It’s late January and the happy holidays and festive frivolities are a distant memory. Add to this the short days and lack of natural sunlight and it’s not difficult to see why many of us are feeling a tad down and motivation has hit its annual low. But, never fear, the ‘miracle’ cure is simply a step away: exercise.
Leading to the release of ‘happy hormones’ (endorphins) in the brain, exercise improves mood and self-esteem while reducing symptoms of depression. Increasing your activity levels just a little can have a major impact on your happiness and leave you feeling revitalised. For added benefit, exercise outdoors as this has been shown to provide greater improvements in mental wellbeing compared with indoor exercise – and it’s free!
TRY TO DO SOMETHING NEW
Starting a new activity can provide a real boost to your motivation. Learning a new skill, called ‘mastering’, increases your motivation in the long-term as you continue to improve making it easier to keep up your new exercise lifestyle.
VARIETY IS THE SPICE OF LIFE
Don’t get stuck in a rut; mix it up. Rather than exercising at the same pace, think about using intervals of easy and hard exercise. For example, short bouts of fast running with an easy walk between.
Adding 2 sessions of strength exercise to your routinr can improve performance and reduce injury. Don’t worry, you won’t end up looking like a body builder; just leaner and stronger.
Exercising with a friend or joining a class can make all the difference when it comes to motivation and enjoyment. Adding a social element to your exercise can be the difference between sitting and moving!
THE GREEN GYM
The great outdoors if free; open 24/7. There’s no waiting for equipment, the scenery is changing, and there is no travel time to get there.
GET FIT FOR FREE
Women’s sportswear brand Sweaty Betty offers more than 70 different free fitness classes. From yoga and aerobics to boot camp, there is something for all abilities.
These take place in their shops every day and bookings open online a week in advance.
Or you can watch their online video tutorials. Visit http://www.sweatybetty.com to book.
Why not combine fitness with volunteering?
Make a difference by joining a GreenGym; experienced leaders will guide you in conservation projects – from planting trees to sowing meadows – that boost your fitness while you do some good. Sessions last for half a day, visit http://www.tcv.org.uk
JOIN THE TRIBE
Project Awesome organises fun outdoor workouts in major cities in the UK. The best part? They’re free all year round.
With sessions of up to 100 people, the community feel makes it ideal for anyone in need of motivation. Classes on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays, http://www.projectawesomehq.com
TRAINER ON TAP
The seven-minute workout app is ideal for busy people. Download any of the 72 programs to your phone and create your own home exercise space.
Your performance is monitored so the virtual instructor can give tailored guidance. Link to your music and share your progress with friends. Free on IOS and Android.
NAB A FREE PASS
Don’t join a gym until you’ve taken advantage of the freebies on offer at this time of year. With 160 branches across the UK, Pure Gym is promising a free three-day pass to anyone who registers on its website by January 31st, 2017, http://www.puregym.com
BARIATRIC EXERCISE VIDEO
Don’t want to venture outside and too shy to join a class? Try our bariatric exercise video on the website here
Information courtesy of waitrose.com and dailymail.com