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Exercise - how to get the habit!

As with most health benefits, effective exercise depends on making subtle changes to your daily lifestyle and then sustaining them. There are many different ways to do this. Isometric exercises, for example, can be extremely helpful, particularly for people who have a limited range of motion, and the best benefit is they can be done anywhere anytime. Isometric exercises – muscles are tensed without movement, for example, pushing against a brick wall as hard as to can is an isometric exercise, because neither you nor the wall moves. The general rule is to hold the tension for 5-10 seconds, relax and repeat five to 10 times.

Walking is so simple and convenient and study after study shows that regular walking can help you to lose weight and reduce your risk of heart disease. You don’t need any special equipment, just a good pair of walking shoes, and you’re ready to go! You’ll be amazed just how many people are out there walking and it is a great way to connect with your neighbourhood.

Isometric exercises

  • Tense your abdominal muscles

  • Hold your hands in front of you as if you were “praying”, press firmly together and hold for at least 10 seconds, repeat as often as you like.

  • Stand against a wall with your legs about 30cm or 12 inches apart again, lean against the wall as if you are trying to push it over

  • Stand in the middle of a doorway – place your hands on the doorjamb at shoulder height and push

  • While sitting on a chair with your feet firmly on the ground, push your legs into the ground as hard as you can

I am sure these examples will get you thinking about even more resistance exercises you can include in your daily activities. It is really important to maintain “core strength” and simply checking your posture in a routine manner will help.


For walking to count as exercise, you need to walk at a pace that has you breathing heavily but still able to maintain conversation without too much effort.

  • Your goal should be to walk five days a week for at least 30 minutes

  • Don’t assume to reach this goal immediately – build up on a daily basis and remember, if you make it uncomfortable you will be less likely to continue

  • If you can walk to the shops – I take a shopping trolley with me, very practical and you will walk faster if you’re not carrying a heavy load.

  • Start every walk with five minutes “easy pace” walking and then increase the pace. Make sure you slow down in the same way for the last 5 minutes

  • Change your destination to avoid boredom

  • If you walking in a “safe” area (certainly not on roadways) plug music into your ears – tends to increase the pace and lifts the spirit at the same time

  • When you have reached your target – a 30 minute walk 5 days a week, consider including another form of exercise – maybe a swim

All that is required for you to take up these exercises is a will to improve your health. After a month, you’ll wonder why you hadn’t done it sooner.

...and remember...have a fabulous retirementLIFE....

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