Exercise – is it for me?

I’ve heard (and used) many excuses over the years for not exercising. No time, bad knees (that’s me), too tired (also me). While for some, some types of exercise may be off limits due to health or accident risks, most people can benefit from some form of physical activity, even those whose movement is extremely limited.

For those of us who are basically fit and healthy and essentially just making up reasons not to exercise, suffice to say that there is something out there for all of us. I may not be able to run marathons with my dodgy knees, but I can swim for miles, and with a home workout DVD, I am never far from a support bandage and some ice if I land a little too heavy on my power jumps.

However, there are some groups of people for whom exercise might not seem like the best idea. But if you are one of these people, think again, because providing you choose your activities carefully, you too can benefit from building physical activity into your day.

Some examples are:

  • Pregnant women: providing you are otherwise fit and healthy and have the all clear from your healthcare team, exercise during pregnancy can be extremely beneficial to both mother and baby, increasing blood flow and flexibility, and helping to maintain your fitness and stamina for the birth
  • Those with long-term medical conditions: provided your doctor agrees and you manage your symptoms appropriately, regular exercise can be a great way to manage or improve long-term health conditions such as diabetes, cardiovascular problems, and even joint problems. It can also be a great way to relieve stress and depression
  • Those with no energy: regular exercise can aid restful sleep as well as fighting fatigue. Even if you feel worn out by the end of the day, exercising can leave you feeling energised. Try it for yourself – it really works.
  • Those with no time: even just 10 minute of exercise here and there can provide benefits to your body and mind. Keep a skipping rope handy or go for a brisk walk during your break. Or even just walk up and down the stairs a few times or jog on the spot a few times during the day, while you are waiting for the kettle to boil or during the TV ad breaks.
  • Those with no money: all you need is a pair of trainers and you’re off – walk, run, skin, dance. It doesn’t have to cost you much – you just need to move your body.

Remember, talk to your GP before embarking on any new fitness regime, and always work within your own limits and build up slowly as your fitness levels increase.