Making it count - ideas for more challenging activities
So…maybe it’s time to set yourself an activity challenge? Something more difficult that really sends you on the way to great health and a fantastic achievement?
You may already have come on a bit of a journey. Perhaps you started being more active by getting off the bus one stop early and you’ve never looked back? However you got here, well done!
You’ll probably know by now that adults need to do at least 150 minutes (two and a half hours) of light to moderate intensity activity each week to maintain good health, and reduce the risk of high blood pressure, heart disease and type 2 diabetes. Now’s the time to make all your progress so far count towards a healthier and happier you – doing something that needs a bit more commitment in order to make a permanent and lasting change in your daily or weekly routine. And that will help protect your health in the future.
Here’s some ideas to get you started:
Top tips – more challenging ideas
Make a commitment
Put some time aside to make a regular commitment – try a weekly class or join a local team. You really won’t miss that thing you used to watch on the TV!
Joining a local running club is a great way to meet new people all starting out together. Or try downloading Couch to 5K, a nine-week series of podcasts, helping you to work up to running 5km.
Download Couch to 5K from NHS Choices
Outdoor bootcamps run by fitness instructors have got really popular over the past few years. Why not buddy up with a friend and try it together?
Find out more about bootcamps on NHS Choices
Like the outdoors?
When the great British weather allows, you could always try an outdoor gym. They are usually provided by local authorities and located in parks. The best bit is that they’re completely free.
Find your nearest outdoor gym at http://www.tgogc.com or check out where playgrounds, sports areas and fitness zones are located at http://www.wicksteed.co.uk/playscape-projects.html
Why not take up a sport that you were good at as a kid? Football, netball, rugby, cricket, maybe something else?
Everyone has to start somewhere
What sport have you always fancied trying? It may be too late to make it to the top of the sport but you’ll be embarking on a wonderful journey towards achieving your own personal goal.
Paying a monthly gym membership is a great incentive to go regularly. Many local authorities have subsidised memberships for local residents and you can usually use more than one centre which helps keep it interesting.
Remember that some memberships also allow you unlimited use of the facilities. So you don’t have to just use the gym, you could also…
… Try a new fitness class
Everything from aqua aerobics to Zumba (or even aqua Zumba!) via Bodypump, Bollywood dancing, Boxercise, circuit training, kettlebells, pilates, spinning, Tai chi and more. Take your pick!
There are some fantastic organised outdoor challenges available for the under-24s which can also help develop new talents and life skills. For more information, see Duke of Edinburgh’s Award or The Outward Bound Trust (both organisations offer discounts, offers and bursaries to help with the fees).
Remember: If you have a serious medical condition, long-standing illness, or disability, you should consult your GP before starting to exercise.