Keeping Exercise Simple but Effective

I’m lucky in that I do enjoy exercising and would probably attend more classes if time wasn’t a constraint. At the moment though my life is busy with books and websites and grandchildren so my regime is as simple as I can make it whilst still being effective.

I like variety in my exercise regime and I could never just go to a gym regularly as I find this so boring as well as hard work. So this is what I do and how I fit it into my life.

I go to one class a week – yoga – which I love. As well as the stretching and exercise it’s good to have someone there to push me a little further than I would naturally go and I also enjoy the little spiritual nuggets that our teacher imparts. It gives me time and space to be in the moment and to connect with my body and mind.

During the week I try to do a little routine of a combination of yoga and Pilates exercises which I have learnt over the years. This routine takes me less than 20 minutes but aims to stretch and use most muscles and I probably manage to do it three times a week on a good week. I do it in the morning before I shower as once the day gets underway I would never quite get around to it.

I also try to swim once a week. This is an early bird session at our local baths and even though I have swum for half an hour I still find myself eating my breakfast and ready to start the day at my usual time. So it really doesn’t impinge on my time, I just need to find the motivation to get myself there especially on cold winter mornings.

My latest keep fit addition is an exercise bike and high intensity training (HIT). It sounds horrendous but is short lived so quite acceptable. High intensity training is about doing the least amount of exercise to raise your heart beat to a level that is necessary to improve health and fitness. Apparently cycling as hard as you can for three 20 second sessions, three times per week works as well at keeping one fit as hours spent on other regimes. I think it’s great as I can do it at home and it takes no more than 10 minutes from start to finish which includes a warm up before, a cool down afterwards and a recovery break between each session. I try to cycle on the mornings when I don’t do my yoga/Pilates or swimming which on a good week is three times a week.

I also love to go out walking – not miles – sometimes a gentle stroll round our Country Park and sometimes 4-5 miles in the country but this seems more like pleasure than exercise so I don’t really count it in my exercise regime.

What I’m trying to impart here is that you don’t need to spend a lot of time to keep fit – it’s more about organisation and motivation. It’s also about finding exercise that you like to do – you are much more likely to stick to something you enjoy.