Do you vary your exercise enough?

Did you know that 1 in 3 Britons don’t fulfil the weekly NHS recommendation for amount of exercise, and the right types? The NHS guidelines state that healthy adults aged between 19-64 should aim for a weekly total of:

  • 2 hours and 30 minutes of moderate intensity aerobic activity PLUS muscle strengthening activities.
  • 1 hour and 15 minutes of vigorous intensity aerobic activity PLUS muscle strengthening activities.
  • A mix of moderate and vigorous intensity aerobic activity every week PLUS muscle strengthening activities.

…which is actually quite a lot, and I’m embarrassed to admit that I had no idea what the NHS guidelines were with regards to exercise.

I’ve always been fit – I played a lot of sport at school, I’ve ran a marathon (one of the worst experience of my life) and I’ve had quite a few gym memberships, but I only realised the importance of varying my workout and the inclusion of weights earlier this year. Lifting weights has made such a difference to my body and now I feel like it’s all I talk about – sorry! If only I could find a way to burn the fat that surrounds the muscle so they can be seen?…but with Christmas approaching, I’m not feeling hopeful.

Bulk Powders conducted a survey of 1,5oo UK residents to find out about exercise habits and here are the results:

Unfit-Brit-Infographic2 (1)

The key to success in fitness, regardless of your fitness levels, is progression. So if you are a beginner, the focus should be on tiny changes to your daily routine. I asked one of the personal trainers at Bulk Powders for some tips to share with you:

  • Walk up and down the stairs as many times as you can until you are physically tired. Repeat 2 more times. Try this 3 times per week with a target of increasing the total number of climbs (up and down) you can achieve.
  • Grab a skipping rope and go out into the garden. Skip for 30 seconds durations. Repeat this as many times as possible until you feel like you can’t skip any more. Do this 3 times per week with a target of increasing the total number of intervals you achieve each time.
  • The press up challenge. Starting from 1, add 1 extra press up each day for as long as you can. Day 1 = 1 press up. Day 2 = 2 press ups. Day 3 = 3 press ups. Set yourself a realistic target. Once you reach the target, set a new one. Always challenge yourself.

Fitness isn’t always about who can run the fastest or lift the most weight. The important thing is to gradually make your workout more challenging. Continued stimulus is required in order to challenge your muscular and cardio respiratory system, but don’t over do it. Slow, consistent progress is always the best.

The other day I did 20 press ups, which I never ever thought would be possible! I’ll leave it at that.

E xx


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