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Let's move!... People at Work guide to getting fit your way.

Updated: Oct 19, 2023

National fitness day run by UK Active takes place on the 20th September 2023 and the theme this year is “Health for life”

It is widely known that building more activity into our day greatly benefits both our mental and physical health.

There are so many ways that we can move more. Simply getting out for a walk or going for a bike ride or a run are great ways. Or if you prefer you could join a netball or football team, a Zumba class or go and play tennis with a friend. Have a look too at the many fitness apps listed later in this blog.

Another option would be to join a gym, however according to Money Helper it costs on average £40 per month to join a gym. Now if you are going along 3/4 times a week this isn’t bad value for money, but if like so many of us you work long hours and/or have children or caring responsibilities or the nearest gym is a half an hour drive away then you will probably just find your self shelling out money for nothing.

Before committing to an expensive gym membership, it may be an idea to try it out first. Some gyms may offer a taster session or bring a friend scheme or you can head over to Money Saving Expert where you can grab a free day pass to a gym near you.

Another barrier to going to the gym is the misconception that the gym will be full of muscle-bound men lifting massive weights and grunting loudly. That you will be stared at and judged. Or that the equipment will be too complicated to use! So how can you take the fear (or gymtimdation!) out of stepping through the door?

One thing you could do is take a friend with you, if they are a regular gym user, they can show you the ropes and if not, you can learn together. Book an induction, most gyms will insist on it. They should go through health and safety measures with you and demonstrate the equipment. Don’t worry if you don’t remember everything you can always go back later and ask a staff member to show you again. Pick one or two pieces of equipment and use them until they become familiar and then try a couple more.

Again, depending on your budget, you may like to pay for a Personal Trainer however it’s important to pick the right trainer for you.

Dean Colin, personal trainer and founder of Ageing Active explains“The key is to find someone you like and are comfortable with and with whom you can be honest with about what your goals are and why they are important to you.

Don’t make the mistake of picking a PT just because they look the part, rather go on recommendations. Most important is that you turn up consistently. Some PTs will be happy to train you and a friend together to share the cost. Also getting a PT doesn’t have to be a long-term thing, once you are familiar with the exercises you can work out by yourself, unless of course you really struggle with self-motivation”

Of course, you don’t have to go to the gym at all! there are tons of ways you can workout at home with little to no equipment. There are loads of free and affordable fitness apps, the British Heart Foundation has a list of 7 free fitness apps that you might like to try and you can also find work outs on YouTube. Healthline has put together a list of 28 YouTube channels to keep you moving.

If you have a disability the charity Scope has put together a comprehensive list of different ways you can exercise from home and where to find accessible and disability sports in your local area.

If you suffer from a long-term health condition or find exercising difficult there are still many ways in which you can become more active. follow this link to We are Undefeatable to find out other ways to move.

As Dean says “It is important to be consistent and make exercise a regular part of your life, so do something you enjoy! Start off slowly and build it up. If you try to do too much too quickly you could end up injured or disillusioned with the whole thing. If possible, try to fit at least 20 minutes of activity into your day. You may not see or feel the benefits immediately but with consistency over weeks or months you will start to reap the rewards”

Talk to a People at Work first responder and find out how we can be part of your wellbeing support.

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