What exercise should I be doing?  

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I am often asked “What is the best type of exercise?” If you put this question into google you’ll receive a variety of links to articles arguing how one form of exercise is better than another.  

There are a couple of things to consider.  Firstly, there is no definitive ‘best’ exercise.  The best type of exercise will depend on what your goals are and what you are trying to achieve.  This will determine what type of training to do and therefore define what the best form of exercise is for you, at that current time.  

However, this approach prioritises physical progress and doesn’t consider all the other benefits of moving your body; improved mental wellbeing, increased energy and all the other less tangible physical benefits.  There is no one size fits all approach.  

For the majority of the population, the best place to start is finding the exercise you can do CONSISTENTLY.  What can you realistically fit in your schedule and get pleasure from?  This will help you determine what you do on a regular basis.  This may evolve and change, as your life does, over time.  If you are being consistently active, in some form, then you’re onto a winner.  Six months of daily brisk walks and weekly yoga surpasses a month of full on gym session followed by 6 months of nothing.  

Here are some tips on how to be consistent: 

  • Have a realistic idea of how much time you can really commit to exercise and when you can do it.  Then work out what you can do that works within that, even if it only seems a small amount. 

  • Keep your workouts short and manageable – 10 minutes activity if done frequently will reap benefits 

  • Schedule it – put it in your diary.  Make it as much of a regular priority as eating your dinner or cleaning your teeth. 

  • Make one change at a time – start small and build.  Two jog/walks for 15 minutes each week can quickly grow to two 20-minute jogs each week to training for a 5k. 

  • A personal trainer is a great way to keep you on track, many of us are less likely to cancel a pt session than we are to flake on working out alone. 

  • Group exercise classes are also another way to keep yourself on track, the social aspect of working out with friends is always a great incentive, and you can hold each other accountable.

If you struggle and are constantly trying to get into a consistent exercise routine, I hope you find this blog useful.  Focus on the what you can do now, plan in activity on a weekly basis and focus on the positive mental and physical effects of activity.  That will lay the foundations of a positive and consistent relationship with exercise.