UG4: Exercising

“When it comes to health and well-being, regular exercise is about as close to a magic potion as you can get.” Tich Nhat Hanh

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Introduction
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Whilst you can use exercising to help you lose weight, it is not a particularly effective way of doing so. As part of a healthy life-style it is best to take good exercising habits as a goal in its own right. Exercising will contribute to your overall health, make you less prone to illness, and will also help you look and feel better than you otherwise would.

It may well be that you get your primary exercise through an existing life-style that includes regular sports. Which is fine, albeit do follow what will undoubtedly be plenty of existing advice about your particular sport. Sports injuries are very common, and whilst some are just plain bad luck, many, most, occur or are significantly contributed to by poor habits.
'Take any opportunity'
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Take any opportunity for a little more exercise. There are many small opportunities in your everyday life. Walk around a little when you wouldn’t otherwise have done. Occasionally walk up stairs when opportunity allows. Bend down to pick something up, but do so as you would if you were exercising. Take opportunities to move your arms or your body around including doing a bit of stretching.
'Walk regularly'
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A particularly easy way of getting more exercise, assuming you are physically able to do so, is to take regular walks. In the absence of other regular forms of exercise, seek to do at least 2 or 3 hours of walking a week, at a pace sufficient to leave you a little out of breath.
‘Swim, cycle, jog, …’
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Consider taking up some form of aerobic exercise on a reasonably regular basis, such as swimming or cycling or jogging. Look to do so in a sustainable way, something you can keep up for years, rather than just as a brief fad.
‘Embrace your chores’
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Rather than be reluctant about doing certain household or garden chores see them as part of an exercise routine keeping you healthy. Maybe even deliberately make them a little more physically challenging as you do them.
‘Yoga, tai chi, …’
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Consider taking up activities such as yoga or tai chi or other exercise that involve stretching and concentration. Whilst they won’t directly help with weight reduction they are good for overall health as regards keeping flexible and maintaining a good sense of balance.
‘Dealing with limitations’
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It may be that for some reason, such as having some form of disability or maybe recovering from an injury, that you are unable to undertake some of the types of exercise you might otherwise have liked to do so. Don’t see this as a restriction, any more than the fact very few of us can achieve world breaking levels of performance is not a restriction. Whatever your circumstances, if you are able to read this then you are able to get some exercise, and certainly more exercise than you would by not making any effort at all. However work within your limits, rather than trying to ignore you limits and finding yourself doing yourself damage.
‘A time and a place’
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If you schedule some regular exercise, same time and place each week, a time you can make a regular commitment to, you are far more likely to get regular exercise in the longer term than those who don’t.
‘Keep track’
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Keep track of the exercising you are doing, and keep track of any improvements. If you exercise regularly you will get fitter and you will be capable of doing more in the future than you were in the past. Keeping a track of this helps with long term motivation.
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