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It’s true to say that for most of us, at some point; we will get out of the habit of taking regular exercise and sink back into a daily routine of evenings on the sofa with a ready supply of snacks and our favourite tipple in hand.
For previously active people, these lapses in getting up and about and moving may be due to an injury which caused us to pause from strenuous activity, or simply due to having other commitments that have forced us to take attention off regular exercise. For those who work long hours with a daily commutes, it can be the added pressure of segmenting enough time to make for meaningful exercise that prevents it being possible.
Like all habits, once we are out of the regular practice of exercising, it can feel like an uphill struggle to return to previous levels of fitness and therefore for many, motivation to start can be a little thin on the ground.
Add to this the colder weather in the winter months and you can see why active outdoor activities are not high on the agenda unless there is a specific goal to aim for, such as a holiday or wedding where we are temporarily motivated to get in shape.
There is often the perception that getting active requires both time and effort but the main obstacle present for many is actually not having the motivation to get started. But if this can be conquered, then fitness and conditioning does not actually take long to achieve.
One of the most beneficial exercises is simple walking and even a short walk of five minutes, inside or out, can have beneficial effects on health if multiplied regularly.
A recent report published by Macmillan The Cancer Charity, Ramblers the walking charity and backed by the UK department of health claimed that walking ‘could save 37,000 lives a year’ so this simple exercise appears to be often the most overlooked, yet extremely effective.
Walking can boost circulation and gets all of the main muscle groups warmed up and strengthened. The other factor with walking is that it actually just feels good, so it can be beneficial to make us generally feel better and therefore want to do more.
For those with physical impairments, there are alternatives, or a wide range of mobility aids that can assist in increasing both range of movement and comfort for those wanting to undertake moderate exercise.
Aside from walking, there are many other forms of simple exercises that can be achieved such as simple limb movement, lifting and gentle stretching that can be very beneficial. Most Doctors or other healthcare professionals can advise on simple plans of exercise that are both safe and easy for the level of mobility an individual possesses.