Exercise and nutrition tips
Fitness for beginners
- Visit you GP if you are male and over 40 and been sedentary for a long time. Females over 50 should do likewise. The same goes if you are diabetic, overweight or at high risk of heart disease.
- Don’t overdo it. Many beginners make the mistake of doing too much, too soon. Remember, the less fit you are the less exercise is required to improve it. Start with walking for 5-15 minutes three times a week and then add a couple minutes each session.
- Schedule your workouts, as you would an appointment with your dentist. It will help you keep disciplined.
- Convince your partner or a friend to workout with you.
- Try to do 20-30 minutes of moderate intensity cardiovascular activity at least three times a week, daily if possible.
- If you wish you can split your workout time into short bouts of activity. Instead of doing 30 minutes in one go split it into 3 x 10 minute sessions at times of the day that suit. The benefits have been proven to be the same.
- Prepare for your exercise regime the night before. This way there is no excuse for forgetting your gym bag or squash racquet.
- Remember, all exercise, whether it is a structured routine or part of your daily activities adds up to a healthier heart.
- Choose an exercise that you enjoy and you have fun doing and develop a repertoire of activities that fulfil this requirement. This way your workouts will never get boring.
- Listen to music or watch TV while you train.
- Whether male or female, don’t forget strength training. Make it part of your routine and try to do it twice a week. Muscle wastage happens very quickly after the age of 40 and for women it is one way of preventing the onset of osteoporosis.
- If you are one of those people who believe they do not have the time to exercise try fitting it into your daily life. Walk or cycle to work and leave the car at home. Walk to the local shop instead of taking the car to the supermarket. Take the stairs instead of the lift. While at the office, fetch your own lunch instead of sending a junior. Where exercise and health are concerned a little can add up to a lot.
- If you have a lot of time on your hands then make you leisure activities active ones. Gardening, swimming, tennis, even house -work and DIY is better than sitting in front of the TV.
- Set yourself a goal and then reward yourself when you achieve it. Buying a big box of chocolates is not advisable but purchasing a new pair of shoes, a trip to the coast or buying that expensive item of fitness equipment you have always wanted could be the incentive to keep you motivated.
- To slim down take in fewer calories than you burn off. It’s the basic concept of weight loss but one few people understand.
- Do not snack on high fat, high sugar, laden calorie foods. Replace with fruit, celery sticks or carrots and drink plenty of water. Dehydration can often present itself as hunger.
- Eat 4-6 small meals a day instead of two or three large ones. It helps level off your blood sugars and puts less strain on the gut helping to avoid wind and indigestion.
- Eat slowly and chew your food thoroughly.