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Exercise can be a pleasure for people of all sizes and shapes.
It is something we can do to increase our energy levels, reduce stress, experience being in our bodies, improve our strength and endurance and increase our well-being and self-esteem. It is important that we exercise regularly to ensure that we stay healthy and that we feel good.
Have you noticed that young children are often incredibly active, spending a couple of hours a day enjoying physical activity? This is usually because they want to be and it’s fun – not because it’s good for them.
It is important that you approach exercise positively. This will be the difference between hating, and having fun!
•Trust that you have the ability to know what’s best for you, what is enjoyable, what feels right.
•Listen to your body it will tell you when you need to be more or less active, find the rhythms of your body.
•Exercise doesn’t have to mean running a certain distance every day or going to aerobics or lifting weights – there are plenty of activities that provide us with an opportunity to enjoy being physical.
•Imagine being able to enjoy physical activity just for the sheer joy of it, without worrying about doing enough, being competent or losing weight.
• Go for a walk with a friend –make this a regular thing so that you can keep each other motivated.
• Take younger brothers/sisters/cousins/neighbors to the park and push them on the swings.
• Take the stairs instead of the lift.
• Go for a swim at the local pools or hit the beach.
• Go for a bike ride on the weekend.
• Get a team together and play an indoor sport at your local YMCA or gym- this can be heaps of fun and a really good way to exercise and get to know people at the same time.
• Buy an exercise DVD – you may feel silly at first exercising in front of your TV, but if you don’t have the money to buy a gym membership (and let’s face it they can be pretty expensive), then you may find this much more affordable.
Little things like these help keep you fit and healthy, and are really easy to incorporate into your daily routine.
• If it gets really cold and you feel yourself getting really uncomfortable- stop. It’s your body’s way of letting you know that it’s had enough!
• If you have asthma or a similar respiratory problem check with your doctor before you head outdoors- cold air can sometimes aggravate chest and breathing problems.
• Wear a helmet if you're riding a bike, skate boarding or roller blading.
• Layer your clothing- that way you can adjust your clothing to suit your temperature.
• Wear shoes with good grip if you're exercising outdoors- rain can make surfaces slippery!
• As always, drink plenty of water to keep you hydrated.