If you are a complete novice when it comes to getting active, doing exercise can be a bit scary.
There are so many different ways to get active as well as differing advice and guidance from fitness professionals who claim to know the best way to get fit or build strength. Although this can be helpful for someone who has been exercising for some time, it can be overwhelming for a beginner.
We have pulled together some top tips to help you get started on your physical activity journey including how to get motivated and how to prepare.
For many of us, motivation is a key barrier to us getting active. Exercise can seem like a chore, but it is helpful to remember, that being active has so many more benefits. Here are some top tips to help you get motivated:
- Focus on what is most important to you - Being more active might not be important to you but increasing your independence or meeting new people might. Physical activity can play an important role in achieving those things.
- Have a goal - Having a goal, even if it’s a small one, is a good starting point to build motivation. Whether it’s building more steps into your day, travelling a little further or doing a task more independently, working towards a goal will give you something to work towards and once you achieve it, will make you feel great!
- Recognise your achievements along the way - Even small goals have steps needed to reach them, so recognising achievements along the way will help build your motivation. Make a note of your achievement or tell someone else about it – this will help you feel more confident, encouraged and positive towards physical activity.
Preparation is key to help you stay motivated and be active in a safe way. Here are some top tips to help you prepare:
- Consider what else you need to do that day and what energy you might need – if you have a busy day, try not to expend all your energy in one go.
- Have your clothing, footwear and some water ready to go
- Where possible, tell someone else what you’re planning to do, or better still invite them to join you
- Consider any long-term health conditions and how they might impact your activity
- If you’re joining an activity in your community, phone ahead and find out who you’ll be meeting, where you need to go and what you might need to take with you
Do something you enjoy
What do enjoy doing? Maybe you like walking in nature or dancing to your favourite songs. Whatever activity you like to do, do it and don't feel pressured into doing activities you don't like. After all, if you don't like an activity, you wont want to do it again!
Here are a few things to consider:
- Got a dog? Take them for a walk around your local park
- If you prefer a sport, look online for some local sports clubs and see what's on offer
- If you like to spend time with others and want to meet new people, join a local walking group or fitness class
- Fancy something a bit different? There are lots of activities to try in Gloucestershire including rollerskating, climbing and watersports. Take a look at our directory page to see what inspires you.
- If you need some time to relax, give yoga a go. You can join a class or look online for an at home workout
Try it for 10 minutes
Moving for just 10 minutes a day is a great way to get started and won’t feel as daunting. Here are a few ideas:
- Go for a short walk round the block or your local park
- Walk up and down your stairs for 10 minutes, 2 x 5 minutes of 5 x 2 minutes
- Try a few yoga poses first thing in the morning before you start the day or get some stretches in whilst making your morning coffee
- Want to get your children more active? Take them to the park on the way home from school or play a game of catch in the garden
- Have a go at a short online workout – there are lots out there. Take a look online for something that interests you.
Whatever activity you try, starting with just 10 minutes can have a positive effect on your health and wellbeing. Once those 10 minutes become easier, you can add a little more on each time – but make sure you take it one step at a time.
If you are starting your physical activity journey, let us know by sharing your favourite activity on social media - tag @wecan_move or use #wecanmovefor10
You can also sign up here for we can move updates as well as more advice and tips on getting active.
Recognise your achievements
Each achievement is a step towards a more healthy, connected and independent life. By setting small goals as well as big ones, you will feel more energised to keep going.
- Look for changes in how you think and feel as even small amounts of activity can amount to big changes. Two minutes of activity might seem insignificant, but if all you could do the week before was one minute that’s great progress, so recognise your improvement and what that means for you personally.
- Make a note of what you have done or tell your friends and family about your achievements. You never know, it might just encourage someone else to join you.
Do whatever works for you. Be active in:
- Your local space - you might start with thinking about how you can be active at home, in the garden or even on your street.
- Local community - It can be surprising what you’ll find in your local community. Whether living in a rural area or in a town, there is often some green space nearby. Check out your local community venues such as community centres, village halls, local churches and even libraries. There’s often more going on than you think.
- With other people - being active with others is a great way to connect, share experiences and stay motivated. You might even join someone for the conversation and the activity is just the bit that happens along the way.