Feeling overwhelmed with all the typical advice about fitness and diets? My top tips are based on what really works in the real world of imperfect human beings and through my experience of helping thousands of people to live healthier, happier lives.
- Use the stairs – this is the simplest way to get your heart pumping and burn calories too. This weight-bearing activity is also great for strengthening legs and boosting bones and as an added extra it’s also good for your brain.
- Reduce your time sitting down – it’s as important as being active whether you’re sitting at a desk at work or watching the TV. Best to get up and move every hour, so try to get into the habit or set a reminder.
- Every little bit counts – the target for maintaining health and wellbeing is to exercise at moderate intensity for at least 150 minutes a week. If this feels out of reach, break it up into 10 minute chunks.
- 30 second workout – this has to be the quickest workout ever, just count how many times you can get up and down from your chair in 30 seconds then try to improve how many you can do. Once it’s gets easy, do it for 1 minute.
- Slow the ageing process by lifting weights – resistance exercises using bands, weights, your own body weight or even tins of soup are vital to help slow or even reverse the loss of muscle that occurs as we age.
- Remember to include balance exercises too – this declines with age but there’s so much you can do to improve it. Join a class to get the right techniques – yoga if you like floor exercises, Move it or Lose it! if you don’t. If you’re concerned about your balance, get yourself referred to a falls clinic.
- Socialise often – not only does it make you feel happier it’s good for the immune system too. And exercise classes are a great way to meet and make friends or if you feel like it why not volunteer with someone like the Royal Voluntary Service. By helping others you’ll also help yourself.
- Immunise every year and get your flu jab in the morning – research shows this is best for maximum effectiveness.
- Bring some sunshine into your life whatever the weather – take a good quality vitamin D supplement throughout the winter months. Our supplies run low during the winter and this vitamin is vital for our immune system and for optimum health.
- Include protein in every meal – we need more as we age yet tend to eat less of this important nutrient. We’ve got a great eLearning course that can help you find ways to fit this in to everyday life – it’s not as hard as you might think!
If you’re short on time, why not try this quick routine which you can do in the time it takes to make a cup of tea!