Lockdown has been full of surprises. One of them has been the increase has raised the visibility of doing exercise. 76% of people in the UK say they have taken up a new form of exercise in lockdown.
With social distancing is the ‘new normal’ and gyms have been shut for months at a time, we are shining a light on the benefits of simplifying how we keep fit. You do not need an expensive gym membership to be healthy. In fact, we have not evolved to be elite athletes like the stereotypes we see in the media and Instagram.
The truth is that keeping exercise simple and easy is the best way to build into your long term daily routine. Walking is easiest and most popular way to get your daily exercise, followed by jogging, yoga, home workout videos, weights, cycling.
A survey from Nuffield health shows that you do not need complicated equipment to exercise at home with many people using household items at props, whether its stair climbing or using bags of flour for weights
Covid19 has triggered a return to the simpler way of exercising. It is time to stop making fitness complicated. Exercise is not all about doing an intense 60 minute HIIT class.
- Aim do at least 150 minutes of moderate intensity activity a week.
- Try to be active every day in a way that suits you.
- You can break it down into 10 minute sessions that you do once or twice a day or go for more high intensity sessions 2-3 times a week .
- Try not to sit or lie in the same position for too long, get up and move around.
- Spend time doing active household chores, or gardening or cleaning the care.
- Incorporate some simple strength exercises, like doing arm exercises or some weight bearing press ups.
- Spend time outdoors, arrange to meet a friend for a walk.
- Be active doing things you love, like dancing to your favourite song.
- Mix up a range of activities.
Doing about 150 minutes of exercise a week is really easy if you split that into little manageable chunks doing things you enjoy. Being healthy is really more about building the active activities in your life rather than forcing yourself to do a 60 minute run. Being fit and active over 50 is about building it into your mindset, activity levels and fitness do not need to drop as you get older. We benefit from being physically active over 50, it helps us age well by boosting our immune system and improving how our bodies perform. A Texas study looked at a group of men in 1966 at age 20 and in 1996 at age 50. Given a six-month programme of walking, cycling and jogging in their 50’s, their previously declining blood pressure, resting heart rate and cardiac output returned to the same levels it was age-20 levels – that’s a great reason to be active!