) after a long long run, after being out in the woods or on the road, or up the canal for hours, I compare it to being baptised or going to confession….. Ok It’s an exaggeration, but honestly it feels so so good, I’m quite simply a nicer person to be around.
So how much would I do if I’m just starting out? Well I would start small and by starting small I mean I would set myself a minimum not only in time but also distance and frequency….. I would also pledge to myself that I would always increase one at a time and never take any backward steps unless forced to by injury or any other unforeseen circumstances. This week I skipped with my rope twice for 5 mins…. Next week I will skip with my rope twice for 6 minutes, the week after I will skip 3 times for 6 minutes at a time, etc. Also you don’t have to stick to one activity. Your body craves change and responds a lot quicker when exposed to change.
The one piece of advice I would give is if there are little or no physiological changes, reassess everything you’re doing and donâ€™t forget always look at the food first !
Tags: advice, decided get fit, fitness, get fit