Build one or more favourite types of exercise into your life, gradually. Aim for 30-60 minutes of exercise every day. And remember, don’t just do it for yourself – exercise is also vital for weight loss for kids.
1. Eating healthy and exercise: Walking
Walking is great, because it’s easy to fit into your day. Leave the car behind sometimes. Get off the bus a stop or two early. Walk to the store, don’t drive – but make it brisk enough so that you feel slightly breathless – ambling along won’t cut it.
If you can cover 2 miles a day, you’ll be doing great. Or get a pedometer and keep it strapped on. You’re aiming for 10,000 steps, which should include a burst of 4-6000 fast steps. Rethink your schedule to include this.
Healthy eating tip Eat an oat-based cereal for breakfast, before you walk, to give you slow-burning energy.
2. Eating healthy and exercise: Running/jogging
If jogging or running appeal, get into training gradually. You can harm yourself, if you go from no exercise to big, strenuous exercise, without working up to it.
Healthy eating tip Drink water both before and after you exercise. Take a bottle of water with you on your run and drink at least 200 ml/1 cup water for every 15 minutes of exercise. Drink before you feel thirsty – don’t wait for a raging thirst before you have more water. Drinking water can help with weight loss too – see our Easy Healthy Weight Loss Tips for more suggestions.
3. Eating healthy and exercise: Cycling
Another really pleasurable form of exercise, provided you have somewhere safe to cycle. Pedalling in city traffic isn’t such fun, but if there’s a nearby park or cycle way, get on your bike and explore.
Healthy eating tip Have a meal of pasta or rice before a bike ride, but don’t eat in the hour before you go out. Choose food that’s low in fat, and avoid very sugary foods. If you’re going on a long or very strenuous ride, take food with you to top up your energy – try bananas or other fresh fruit, or energy bars.
4. Eating healthy and exercise: Gym
Going to the gym is a great way to exercise. To make it easier to stick with your gym routine:
* Get some inspiration from books – they are packed with helpful tips, exercise routines and healthy eating plans.
* Go with a friend, and compete against each other on the equipment. Set goals, and keep a record of your progress. If possible, ask a personal trainer at the gym to set the goals with you, then you can report back every 3-4 weeks to measure your improvement.
* Find a good time to visit the gym and write it a your diary. Make it as much part of your routine as going to work or school.
* Success lies in your attitude!
* Alter your gym routine to make it more interesting. One week use the bikes, next week the treadmills. Add some weights and stretches to your workout.
* Find a class or group that you can join to add variety to your gym routine. Try one of our classes here.
Healthy eating tip Have a piece of fresh fruit or a wholegrain snack before you go to the gym if you wish. It’s very easy to succumb to junk-bingeing after a workout, so be prepared. A banana and a glass of skimmed milk is a good quick snack if you can’t eat a meal straight away.
Cook double portions of healthy meals, so that you have a ready-made dish you can heat and eat as soon as you get back. Include complex carbs – that is wholegrain pasta, brown rice, potatoes or wholemeal bread, and some protein.
Use your stairs
Add simple exercises into your daily routine at home. If you have a flight of stairs, you can use some stair exercises to improve your strength, power, balance and co-ordination. How? Simply walk up the stairs without holding the handrail. Walk back down, and repeat 10 times. Too easy? Walk faster, until eventually you can run up those stairs. Walk back down to make sure you don’t trip.
Make stair exercise even more effective by walking up two steps at a time. When that feels too easy, strap on some wrist and ankle weights to make it more intense.
Healthy eating tip If you’re combining eating healthy and exercise to lose weight, look at ways of making your favorite recipes healthier, so that you can still enjoy the foods you like best.