Family Exercise Top Tips

Why exercise?

Being active can help you deal with the ups and downs of life. When you exercise you:
• feel more in control
• have a distraction from worries, at least for a while
• have more energy
• sleep better
• have better self-esteem, body image and self-confidence
• get a ‘natural high’ due to the release of endorphins (feel-good hormones)

Busting exercise myths

I need an hour (or more) – Doing two 15-min workouts a day can be more effective than slogging it out for an hour, as well as being easier to fit into your day. And it will help you achieve the NHS’s recommended 150 minutes of weekly moderate activity.

Something as simple as sticking the radio on and dancing around the kitchen until your heart rate is up and you’re feeling a bit breathless can count as a workout. The NHS has 10-minute exercises which are easy to follow.

I have to go to a gym – there are many free fitness apps available that allow you to exercise in the comfort of your own home. Search for ‘free fitness apps’ or ‘free fitness apps for families’ to get you started. There are also plenty of exercise videos available on YouTube, including Joe Wickes (also known as The Body Coach and PE superstar of the First Lockdown) and on the NHS

I can’t exercise when my children are around – any physical movement which raises your heart rate counts. So, having a race in the garden, playing a video game that combines fitness with fun or cycling to the park for a picnic all counts.

I can’t find the time to exercise – decide on a time each day to exercise, you may need to test out a few times to find when is best for you. To set good habits, it can also help to do a routine of activities so that eventually leads to each activity happening without too much thought, for example, after you brush your teeth in the morning, you then do ten squats followed by ten star jumps. You can even exercise from the comfort of your bed.

If you’re really pushed for time, or you’ve missed your assigned exercise time, you can combine exercise with other tasks, for example taking a brisk walk while on a phone call or watching tv while jogging on the spot for 15 minutes.

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