Exercise Isn’t Just For January (And Gyms)!

An image of a mature woman working out in the park with the text superimposed, 'exercise isn't just for January (and gyms)!'.

Have you made a New Year resolution to ‘get fit’, lose weight, be healthy…?

These shouldn’t be just for New Year they should be year-round lifestyle choices.  Although we all know it’s easy to overindulge during the party season with constant meals out and lots of rich food, it is also easy to make new year resolutions you do not keep. Over 3 million of us, a third of adults in the UK make resolutions, most breaking before the end of January. But if you change your lifestyle to healthier habits you can ‘breeze’ through the year without having to make too many New Year adjustments!

Lifestyle choices

It’s free, easy to take, has an immediate effect and you don’t need a GP to get some. It’s name? Exercise.  But this isn’t all about exercise down the gym, this is about active life choices.   It’s about walking to the shop rather than jumping in the car/bus or opting for the stairs over the elevator.

The NHS guidelines for to stay healthy are 150 minutes of moderate activity such as brisk walking and two days a week of strength training where you exercise all major muscle groups.

For advice on strength training, beginner’s exercises, home workouts and more, click here to see all our exercise content!

150 minutes works out as just 21 minutes per day of moderate exercise. Doing everyday activities around the house can easily be ways of achieving this, here are some examples:

Get up 30 minutes earlier

Start the day with a stretch instead of sleeping it will wake up your body and energise you for the day ahead. The increased blood flow will give you a glow,  and an early home workout or brisk walk can become a way of life.

Clean up

Get hoovering – if you really throw yourself into it this can increase the heart rate.

Take the stairs

Use them as an opportunity to workout, running up them or taking two at a time.

Carry Shopping

Opt to carry your shopping bags and raise your arms up and down in a controlled movement while doing so to strengthen your arms.

Kitchen Workouts

Try grabbing a baked bean can in each hand, extending your arms at shoulder height and doing little circles backwards and forwards 20 times and then repeat.

An image of a mature woman working out while cleaning.

Brisk walking

One of the most accessible workouts, choose a route that incorporates a steep hill, and increasing the pace during the walk will get the blood pumping, if you don’t have a dog ‘grab a friend!’

Do your steps

Get off the bus a stop before you need to and walk, park the car in a cheaper car park further away. The magic number is 10,000 steps a day, it can be quite addictive counting them on your phone.

Workout with youtube

There as some motivational short workouts online, from yoga to HIIT with Joe Wicks. Looking at him certainly inspires many women to get active!

Mix it up

If you’re at work why not stand up while on your computer? Or go and chat with someone instead of emailing them. Another simple strategy for more activity is to take a short walk after dinner, the fresh air, it helps stop you being a couch potato.

Take up a new hobby

From dancing to photography get out of the house in the evening instead of sitting in front of the TV.

Get frisky

…In the bedroom, tap into your inner sex goddess and initiate more sex to get the blood pumping and calories burning!

Embracing an active lifestyle saves on gym membership and you’re more likely to stick to it when it becomes a way of life.

Health benefits

We do really need to stay as physically active as possible to enable a healthy and fulfilling life into old age.

It has been medically proven that people who are physically active have:

  • up to a 35% lower risk of coronary heart disease and stroke
  • up to a 50% lower risk of type 2 diabetes
  • up to a 50% lower risk of colon cancer
  • up to a 20% lower risk of breast cancer
  • a 30% lower risk of early death
  • up to an 83% lower risk of osteoarthritis
  • up to a 68% lower risk of hip fracture
  • a 30% lower risk of falls (among older adults)
  • up to a 30% lower risk of depression
  • up to a 30% lower risk of dementia

We sit down a lot more as a nation at work, travelling to work, in the evening in front of the TV, we need to retrain ourselves. In a recent study, the British Heart Foundation found that 20 million UK adults are ‘inactive’, which is alarming considering this lifestyle is one of the leading causes of death.

And too many of us break new years resolutions too – so why not make 2018 the year you embrace being active.  In a matter of weeks, the difference will be significant!  And it’s FREE!!!

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