Keeping ActiveShiftworker exercising in the park

Are you thinking about starting a fitness programme? Here are four steps to get started and a free information leaflet about gold standard exercise recommendations for health.

Starting a fitness programme may be one of the best things you can do for your health. Physical activity can reduce your risk of chronic disease, improve your balance and coordination help you lose weight and improve your sleep. It may also help improve your self esteem and you could make new friends. There is even more good news. You can start your fitness proramme in only four steps.

1 – Assess your fitness level

You probably have a good idea of how fit you are but noting baseline fitness scores can help you monitor your progress. To assess your aerobic and muscular fitness, flexibility and body composition consider the following:

  • Pulse rate
  • Speed e.g how long it takes to walk one kilometre
  • Number of push ups / press ups you can manage
  • How far you can reach forward with your legs in front of you
  • Your waist measurement
  • Your body mass index

2 – Design a fitness programme

Work out what type of exercise you will do and when you will do it.  When you make your plan consider the following factors:

  • What is the goal – eg general health, lose weight
  • What is realistic given your other work and personal responsibilities
  • Start slow and build up gradually over time
  • Build activity into your daily routine

3 – Choose a location

Decide where is best for you to exercise: Here are some suggestions:

  • The gym
  • Home gym
  • Park
  • Swimming pool
  • Beach
  • Class eg dance class, yoga class

4 – Get started

Now you are ready for action. As you begin your fitness programme keep these tips in mind:

  • Start slowly and build up gradually
  • Listen to your body – if you feel pain you may be working too hard
  • Monitor your progress – retake your fitness level after six weeks and then about once per month
  • If you lose motivation try setting new goals, exercise with a friend or chose a different activity.

Download a free information leaflet Gold Standard Exercise Recommendations for Health