At the start of 2017, I was in pretty poor shape. It wasn’t always this way though, five years ago I was pretty fit and healthy. This gave me the confidence needed to go straight back into the gym and start a training plan. This isn’t the case for a large proportion of people. The thought of starting at a gym fills many with dread and fear. I can understand that and hope this blog might give you some ideas of other ways you can get active and improve your own fitness. Who knows you might even find a new hobby, which could become your new passion in life! Believe me if you had said to me in January that I would be running 4 times a week, AND be enjoying it, I wouldn’t have believed you.
I defiantly would not have said I would ever run in a ➡ half marathon. Let alone cover that distance in under 2 hours! If I can do it, then you can too. It might not be running that is your passion, but hopefully, you will find yours and make it part of your life. Starting any exercise will be so beneficial to you and your well-being.
It’s Not All About Being A Sports Star
Exercise is many things to many people. Just because you enjoy a certain activity doesn’t mean everybody will. What I can say with some confidence is that there will be something out there for you. You just need to have a go and find out what it is.
So many blogs and websites all assume that we want to be ultra athletes. In reality, all most of us want to do is be active and feel better for it. The assumption is that everyone is able to go to the gym, run a 5k, swim in a gala, play a football match or compete in a triathlon in their spare time. The reality is most people can’t, well not yet anyway.
I’m Just Not That Sporty
Most people do not think they are sporty enough to exercise. The truth is that’s not what it’s all about. What you really want to be is healthy and active. A side effect of this might well be that you end up enjoying a sport. There are many reasons that fitting activity into your life might be a challenge. There are very few reasons which make it impossible though. How many of these ring true with you?
- I don’t have the time – Work and life just get in the way, making activity part of your day really helps.
- What about my medical conditions – Many medical conditions make exercise tricky, very few will make it impossible.
- The thought of going into a gym – Being active doesn’t only happen in a gym.
- Money is tight and exercise is expensive – It doesn’t have to cost you a penny to be more active.
- I’m so unfit though – This won’t resolve itself, taking the first steps to being more active will certainly help.
It’s Not All About The Gym Or Running
I love running, although it hasn’t always been this way. If starting at the gym or going for a run is your idea of hell then read on.
Fingers crossed there is something here which might be right up your street.
- Hiking – This is a great way to get out and about and increase your core stamina at the same time. Check out to see if there are any local groups you could join.
- Dancing – Who doesn’t love a dance right? – Well me for starters, but if it is something you enjoy then it is a great way to get moving. Check out if there are any local classes you could get involved with Zumba, Tango, Ballroom or Flamenco, one of them might be your forte.
- Yoga – There are literally thousands of different types of yoga, one of them must suit you. This will improve your core strength and flexibility, as well as being good for the mind.
- Cycling – You don’t need to be Bradley Wiggins, just getting out and about on that old push bike will have great benefits. Get the family involved and make it a Sunday morning outing.
- Walking – Not quite ready to don those hiking boots, well just go out for a walk instead. Just a 15 minute walk each day has great health benefits for us all. Make it part of your daily commute, that way not having time is not an excuse!
- Swimming – If like me you swim about as well as a brick tied to a cannon ball then this might not be for you. If you can swim though, then get to the pool and get some lengths in. Such a great all over workout might be a goal for me in 2018 to learn to swim properly I think.
- Water Exercises – Water aerobics, water walking, water weights are all great ways to get some exercise in. These are especially good if you have impaired movement as they put very little stresses on your joints and the water supports you.
- Gymnastics – Another great all over body workout. If you are agile and brave this could be a great sport to get involved in.
- Team Sports – Football, Rugby, Hockey, Futsall or Basketball – So many options for team sports, check out your local area and I’m sure you will find something which suits. Do check out ➡ The Diabetes Football Community website too, full of great info and inspiring stories.
All of the above is open to anyone. If you want to get active but hate running or the thought of gym equipment fills you with dread there really is no excuse. Get out there, get involved and get active. You will feel tons better for it and be a healthier you in the process. Set yourself some ➡ goals. Keep them achievable and you will be amazed how motivating that can be.
Starting To Exercise At Home
My last blog post was really well received on social media. I had a lot of positive feedback, pretty inspiring to be honest with you. The blog really struck a chord for a large, very under represented group of people. Exercise, when your mobility is impaired, is a real issue for many people. Some of the below activity seem really easy but you will be surprised how effective it can be to build up some core fitness.
Cost is also another barrier to lots of people. Being active doesn’t need to cost you a fortune. Hopefully, there will be something here that you can do in the privacy of your own home or garden which sets you up for a more active lifestyle. As you will see it might not even be something you would think of an exercise.
They all count in getting you more active
- Gardening – Get out in the garden and enjoy it. Nothing beats the feeling of sitting back once you have spent a few hours working and admiring the results of your workout.
- Housework – Nobody likes doing it, but put your favourite songs on, turn up the volume and get busy. If you really work at it making your palace sparkle can be a great activity boost.
- Simple strength training – These exercises are great for building up muscle strength, no equipment is needed. Just you and some space, you will be surprised how difficult these can be. 50 great exercises on this site ➡ 50 Bodyweight Moves
- Hand-biking – This one does require buying a hand-bike but if you have problems with movement this is a great exercise for building up some cardio endurance, as well as toning those arms.
- Range of motion – Such a simple thing to do but very effective. Stretch out your limbs, circle your arms, point your toes, flex your biceps, tense your stomach muscles. All of these things done in reps of 10 – 15 really have an effect on your physique. Movement can help keep your joints flexible, improve balance and strength as well as reduce pain.
- Stretching – Sounds silly but stretching exercise really does help keep you supple. These are not the reserve of super athletes, they can be part of a workout and have good results. Good examples can be found ➡ 6 Full Body Stretches
- Stability – A very simple but mega effective way to improve your stability. Just sit in a hard backed chair, with good posture, and go from seated to standing and back to seated again without using your hands. If this is too difficult, to begin with place your hands on your knees and use arms to help you up. This will improve your core strength and leg muscles. Great if you have restricted movement or a weakened lower body.
- Sit and Walk – Once the stability exercise above becomes easier you can up it a level. Place another chair on the opposite side of the room. Now do the stability exercise but instead of sitting down walk across the room to the other chair and sit in that one. Repetition is key to both of these exercises.
- Kneel To Stand – This one is up a level but is a great advance on the previous two exercises. Starting in a kneeling position then put one foot in front of you and lift your entire body up to a standing position all the while keeping your arms by your sides. Return to the kneeling position. Try to do 10 repeats of this. If balance seems to be an issue then you could always support yourself on something sturdy. You will be surprised how this raises your heart rate too.
If you have mobility problems and want to get into exercise there are so many great resources online. In writing this blog I have been looking at many of them and this one really stood out for me. ➡ Great Range Of Exercises With Instructions
*** DISCLAIMER ***
All content in this blog is my own views and experiences. Always seek the advice of your G.P before starting any new exercise regime.
All links in this blog are there because I found them useful and for no other reason. No payment was offered/received for including these links on www.type1bri.com They are simply there as I found them informative.
One thought on “Starting Out With Exercise”
What an amazing blog ! Although I fortunately don’t suffer from diabetes I very much enjoyed reading your blog.I,m very proud of your good work, I’m sure many diabetes sufferers benefit from your practical,down to earth information. Sue x