When managing a long-term health condition, being active is about finding what works for you.
Ways to Move
When it comes to finding ways to move, there is no one-size-fits-all solution. In fact, there are many, many ways to be active, including some that people may not realise actually count.
Building Activity into Daily Life
Getting active doesn't need to be about joining a local sports club or even running a 10k. It can just be about doing things that fit into your existing routine, as and when you can.
Every way you get moving genuinely matters. Things like taking the stairs, walking to and from the shops, or even getting off a stop early on the bus all add up. Many of these sorts of tweaks to your routine can be worked into your commute. And even little things you can do around the house still matter, like getting on your feet during a TV ad break or stretching while making a cup of tea.
On the days you feel up to it, making these sorts of little changes to how you move about can make a big impact in the long term. Tools like the Active 10 app can help you track how much brisk walking you've integrated into your routine; you can find a link in the relevant resources section.
There might be other ways that being active can fit into your day to day routine. Many people find that being active fits naturally into spending times with family, and helps with keeping motivated. Jo has found that walking her dog Elsie is something both she and her grandkids enjoy doing together. She also finds that Elsie provides a natural motivation to leave the house and get moving, even on her not-so-good days.
Using your routine as a starting point for being active can be a great way to ensure what you do doesn't feel inconvenient. Finding little ways you can move more around your home or your office can allow you to go about your day pretty much as usual – while still feeling the benefits of moving more.
Digital Tools to Help You Move
There are a range of resources available online that can help you move more. Even better, many of these resources are free, so you can use them whenever you'd like. Many videos and written tutorials are available online, allowing you to try activities for beginners or those that are easy to try in the home. Some of these are structured as classes that you can follow at home. Some are written as guides for you to do in small chunks or in your own time. Search for "at home work outs" or check out one of the resources we have linked to get started.
Some tools have been designed to track the activities you already do. For instance, the free Active 10 app tracks brisk walking, which is a great form of exercise that fits easily into daily routines.
There are also tools that can help track higher levels of activity or to help you increase how much you move. Julie and Peter decided they'd get moving more by using a Couch to 5k app. They not only ended up really enjoying getting outdoors, but eventually made friends through joining a running club in their local park.
Getting Started - Local Support
Leading a healthy lifestyle and looking after ourselves can help us to live healthier, longer and more fulfilling lives. Many people are nervous or unsure where to start. LiveWell Dorset is a healthy lifestyle service for any adult resident in Dorset offering free support and coaching to get active, lose weight, stop smoking and reduce alcohol intake.
Click below to visit the LiveWell Dorset website where you can find more information and try-out their pan-Dorset Activity Finder.