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Handy Exercise Hints & Tips


Make the most of exercise opportunities

There are many opportunities within your daily life where you can be physically active and move around, in order to increase energy and burn calories. Here are some everyday opportunities you can utilise:

  • Walk (or cycle) wherever you can rather than using the car
  • Always park as far from the shops as possible and walk
  • Always take the stairs rather than using the lift
  • Try to do some physical household chore such as cleaning or digging in the garden as often as you can (daily if possible)


Getting kitted out for exercise

Footwear - always wear the appropriate footwear. Trainers are recommended for most exercise although you can buy different types for specific exercise, cross-training trainers are a good all-round type. If you are doing a lot of rrunning and jogging it is advisable to get some trainers designed specifically for this. Ensure your footwear is comfortable, fits correctly and support the arch of your foot and ankle. If in doubt your local sports shop should be able to suggest what type of footwear is best for you and your exercise regime.

Clothing - when it comes to exercise clothing there is no hard and fast rule about what you should wear - the key is to wear clothes that allow you to move freely, that you are comfortable in and that make you feel good, whilst keeping the sweat away!

Exercising regularly does not mean you need to run up a high shopping bill buying specialist sports clothing, standard shorts and tee shirts will suffice. The only item which you will need to invest in is your footwear - the remainder of your outfit can come from your existing wardrobe and it doesn't really matter how old the clothes are - wearing clothes from the latest fashion collection will not benefit your fitness although might motivate you to exercise harder! Always wear clothing suited to the type of exercise you are undertaking, if your exercise involves the outdoors, dress according to the weather conditions.

For the summer months light coloured clothes made of a lightweight fabric are better for reflecting the heat. If required you can buy specifically designed clothing containing special materials, such as CoolMax, to help keep you cool. When exposed to the sun don't forget your sunglasses and sunscreen.

For outdoor exercise in the colder months you will need to wear layers of clothing, preferably light fabrics that are breathable. If you are exercising outdoors at night make sure your clothes and shoes have reflective material on them to ensure you are seen by others.


Get yourself prepared

  • Warm up - it is essential to warm up for 5-10 minutes before you start your exercise, in order to reduce the risk of strain and injury. Warming up heats up your muscles and prepares your heart, lungs and mind for the exercise you are about to start.
  • Stretching - to give yourself maximum flexibility and mobility - stretch your muscles after you have warmed up.


To finish

At the end of your exercise regime it is essential to cool down, again for 5-10 minutes, as by just stopping exercise you can develop aches, strains and injury. Again stretching is also beneficial at this stage.


Variety is the spice

Rather than sticking to one type it is advisable to include a variety of different types of exercise into your regime, to provide benefit to your whole body. A balanced exercise regime could include running or cycling or some other form of aerobic exercise to work and strengthen your heart and lungs, with some form of weight-bearing exercise such as weight lifting and sit ups to strengthen your muscles and bones; together with some stretching and flexibility exercise such as swimming and yoga.

The Do's & Don'ts of Exercise


  • Warm up and cool down during each session
  • Build up speed and intensity of your exercise gradually

Don't .....

  • Exercise when you are ill or feeling off colour as this can often do more harm than good.
  • Exercise on a full stomach is not advisable and is less efficient.
  • Overdo things
  • Expect results overnight - it takes time to see a resuls from exercise practcularly if your aim is to tone up and/or lose weight
  • Give up - stick at it

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