1. Make it part of your day

The best way to stick to a plan is to make it an easy part of your everyday life. Are you a morning person? – Try walking the dog or doing 30 minutes of stretching as soon as you wake up. If you’re low on time, try splitting activities to 10 minute slots throughout the day and just add more slots as you get fitter.

Extra things you can do to sneak in extra exercise:
• Park further away than you usually do for a longer walk
• Use the stairs instead of lifts or escalators
• If you’re sitting for a long period of time, set a reminder for every hour to get up and walk around
• Do floor exercises, lift weights or use a bike when watching TV
• Do small exercises when brushing your teeth
• Laugh – 10-15 minutes of laughter can increase energy use by 10-40 calories per day and increases your mood

Find exercise difficult? Age UK has a great guide if you struggle with exercise, recently had an accident/operation or living with a long-term health condition – https://www.ageuk.org.uk/information-advice/health-wellbeing/exercise/simple-exercises-inactive-adults/

2. Make it social

As COVID-19 restrictions loosen, making exercise a social activity is becoming a little easier. Dance classes and organised activities are starting to get back to normal and give you a great opportunity to meet new people and/or start something new. You could also go for a walk with family or even time playing with grandkids in a local park is a great way to get active.

3. Make it motivational

A great way to stay motivated is to track and reward your progress. First, make a list of activities that you plan to do, then mark down the days of the week and keep a track of how many minutes you spend each day on each activity. Remember to start small and slowly increase the time spent on each activity, or the intensity. Don’t forget to include a goal and rewards in your plan!

4. Make it fun

Long walks on a treadmill aren’t for everyone and the key to success with exercise is to make it enjoyable. There a four main types of exercise – endurance, strength. balance and flexibility, and there are lots of options to introduce a little variety in your weekly regime without spending countless hours at the gym. You could sign up for baby yoga with your grandchildren, build a fort, go swimming or take up a new sport. The choice is yours but the key is – make it fun.

Remember to consult your doctor before undertaking a new exercise regime and start small.