How to return to fitness safely

Perhaps you used to be an avid gym-goer but you suffered an injury and are out of shape. Maybe you’re suffering from a chronic condition and want to begin some gentle exercise to help improve your fitness. It could be that you’ve never dared to set foot in a gym in your life and want to build some confidence before you do. Whatever your reason for wanting to increase your fitness levels, it’s incredibly important to do it safely. We’ve pulled together some tips to help people of any fitness level ease themselves into the world of exercise. So, shorts and trainers on, it’s time to get sweaty.

Yoga Is For Everyone

Yoga is a brilliant form of gentle exercise for those who haven’t been training for a long time. You can start with just a few minutes per day and gradually build up the length of your workouts and the difficulty of the positions you are attempting. This five minute yoga exercise was designed for poker players, who spend a lot of time sitting down, so it’s equally as useful for office workers and those with fairly sedentary jobs. If you feel that your fitness is already a bit beyond this then there are hundreds of videos on YouTube that cater to individual fitness needs. Before long you’ll be sweating it out in a hot Vinyasa class with the best of them.

Wet Wet Wet

If you’re worried about preventing an injury then there are plenty of ways to go about it. One of the most important is to ensure that your joints don’t take any unnecessary strain. Performing exercises in the water is a great way of ensuring this and there’s a surprising amount that you can do in the pool. Swimming is an obvious but nonetheless brilliant choice, as it works out your whole body. You can head down to the local pool, or you could try your hand at wild swimming. The big benefit of wild swimming in rivers, lakes, or the sea is that you get the added benefit of a cold shock to your body. Many people believe that this can provide a big boost to your mental health, two for the price of one isn’t bad! Another exercise you can try in the water is an aqua aerobics class. These classes comprise of traditional aerobic activities, like jumping jacks, performed in a swimming pool. While it might look a bit silly, they’re great fun and really hard work. You’ll burn a ton of calories, have loads of fun, and your joints will be protected by the water.

Walking Absolutely Everywhere

Sometimes the simple things are the best and it doesn’t get much more simple than walking. Walking is a great form of exercise that is gentle enough for people of any level of fitness to try. If you really struggle with mobility then build up slowly by walking around your garden, or getting off the bus a stop earlier. If you’re further on in your fitness journey then you could have a walking lunch break, setting off from your place of work with a sandwich in hand and completing a full hour before getting back to your desk. Building walking into your daily routine is the best way to ensure that it becomes a habit. Better still, because it’s a light form of aerobic exercise, you’ll burn calories without sweating (unless it is very hot indeed!) meaning that you won’t need to waste time showering when you get back.

For those who find that walking is the best exercise for them, there are simple ways to kick it up a gear as well. Nordic walking, with poles and breathing exercises provides a more thorough form of aerobic exercise, whilst taking on challenging hikes can be a great activity to do with friends. Get yourself a pedometer and see how long it would theoretically take you to walk around the world. It’s been measured at about 20 million steps, so it’ll take a while, but what an accomplishment!

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