Health Lifestyle

Sticking to Your New Years Resolutions-The Do’s and Don’ts of Exercise

Finley MacDonald is a Final Year Criminology and Psychology Student.

Featured Image by Hatice EROL from Pixabay 

Have you promised yourself that 2021 will be your year to get fit and healthy? Are you looking for tips to start off exercising? Keep reading… 

Exercise is a great way to maintain great physical and mental health. However, it is important that we recognise the DO’s and DON’TS when exercising to ensure it is beneficial for us. 

DO – Start off small!

No matter how much exercise you do, you will not see the results instantly, and you could get an injury in the process. We all want to believe that after we have done 20 sit ups, we will have visible abs – but this is unrealistic. Gradually building up your exercise will help you to notice a difference in your body’s strength and stamina. No one wants to have to explain to their friends that their sprained ankle occurred after their first run!

DON’T – Compare yourself to others.

Naturally, as humans we compare ourselves to what others achievements, whether that is in the workplace, in school or in our exercise goals. Everyone has different goals that they want to achieve by exercising, I often have to tell myself that as an amateur exerciser(?), I am probably not destined to achieve the same goals as Joe Wicks has for himself! But realistically, it is a great achievement in itself to do a bit of exercise – regardless of any goals you’ve set for yourself!

DO – Have rest days.

Resting in between exercise is extremely important to ensure that you are re-energised for your next day. Over-working yourself could lead to an injury, exercise in moderation!

DON’T – Believe everything you read/see online.

We are constantly surrounded by Instagram pictures showing us the “perfect” body, we are becoming obsessed with things we see online. The truth is; every body is perfect in its own ways, our body shapes are different and what one person may dislike about themselves, others may dream for! 

DO – Exercise with friends.

A tough one given the current climate, however, why not set up a Zoom HIIT session with your friends? Exercising with someone else can create a positive experience whilst encouraging each-other to keep going, even at the toughest times. 

DON’T – Forget to reward yourself.

Even the smallest bit of exercise deserves a reward, be kind to yourself. There are numerous ways you can reward yourself; an episode of your favourite series, your favourite chocolate bar or a new pair of running shorts after your first month of exercise! Rewarding yourself can make exercise a LOT more bearable and gives you something to look forward to. 

Exercise really helps me to feel good about myself, both physically and mentally. Even a small walk or 10-minute Yoga session can start my day off great! Here are some links to free exercises that you can do from the comfort of your own home (because there’s nowhere else to go right now!): 

Yoga with Adriene: 

https://www.youtube.com/user/yogawithadriene

The Body Coach; HIIT, beginners and intermediates workouts, no equipment: https://www.youtube.com/user/thebodycoach1 

8Fit; short exercises, perfect for beginners! 

https://www.youtube.com/c/8fitapp

Body Project; different intensity workouts, minimal equipment needed! https://www.youtube.com/c/BodyProjectchallenge/videos 

NHS Website: exercises for strength, posture, flexibility and balance: https://www.nhs.uk/live-well/exercise/easy-low-impact-exercises/

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