I hardly do any exercise and I work in an office. What type of exercise would you recommend? I'm not interested in joining a gym.
I've a question for you. What is it you want to accomplish? We can chart people's exercise on a scale where the minimum level of activity is for a decreased risk of disease all the way to preparation to compete at an international athletic event. Joining a gym isn't a requirement for getting fit. There are huge advantages to joining a gym but any gym operator will tell you that they understand many people simply have no interest in a gym.
Your activity can be broken into two areas – do you want to do assisted or unassisted exercise. Any form of exercise where you have guidance is assisted. This could be regular sessions with a trainer or coach or just a check in with them from time to time to reprogramme your workouts. Doing anything without any guidance is unassisted exercise– walking being the most common form of this type of exercise.
Coming back to your goal – For the sake of argument let's say that you, like many office workers want to increase your energy level, sleep better and increase your general wellbeing then we can talk in terms of being more active as opposed to more exercise – this puts off many people because they think it is too hard and so wont even want to try.
How can you be more active at your office? Do you get up and stretch every 30 mins for a few minutes? Can you get some fresh air during the day every few hours. I would often leave my morning snack in my car so I would walk back to it and get some fresh air and some incidentally activity each day. When you increase your incidental activity during the day you'll see a difference in your energy levels.
The next phase is to be more structured in your approach to exercise. The minimum amount of exercise to help prevent weight gain (in combination with a reduction in caloric intake) is 150 minutes of exercise per week – at a moderate intensity. That is 30 mins a day 5 times per week. At the beginning of a programme the type of exercise you do is less relevant than the frequency or consistency of it. If you can find an activity that you enjoy and this becomes a regular habit it will be more beneficial for you in the long term. We can always adjust the intensity later on. This would be much more successful than if you started working out regularly doing something that you didn't enjoy. The likelihood is that you'll stop in the first few months, have wasted your time and will feel disappointed in not getting much from the experience.
Start out easy and do something that is more fun. Establish the habit and we'll work from there.
|Anthony is the National Personal Training Manager at Les Mills. For more information about Les Mills, home of the world's best fitness classes, visit lesmills.co.nz or phone 0800 LES MILLS.|