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Getting more active


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You've heard it all before - "Exercise is good for you." 


But what if you dread the thought of exercise or find it difficult to get going with an activity? 


There's often a disconnect between what people know and the actions they take. Along with most other people, you may know that getting active is probably the most important thing you can do to improve your health, but you quickly lose motivation when you think about jumping around at a gym in Lycra! Or else your experience has been that your body hurts or you get tired easily when you get active. 


Fortunately, it doesn't have to be like that. But start by recognising that you have two sides: A logical side, that says: "Effort + Exercise = Better Health", and an emotional side, which may dread it.


You may be pulled in two directions.


But starting small and building on success will help build confidence. Visit our Move More pages to get some fresh ideas on how to do this.


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Here are some ways to remove the barriers and get started today. 


  1. I don't enjoy exercise. Find an activity that you do enjoy - walking the dog, gardening, cycling - and just do a bit more of it. 
  2. Lack of time. Identify time slots. Monitor your daily activities for a week. Identify at least three 30 minute slots you could use for physical activity. Or add physical activity to your daily routine - walk to work, take the stairs, exercise while you watch TV, get off the tube one stop earlier. 
  3. Social support. Explain your interest in getting active to friends and family. Ask them to support your efforts. Invite them to join in! Join a gym or walking club. 
  4. Lack of energy. Work out what time of day you feel most energetic and try and fit the activity into that time. Recognise that if you give it a chance, physical activity will increase your energy. 
  5. Lack of motivation. Plan ahead. Write the activity into your calendar or set reminders on your phone. Join an exercise group or class. 
  6. Lack of equipment. Select activities that need only minimal equipment, such as walking or jogging. Use free resources in your community like parks, walking clubs, etc. 
  7. Bad weather. Have a set of activities you can do inside even if the weather is bad. 
  8. Start small and build success. Even if you only start with 5 minutes once a week when you've previously done nothing, that's a big achievement and will build your confidence that you can make changes.

The Couch to 5k app is a fantastic place to start, offering you an experience that's tailored to you. Why not give it a try?


See how Mindu is keeping on top of her diabetes by dancing

"No matter how slow you go, you are still lapping everyone still sitting on the couch."

Dr Mike Evans' fun video explains how just a short amount of exercise will provide huge health benefits.

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EXi is a free app designed by physios to help you get active, even in your own home.

Learn more.

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