It’s all very well telling someone they should do more exercise. Deep down we all know we should probably be doing more – but how do you actually transform that nagging conscience into much needed activity?
For some it’s all about body image – look at somewhere like Beverly Hills, and you’ll see the competition is fierce to look toned, buffed, preened and polished. Out there it’s not so hard to get out and exercise because you’re surrounded by gorgeous model-esque looking people. The pressure is really on to keep up with the Jones’s in somewhere filled with size zeros, but if you’re living in central London and you don’t have an acting career to pursue, you’re not going to feel obliged to go in-line skating along the Thames every morning.
For some the drive is medical. Perhaps it’s a high blood pressure issue or there’s a high rate of cancer in the family, and exercise is a preventative measure. Perhaps the doctor has told you that you need to lose weight for medical reasons and your mortality rate is higher because of your size.
For some exercise is a way of release from the daily grind, and a way of clearing the mind from the clutter of life. It can lift the mood and give a feeling of well-being.
It might be that a woman is trying for a baby and is preparing her body to give herself the best chance of falling pregnant, or it might be something less obvious.
Perhaps it’s a bit of a mid-life crisis; the realisation that if you don’t get fit once and for all now, you probably never will.
The fact is everyone has different reasons for getting fit, and it’s important to find that drive and harness it. Some people have to start their new regime on a Monday, or on January 1st, but by putting specific rules on your exercise regime you are more likely to fail.
The best way to get people exercising and to keep it up, is to make it a fun activity. So often nowadays it’s seen as a necessary chore. We are constantly being told that we must exercise to live longer, to save the NHS money, to get thin, to feel better. But perhaps part of the problem is that it’s becoming like a school rule – one that needs to be broken. The psychology for some people is that exercise has to be their idea, and it has to be done for a laugh – not for a life or death reason.
With that in mind, here are some of the best ways to make exercise fun.