Your physical health will lead you to wealth
Physical activity or exercise is fundamental for your physical and mental health. Regular exercise improves your overall quality of life with both immediate and long term benefits.
Benefits of exercise
Being in good physical health keeps you at a healthy weight, helps to reduce chronic illnesses and makes you feel better overall by feeling more energised. Improved stamina enables you to fulfil activities more easily without tiring out and helps you to sleep better at night. Exercise is also great for your mental well-being by producing serotonin and endorphins which lift your mood. Health professionals recommend a minimum of 30 minutes of moderate to intense exercise a day in order to sustain good physical health. The main point to note is you should get your body moving enough to raise your heart rate.
Increasing physical activity
If exercising is new to you, don’t worry about pushing yourself to do too much at once. Any sort of physical activity is better than doing nothing at all. Treat it as a gradual process by setting realistic goals that you can achieve each day. Everyone is different and only you know your capabilities and limits, so be mindful of what is achievable for you. Try to be active everyday to maintain a routine.
Easy at home exercises
The government guidelines allowing for an hour of outdoor exercise once a day is fantastic and those who wish and are able to utilise this, please do so. However, we understand this is not always an option for everyone. We have some exercises for you to try in the comfort of your own home that do not require an outdoor or large space.
Yoga – Yoga is a fantastic way to work out as it benefits your physical health in multiple ways. It improves flexibility, vitality, respiration and helps to strengthen and tone your muscles. This video is a great way for beginners to start doing yoga and doesn’t require any special equipment or location: www.youtube.com/watch?v=v7AYKMP6rOE.
Cardio – Cardio workouts are perfect for increasing stamina which allows you to carry out physical activity for longer. It does this by increasing your lung capacity and strengthening your heart so that blood can circulate around your body more easily. Along with a balanced diet, it can also aid in maintaining weight or weight loss. We have devised the following cardio workout for beginners as a sample to get you started on your physical health journey. For the following circuit, do each exercise for one minute:
· March in place — Lift your knees high and swing your arms in rhythm.
· Jog in place ensuring that you are using arms and they are going overhead.
· High knees – Put your hands in position and touch your knees up to your palms.
· Burpees – Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart and your arms at your sides and then bend into a squat with your hands on the floor directly in front. Next, jump back into a plank position. Your body should form a straight line from your head to heels. Jump back into the previous squat position and then up into the air with your hands above your head. As you land, immediately go back into the squat position and repeat.
· March in place.
· Regular jumping jacks.
· Mountain climbers – Get into a plank position and bring one knee towards your chest, then return it to the starting position. Do this same movement with your opposite leg and then repeat exercise.
· Finish with high knees.
Strength training – If you are looking to tone and/or build muscle, then strength training is the exercise for you. Again, we have put together a beginners workout to try at home:
· Regular squat — 20 reps.
· Static lunges — 12 reps on each leg.
· Dips — 12 reps, place a chair behind you and grip the front of the seat. You should be level with the seat so your knees are slightly bent, torso is in line with the chair and buttocks in line with the seat. Slowly lower your body so that you are slightly elevated above the ground and your elbows are at a 90-degree angle. Bring yourself back up to the starting position and repeat.
· Plank for 45 seconds.
· Wall squat for 45 seconds.
· Glute bridges – 20 reps.
· Sit-ups – 12 reps.
· Crunches – 12 reps.
More at home workouts
Fitness experts on the best home workouts to keep you motivated: www.gq-magazine.co.uk/lifestyle/article/home-workouts
Joe Wicks ‘The Body Coach’ Youtube channel: www.youtube.com/channel/UCAxW1XT0iEJo0TYlRfn6rYQ
GRACE FIT UK App (please note, this does involve a subscription cost): www.shreddy.com
NHS 10 minute workouts: www.nhs.uk/live-well/exercise/10-minute-workouts/
Top 25 at home exercises: www.acefitness.org/education-and-resources/lifestyle/blog/6593/top-25-at-home-exercises
ABL Recruitment team