Physical activity helps to lower your risk of heart disease and stroke by lowering your blood pressure, increasing your ‘good’ cholesterol levels, helping you maintain a healthy weight and by keeping your heart healthy. It’s never too late to begin exercising, the key is to increase your level of activity at a steady rate over time.
Your heart is one big muscle and, like any muscle, it needs to be exercised to stay healthy. Keeping your heart fit and healthy makes it easier to pump blood around your body and makes you feel more energised as well. Exercise also helps you to stay at a healthy weight – and can help you look good too!
- Set goals: It is important to set small, realistic and achievable goals on a regular basis. This will increase your chances of maintaining physical activity levels in the long-term. The annual Croí Night Run takes place on Friday October 12th 2018 why not sign up and set yourself a goal this autumn! Click here to register.
- Split activities into 10 minute slots: If you are new to exercise trying to achieve the recommended 30 minutes may seem daunting. By breaking it into 10 minutes slots it is much more achievable and you can build it up slowly as your fitness improves.
- Add activity to your daily routine: Take the stairs, park further away at the supermarket, get off the bus a stop early, walk to the local shop or do some gardening.
- If you have a hectic schedule choose activities that require minimal time: For example, save travel time by walking or running from your house rather than travelling to the gym or local park.
- Exercise with a friend or family member: This can help motivate you and form good habits.
- Join a class: An exercise class is a great way to meet new people and vary your exercise routine, helping keep you motivated.
- Choose activities that you enjoy: If you don’t like walking for example you are unlikely to stick to it. Pick an activity that you enjoy or you are interested in.
- Plan ahead: Organise your exercise gear the night before, schedule exercise in your diary or put a reminder note on the fridge, if it is a planned event your are much more likely to stick to it.
- Keep an activity diary: This will help you track your progress and motivate you to continue exercising.
- Choose an activity that is free: Walking, running, cycling, dancing, playing with the kids, walking the dog or gardening etc. Exercise can be incorporated into your daily routine and does not need to be a drain on your finances.