Not everybody enjoys going to the gym or going for a run. When you say "I don't like exercising", what you're really saying is "I don't like that particular exercise I have in mind". If you don't like lifting weights in a gym, try going for a run. If you don't like running, give tennis a go!
The World Health Organisation recommends that we should be exercising for at least 30 minutes a day, 5 days a week. If you are trying to get more active and haven't found an activity you enjoy doing, try doing some of the ten activities below that will get you moving.
1. Exercise while you prepare for your day
Brushing your hair, brushing your teeth, waiting for your porridge to cook - turn these daily rituals into workouts – 30 seconds of teeth brushing plus 30 seconds of squats x2 sets!
2. Park far away
Plan ahead, leave 15 minutes earlier than usual in the morning and get that power walk in! Whether you're doing the school run, a trip to the supermarket or heading into work - park just a little bit further away and feel the benefits of walking.
3. Head for a Pilates class
Pilates is seriously relaxing and it doesn't feel like exercise. The movements are slow and controlled and there is a lot of focus on breathing but if you are doing it correctly, you'll notice sore muscles the next day.
4. Grocery shopping
If you can, use a basket instead of a trolley. This is particularly beneficial on a slightly bigger shopping trip. Carrying a heavy basket of groceries for 15 minutes will burn 60 calories.
5. Take the dog for a walk
Most of us who have dogs do this at least once a day but why not try going for a longer walk than usual, one that counts towards your 30 minutes of physical activity. You could even try to go for a jog with your dog – your pet will love it!
6. Cycle to work
Avoid the traffic jams in the morning, get some fresh air, save money on petrol plus you get a workout too! You can cycle anywhere – it releases positive endorphins and tones your buttocks and legs too. Just make sure you wear a helmet and high-vis jacket!
7. Clean the house
Get into a routine of cleaning the house regularly during the week. It has lots of functional movements - lifting, moving around, walking and scrubbing. It's an overall workout for your body.
8. Have sex
Statistically, sex burns 3.1 calories a minute in women and 4.2 calories a minute in men. Do your figures – this can be a great form of aerobic activity!
9. Do some gardening
According to the HSE, being active and taking regular exercise lowers blood pressure by keeping your heart and blood vessels in good condition. Physical activity can include anything from walking to gardening. Working in the garden works all the major muscle groups – legs, arms, buttocks and back.
10. Sit on a stability ball
Replace your regular chair with a stability ball.
According to the NHS, to reduce our risk of ill health from inactivity, we are advised to exercise regularly – at least 150 minutes a week – and reduce sitting time. Studies have linked excessive sitting with being overweight and obese, type 2 diabetes, and some types of cancer.
Benefits of a stability ball
- Requires good posture
- Activates core muscles
- Helps with balance
You should consult your physician or other health care professional before starting a new fitness programme.
Kieran Keenan is an advanced personal trainer and the owner of Fitsquad.