Friday, 23 March 2012

What a beautiful day - get outside and get some exercise!

Hurrah, feels like Spring is in the air!  Take advantage of this lovely weather by getting out there, just being outside will increase 'serotonin' levels, which are responsible for feelings of well-being, happiness and contentment.  Here's my to do list of active outside things that will increase heart rate and put your body through a functional range of movement.  See how many you can fit into your week.

  • OK pretty obvious, but go for a walk.  You can go by your self or make it a more social occasion by meeting up with friends.  Now a little word on intensity, ideally your walking should be at a pace that gets you a little out of your comfort zone, you should be breathing a little harder than normal.  If you are on a social walk you can still add some intensity (and have a chat) by perhaps striding out or power walking for say 20 paces then recovering slightly at conversation pace for 30 strides.  Repeat these hard to easy intervals for the duration of your walk.
  • Get on yer bike!  Great way to clock up the mileage, see some lovely countryside and get a workout in too.  Plan a route, take some money or lunch, water, a phone and perhaps a puncture repair kit (to be on the safe side) and away you go.
  • Gardening - again great active exercise, that uses a lot of muscles depending on what your doing. If you don't own a garden and perhaps your neighbours do, and especially if they are elderly or sick, volunteer your services.  You'll get a workout and feel proud of the fact your doing a good deed for someone else.
  • Washing windows, washing and polishing the car etc.  Put in some effort and you'll definitely know you've been working!
  • Many boroughs are providing 'Outdoor Green Gyms' in lots of their parks.  There is one at the back of the Leisure Centre in Cranleigh.  They feature equipment such as X-Trainers, Chest Press, Chest Fly, and Leg Press and its free to use them!  So next time your passing, try a quick circuit, say as many reps as you can on each for a minutes duration, rest for a couple of minutes then repeat the circuit two more times.
  • Try something different such as Tennis, Badminton, Stoolball, Dancing, Aerobics or fitness class, the list is endless.  Many clubs will allow you to try a taster session first.  You've got nothing to lose but everything to gain.
  • Get active with the kids - encourage family time. Sadly we all seem to lead busy lives we sometimes forget about each other.  Mum doing her routine, dad doing his, kids either watching telly or play station or facebook (my daughter's favourite straight after school)!  Try and find a 15 or 20 minute gap in your day to do something together, whether to be on the Wii Fit, play fight, chase, footy, walk, ride, swim whatever it is have a laugh, enjoy, life is too short, live for today but also live a long and happy life :)

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