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Get active, stay active guide

 I don’t know about you, but here at Heart of BS13 the last few months of lockdown and working from home has meant that most of us have been much less active. It’s been a real eye-opener even for those of us who would have said we weren’t that active before, but now we are not walking the children to school, running for the bus, moving round The Gatehouse Centre or doing our regular activities that meant we walked out of our house to the car and went shopping, walked round to visit Nan, or jumped up and down trying to keep warm watching the children’s footie match on a Saturday morning. For many of us our lives have shrunk and so we are not even doing our normal day to day basic activity of walking out of the house to get somewhere and that makes a surprisingly big difference!

In light of lock-down easing we have created this Get Active, Stay Active guide to help motivate us all to get moving again in preparation to getting back to a more normal life again and support our wellbeing; it’s been a tough few months. We have blogs for each day of the week, links to some inspiring websites, and top tips to get us all back on track, not forgetting some short films from Heart of BS13 TV. We have also got some simple exercise sheets put together for us from Wesport and Mind which we hope you will find helpful.

We have tried to find links to exercise for all whether you are able bodied, disabled, young or older, fit or with a health condition hopefully there is something to inspire you. Whatever age we are, whatever size, gender, level of fitness, however mobile or even if we have a health condition physical activity is good for us! If you are worried that it might do more harm than good because of a health condition or problem check with your doctor. For the vast majority of people moving more, even if it is only stretching or walking 10 more minutes a day, will improve our physical, mental and emotional health and help us feel more confident.

Monday – get motivated

We all know physical exercise is good for us but sometimes it can be difficult to get motivated or stay motivated to do it. How many times have you made a new years resolution to jog or go to the gym only to have broken it two weeks later?

At Heart of BS13 we recognise how hard it can be to get motivated to be active particularly if we have let it slip, if we have put weight on, lost fitness, lost confidence or just feel low. The irony is that if we get active all of the above is likely to improve and as we feel the benefit we will get more motivated!

So initially we need to create a plan and give ourselves a gentle push start. The most important element of getting motivated is finding what works for you.

Check out our blog which includes top tips for getting yourself motivated to be active.

Heart of BS13 TV
Don’t know where to start? Try this! Embrace your inner child with this great video on getting active through a simple and fun game of hopscotch.

Good luck, it’s worth it and you deserve it!

Tuesday – create good habits

Making exercise one of our good habits means it becomes part of our routine, something we do without thinking, something that is just as part of our day as brushing our teeth is.

So how do we do that?

Check out our blog which contains our top tips for getting into the routine of being active.

Wednesday – eat well

Eating well can play an important role in helping us to get and stay physically active. Choosing to eat healthy foods, to drink lots of water and to stick to regular meal times can support us to feel energised and more ready for exercise.

The act of self-care that is involved in feeding ourselves well can also help us to feel more connected to our bodies and therefore want to be more kind to them. In the same way, exercising can make us feel more connected to our bodies and therefore want to treat them better when it comes to what food we put in them. It’s a wonderful virtuous circle!

The great news is that if you’re not about to start marathon training, you don’t need to adopt any special dietary measures. No carb-loading, no protein shakes, no supplements etc. All you need to do is take steps to adopt a regular healthy diet – lots of water, lots of vegetables, lots of whole grains, and go easy on the junk food.

Check out our blog which is full of quick, low cost recipe ideas to help you to to eat well this week and beyond.

Heart of BS13 TV
This short video shows you how to make a quick, easy and healthy vegetable tortilla pizza – enjoy!

Thursday – feel good

Physical activity makes us feel good. It can help our bodies to be strong and flexible, support us to sleep better, to lose weight, and to improve our moods and sense of ourselves. It may be hard to start, but once we have got going, that feeling of wellbeing tells us that it’s worth it. Ask yourself, when do you ever regret going for a walk?

Check out our blog on the relationship between getting active and feeling good – and then go for that walk / run / cycle.

Heart of BS13 TV
Have you ever tried using resistance bands? We’ve been enjoying trying them out and they’re really useful for doing lots of exercises, some from the comfort of your chair! Check out our video on using resistance bands at home.

Friday – stay active!

Hello! If you are reading this then you are at least contemplating getting active, have started getting active or are lost and have ended up at this blog… welcome, welcome, welcome.

So you have been doing great getting active but your motivation is slipping, what do you do? First ask yourself why? Are you bored with what you are doing, is it too easy now, do you want to do something more social or are other aspects of your life creeping into ‘your’ time?

Check out our blog which is filled with ideas for how you can resolve any dips in motivation and keep yourself active.

Remember, you are wonderful and you deserve to feel good – so give yourself the time to get active.

Wow what a great week of blogs, films and inspiring website links; we hope you found something that motivated you to get more active. I think one of the key ideas to take away is the ‘start small and build up’ tip. And for me, when I am really not feeling motivated, my mood is low and I feel stuck to the sofa (is that familiar to you or is it just me?) I need to remember that I know moving is good for me and it makes me feel better. This is often enough to nudge me into action and do something, anything even if it’s just walking 10 minutes round the block or doing 5 minutes of skipping or having a dance round the house – inevitably I feel better for doing it and it shifts my mood into a better place, even if it is just slightly.

The most important element that helps us get active and stay active is finding something we enjoy doing. If we enjoy something we are far more likely to make time for it and to keep doing it. So if you like nothing better than a catch up with the girls, family time, chatting about the latest footies results with your mate, do it, but why not combine it with being active? You could catch up with your besties whilst walking round the park, or create a family challenge obstacle course in your garden, or play five-a-side and have your own results to talk about as well as your favourite football team’s. Go on, give something a go, even if it is having a boogie to the radio whilst waiting for the kettle to boil, having a Friday night 30 min home disco to end the week, or doing some leg raises, or resistance band exercises whilst the adverts are on!

You are an amazing human being, help yourself to stay healthy by getting active and staying active.