Leading an active lifestyle is incredibly important. The benefits of regular exercise are aplenty: it reduces your risk of heart attack, it lowers cholesterol, it reduces your risk of developing diabetes and cancer, it allows you to manage your weight and it strengthens your bones, muscles and joints.
If you’re wanting to lead a more active lifestyle and improve your overall health, read our 5 easy tips below.
1. Set the right goals
If you’re looking to change something in your life, setting goals and measurable milestones is a great motivator. The goals you set shouldn’t be big, or else they’ll feel out of reach and setting them in the first place could be counterproductive. Instead, set smaller goals and set them frequently because they’ll feel more achievable.
Instead of your goal being to “be more active” or “get fitter” you should set yourself the challenge to, for example, walk 3km every day, or do 20 squats and 30 ab crunches a day. The smaller and more measurable your goals are, the more likely you will be to achieve them.
2. Get your steps in
One of the easiest ways to be more active day-to-day is to walk more. There are a lot of small changes you can make to your daily routine which will mean you cover more ground on foot. For example, you can walk to work instead of getting the bus, or if walking isn’t possible you can get off the bus a few stops earlier than you usually would and walk the rest. You could even incorporate a midday walk on your lunch break at work.
Challenge yourself to walk 10,000 steps a day, which equates to around 8 kilometres. You can track this on a Fitbit, or on the “Health” app on your Apple device.
3. Be social
Another way to lead a more active lifestyle is to integrate exercise into your social calendar. After all, being active is much more fun – and much easier – when you’re with friends!
If you have plans to meet a friend for a coffee or for brunch, why not make it a walk or a hike with a coffee in hand, followed by brunch or lunch? Or, if you have plans to catch-up with a friend, why not suggest you catch up whilst walking the dog around the park? Doing the extra steps regularly will make all the difference to your fitness level, and you won’t even have to work hard!
4. Join a sports club
An easy way to lead a more active lifestyle is to engage in sports clubs. Check out your local community social club to find sports clubs and activities that interest you. For example, sign up to table tennis club in Sydney, or other clubs like running club, football club, golf club, bowling club, walking club, cycling club, etc. Even if you commit to partaking in just two sporting clubs a week, you will improve your fitness level dramatically, and you will notice your body strengthening.
Another benefit of joining a community sports club is that you will meet a lot of new people and build friendships with people in your local area, which will make being active even more enjoyable.
5. Use the Stairs
Leading a more active life is all about making small changes to your daily routine and creating new healthy habits. One habit that is easy to break is using elevators and escalators when you can use the stairs instead. Using the stairs may be arduous, but it’s very effective in the long run.
Nowadays, so many of us work an office which means we are sedentary for most of the day, and so it’s more important than ever to ensure we are engaging our muscles as much as we can.
There are a lot of easy ways to be more active in your daily life that doesn’t require a lot of hard work and doesn’t compromise convenience. Most importantly, don’t underestimate the daily walk – the more you move your body the stronger it will become and it won’t be long before you can walk long distances comfortably. Use a fitness tracker to keep attuned to your movements and to see where you can afford to add in more steps, and you will reach your fitness goals!