We know that exercising regularly makes us feel better in body and mind. But putting our good intentions into action is where so many of us fall down.
In a recent national YouGov study of over 1,000 people aged 35-55 by the makers of Voltarol, an amazing 64% of people admit they should do more about their health.
So why don't we? The survey by the makers of Voltarol found the main obstacles to getting back on track to fitness were our busy lives, lack of energy and just not feeling motivated.
But it is a vicious circle: if you're fit and healthy, your body can cope with the demands of everyday life; if you are not fit, you're more likely to feel aches and pains when you do physical activity.
The Department of Health recommends that adults should take 150 minutes of aerobic activity each week to keep healthy. So enjoy our simple three-step plan to help you get back into the habit of exercise.
1. Write a training plan
Setting yourself attainable goals is key, so it makes sense to start a steady training programme, which allows your body to adjust as you gradually increase your fitness; as a lapsed runner, for example, prepare a first target of completing a 5km run this year, a 10km next year.
On the Voltarol website, there is an inspirational and unique fitness tool can help with a personalised training plan.
It allows you to choose the lifestyle which best reflects your own, for example, 'I sit in front of the computer all day' or 'I feel tense and stressed'. Each exercise programme starts with some tips and suggests detailed exercises designed to improve your mobility, strength, coordination and stamina.
2. Stock up on essentials
Before you hit the gym, the pool or that exercise class, make sure you've got the right kit.
- The right clothes for your sport (comfortable, breathable, lycra)
- Trainers (properly fitted and providing adequate support). Many running shoes can last over 300 miles, but it may be worth checking those trainers at the back of your wardrobe for signs of wear and tear.
- A resealable bag with micro-fibre towel, shampoo, body wash and deodorant (especially if you're planning to hit the gym in your lunch break).
- A mini-medical kit with blister pads, plasters and Voltarol for any post-exercise aches and pains
3. Track your progress - and celebrate your wins
Nothing beats the satisfaction of seeing visible results from your exercise programme, and it can really help with motivation.
Keep track of the results you are seeing and feeling. Take a before picture and then one every month (and put them on your fridge or mirror) or track your progress on an app or a wearable device.
Make sure you keep plotting an upwards trajectory. Once you reach a goal, set another one. The waist of your jeans feels looser, but what about that jacket languishing in the back of your wardrobe? You ran for 15 minutes, how about 20 next?
And finally share your #backontrack triumphs to be in with a chance of picking up a brand new Fitbit and gym memberships.
Voltarol Pain-eze Emulgel contains diclofenac diethylammonium. For the relief of pain and inflammation. Always read the label.
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