So I don't normally recommend using a mobile phone, although we almost all have them! But, some Apps CAN be useful and help your health...
How about getting one of the free Pedometer Apps?
What is a Pedometer? They measure how many steps you do each day and also how far you have walked, and even your speed & rate.
It is really easy, especially if you work at a desk all day and then have to manage family, food etc once you get home; to slob in front of the TV in the evening vs take some exercise. I would even go so far as to say that unless you have a good reason to move eg you participate in a sport or dancing regularly OR you have a dog to walk then apathy can take over! Sound familiar?
As you know, I am self employed and will happily admit that once clinic used to finish at 7pm, once I had completed the filing and cleaning or whatever, I would cook from scratch (yes it was a late supper) and then stop in front of my TV. Especially in the winter... in the Summer I am likely to do some gardening.
This meant that I didn't do much daily exercise!!! (Understatement!)
My solution was to get a DOG. Echo, who you may of met if you have been to the clinic since May 2017 is a standard poodle (a "big" one), and she needs lots of long walks! She is my saving grace with regards to REGULAR EXERCISE!
This may not be your preferred route but I have also uploaded a free walking app to my phone - partly out of curiosity and partly to measure things (and encourage me!).
What we measure regularly, the more we take notice and the more or less of that activity is done.
It could be how much money you spend on coincidentals (ie those things which we don't really need to survive! or, in this case - your exercise level.)
The World Health Organisation recommends that people do 10,000 steps EACH DAY. This equates to about 4.5 miles a day when striding out.
It can take about 90 minutes although this will vary with how fast you walk and what terrain you are walking over - eg tarmac, grass or shingle!
This seems a LOT of time and distance doesn't it?!
Well some will have to be focussed-walking (ie you have to set time aside to complete them) but of course during a day you do move about - and they count too! That is why a pedometer (or FitBit®) can be so useful to measure your progress. Some can give you an idea of how many calories you have used up etc.
To get started, be realistic. If you are a couch potato - don't expect that you will suddenly manage your exercise. It won't happen! It takes practice and consistency.
- Get a free pedometer on your phone or a FitBit or separate pedometer.
- Determine when you will walk. It could be early morning, before breakfast. Even half an hour will warm you up; wake up your brain and body; give you some "me time".
- Get your pedometer working! i.e. turn on your phones' wifi capability / internet access or it can't engage with your GPS co-ordinates.
- Get suitable footwear. Flip flops are NOT suitable! You need supportive, protective shoes. You are going to be moving hopefully fairly fast - not dawdling along a path! This is for exercise.
- Move your arms as you walk - really stride out! (Leave the bag behind if you can, or wear a rucksack so your arms can be free - they are an essential part of walking properly.
Top Tips to taking action:
- Enroll a friend in coming with you who can chivvy you to make the effort on the days when you don't want to. They will cause you to become the person who you want to.
- Choose nice and invigorating areas to walk in, if you can. A park or by a river or through the woods.
- Get a dog!! Or borrow one - they are ALWAYS up for a walk and their enthusiasm is infectious!
- Take away your excuses about the weather by getting the right clothing and footwear. Don't have this be your reason for giving up! If its wet, it may not be so delightful but with waterproofs on and wellies - you listen to the raindrops on the leaves and fresh water on your face makes you feel alive and connected to the Earth! This spiritual aspect can be enlightening. You also feel Godly afterwards knowing that you didn't give in to your excuses.
You will be amazed by taking yourself on and your exercise levels (by using a simple and free tool) just what benefits you get. These can include:
- Feel fitter and healthier
- Stronger muscles, esp in the legs and bum
- Improves your posture
- Strengthen your tummy muscles
- Improve your digestion and bowel function (especially if constipated)
- Helps your circulation and reduces likelihood of heart attacks and strokes
- Helps to regulate your hunger pangs
- Connects you to Nature
- Re-connects you to your spiritual being and higher self
- You meet new people in your locality and neighbourhood - who knows - even new friednships!
- Improves your lung capacity and function - often helps with any asthma
- Gets sun onto your face - which makes Vitamin D and helps to prevent brittle bones, especially in the winter. 20 mins a day will do!
- Helps you to breathe more freely and keeps your upper back supple
- Relaxes you are you get into your stride pattern
- Helps your peace of mind and clarity of focus
- Puts life into perspective
- and lots more!....
Don't forget - health is not an accident! It takes regular, consistent action.
© Gayle Palmer, D.O. Osteopath Living Elements Clinic. 2018