How to Begin
START WHERE YOU ARE!
Most people who have become inactive or struggle with fatigue do not realise how de-conditioned their body has become. They may begin to exercise at a level which is too demanding for them, which means that they soon give up. This is particularly true if they were previously fit and very active. It is very important to remember the principle of PRESENT MOMENT AWARENESS, mentioned in the ‘Finding Balance’ section. Being honest about your current level of ability can be difficult. However, the intention to build strength and health blended with an understanding your body’s adaptability is a good place to start!
You can also remind yourself that the humdrum of your daily jobs can become transformed once you realise that they are providing you with opportunities to use your body well, build up fitness and burn calories
There is some evidence from studies into how the brain works which show that is possible to strengthen nerve pathways for movement and reduce weakness in your muscles by visualising yourself moving in a particular way. Some athletes’ use this method to improve performance, which may have implications for people who have difficulty moving.
It is better to do SOMETHING than to do NOTHING.It is also very important to BREAK UP LONG PERIODS OF INACTIVITY. For example, getting up to move or stretch in the adverts when you are watching TV, if your job is sedentary or if you sit at a computer for long spells.
People often tell me that they listen to what their body tells them it needs’. Unfortunately the person may be confused by a complex mix of mind and body feedback, which can become a slippery slope towards doing less and less. It is important to remember that we need to move as much as we can to remain as healthy as possible.
DECIDE..... WHEN AND WHY
Beginning to exercise or commit to finding ways to enjoy moving more, can be a thoroughly enjoyable experience. Understanding that your body loves to move if you do this well, and finding pleasure in whatever you choose to do, will reap many more benefits for you as a whole person, than just exercising because you feel you should. This is where understanding how your physiology works is so important, since there will be times when your body feels sluggish and there is a resistance to getting started.
BUILD A REGULAR ROUTINE.
Planning to do something active with a friend, and having a regular daily routine, will help you to find time and maintain the momentum of your exercise plan.
WHAT DOES YOUR BODY NEED?
The three components of fitness your body will benefit from are:
You may remember from the video clip that a low level of fitness, particularly cardio –respiratory fitness is a consistent predictor of poor health outcomes.
There is a mass of information and advice about fitness available in books DVDs and on the Internet, but for the purpose of this website I am going to outline three simple levels of exercise, in the ‘How To Progress’ page
Your exercise plan may be designed to improve your stamina, OR....
To help you maintain your current level of fitness, as much as possible, within the context of your background health. You may have been told that you have a progressive condition. This can be a fairly scary ‘prophesy.’ I have met many people who were told by professionals that they would ‘end up in a wheelchair’. Sometimes these predictions are accurate, BUT NOT ALWAYS. Gently, compassionately and skilfully working to support your body can help you feel more in control, as well as providing the conditions to strengthen your body’s capacity to heal.