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How to start?

If you are thinking about Getting More Active but aren’t sure where to start here is a short blog with some top tips! Of course, you can also contact the Get More Active project for some friendly support and ideas. Email getactive@surreycoalition.org.uk or phone/SMS text on 07434 865062

Get More Active – Getting Started!

We are probably all aware of the benefits of exercise, but it is not always easy to get started. Often there seem to be too many barriers preventing us from taking those first steps. The Get More Active Project is here to support you if you are not sure where to begin but, in the meantime, here are our top tips for starting out!

  • Check with your GP or healthcare team.

It’s always a good idea to get medical advice before starting exercise. If you are worried that being active might affect your benefits remember exercise or being more active is a legitimate way of managing physical and mental health conditions and it can be written into your health care plan. Your GP will also be able  to tell you if you are eligible for a Physical Activity Referral Scheme which can give you free access to local leisure centres for example.

  • Start small and build up gradually.

Government guidelines are to carry out 150 mins of moderate exercise a week. That can seem like an unattainable amount of time and what does “moderate exercise” even mean? Well, “moderate” simply means something that is increasing your heart rate and breathing rate – you shouldn’t be gasping for breath and should still be able to talk in full sentences.

Remember, though that any activity is better than nothing so aim to start slowly and build up gently. Just 10 minutes a day is a good start and isn’t too much time to find when you are getting going. By starting gently you will also give your body time to adapt so you are less likely to get injured or feel like it’s just too hard to keep going.

  • Build activity into your day.

Try to make small changes to your daily habits for example going for a short walk at lunchtime or, if you can, standing up to take a phone call when working. Perhaps you could add some dance moves to household chores? Think about when you feel you have the most energy. Perhaps it takes time for you to get going in the morning and so being active would be better later in the day or you may tend to tire towards the end of the day so morning activity would be better.

  • Find something you enjoy.

Maybe you hate the idea of exercise or being sweaty? Think about what you enjoy and see if there is a way you can combine it with activity.  If you don’t like feeling sweaty how about swimming? Swimming can also enable you to move in ways that may not be possible on land. If you enjoy music, how about trying dance or just having a bit of a boogie whilst you are doing household chores? Love nature? You could volunteer with a local conservation group.

Getting started can feel intimidating but it can be so much fun and empowering.

  • Make it sociable.

One of the great things about being more active is the opportunity to meet new people. Perhaps you could join a local group or meet up with a friend to try something new? Not only is it more fun to be active with other people but it can make it less scary, and you are more likely to do it.

  • What can I do at home?

If travelling is challenging for you or if you are concerned about getting out and about post lockdown, think about what you can do in your own home. There is a wealth of information and online classes or videos available especially following the pandemic. Many of these are specific to different disabilities for example MS Society or Wheelpower.

For individual support from the Get More Active Project get in touch:

Email: getactive@surreycoalition.org.uk

Phone or SMS text: 07434 865062


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