How to (get better with) exercise
Exercise is a natural part of our lives. Remember when you learnt to roll, crawl, walk, run, climb, twist, turn, jump and land, catch and throw? No, probably not. Because you just did it! When you’re young, it just seems to happen.
Perhaps you remember learning specific skills such as hitting a golf ball, kicking a soccer ball, shooting a netball.
But with less movement from sedentary lifestyles / injury / ageing / chronic illness, we can forget how to move and how we feel when we move regularly. We forget how to exercise. Because sometimes the couch is just too comfy.
So instead of just getting our exercise incidentally, like we did when we were kids, now we have to make a conscious effort to move.
Here are a few key things we should do when exercising
- Understand what you need, what you can do, what you would like to achieve / manage. Have a good chat to your health professional about your goals and dreams. What exercise is appropriate for your needs and interests?
- Learn about your exercise plan – become more health literate and exercise literate. Talk to an EP (that’s an exercise physiologist) about the benefits of exercise. Find out about the evidence behind why it works, and why some forms of exercise don’t suit you or could even be dangerous for you
- Focus on technique and quality, not quantity. It’s not just about doing more. It’s about doing it right. Using the correct exercise technique when lifting, cycling, weight training, walking, sitting, standing, etc, is the key to a long and sustainable healthy relationship with exercise. Poor technique can lead to injury and sub-optimal performance
- Be calm and patient and steady – don’t just hurtle into it. Get help with this if you feel that calmness, patience and steadiness are not ‘you’. This is the key for you to sustain a commitment for long enough to succeed. Exercise is a powerful enabler of better health but like all good things it takes time to mature and take effect. Learning how to manage your time, how to listen to your body and understand your routine is not a quick fix but it is a life skill – if done well it will reward you with good health!
- Seek the advice of a caring, supportive,qualified and innovative health professional. The best clinicians have a team they collaborate with and it leads to better consumer outcomes
- Persist – When you deviate from your plan – and yes, you will deviate sometimes – go back to your plan and start again. It’s easier the second and third and fourth time, to get back to it.
- Quarantine your exercise time – YOUR exercise time. It’s important, so use it wisely
Need a hand with engaging with exercise?