Look around you, inside your house and just past the driveway. There are movement opportunities everywhere. Often when someone hasn’t exercised for a while they may be inspired by a clever marketing campaign for a gym or exercise class. Before you invest any money in gyms or group exercise classes, start a regular routine of movement at home. If you find you can consistently commit to a regular movement habit at home and you want to sign up for a more formal setting then go ahead. These clever marketers are in the business of selling motivation. You can’t buy it, you have to create it and this happens by following through on your promise to yourself. Start small so it doesn’t feel like you are turning yourself inside out to begin this new regime.
We sometimes hear people talking about exercising 10 minutes a day and we think “why bother”. Remember, it’s not about the result of the movement, it’s about building the commitment to yourself. There will be some days when you struggle to find the ten minutes. They are the days when you say to yourself, surely I must be able to find 10. You are building habits, not trying to achieve flat abs in a week. Start off with a fun, easy movement that anyone can do that won’t put too much stress on the body. My favourite is the peg-basket challenge.
Bet you’ve never heard of this one before. It is highly+ technical and incredibly complicated so you really need to concentrate on the instructions. Get your peg basket and empty all the pegs onto the floor or the ground outside. Then pick them all up and put them back in the basket. I know, sounds ridiculous, doesn’t it? But if you are a person who has struggled to be able to bend or kneel down, this may be challenging for you. Set your timer for 10 minutes, if you have picked all the pegs up in 5 then throw them out and start all over again. If the weather is good, be sure to do it outside, your skin will enjoy being kissed by the sun and the vitamin D boost won’t hurt either.
We all have one outside our homes. It may be a bit of a boring walk so perhaps drive to a nearby parkland and enjoy the view while you increase your steps. A great way to fill in the time is to listen to a podcast or some music with a good beat that will have you moving at a consistent pace.
Turn the music on and start to groove. No one cares if your moves are out of date. But beware, dancing is contagious, you might have the whole household involved before you know it.
If you would prefer to stay indoors, grab a chair, sit down and find a 10-minute regime to suit your level. You could start with circling your arms, knee lifts, leg raises, calf raises, leg kicks, etc. You won’t be limited in choice if you are starting in a chair, you can add a resistance band to add in a range of different exercises or light weights if you prefer.
Sometimes it is difficult to physically go out and meet like-minded people. The internet is a great way to join groups with similar goals to you without having to move too far out of your comfort zone. This is a great way to get started because it is always easier when we are doing something new with people who understand us.
These suggestions are a great way to start moving again if you are wanting to create some more movement in your life. They cost nothing, are family friendly and the aim is to create a regular habit of movement. Set the alarm on your phone so you don’t have to constantly look at your watch. Once you have established this, it will be human nature to try to achieve a little more, then a bit more again. You can achieve “a bit more” either time-wise or challenge-wise. Walks become runs, dancing in your lounge room becomes joining dance classes, etc. You might find your walk extends to 15 mins, then 20. The weather starts to get better so you are now enjoying a 30-minute walk. Hopefully, it will be a natural progression but if you find yourself making excuses not to take the 30-minute walk, pair it back to the 10-minute walk. Always get back to basics if you have lost your way.