Four ideas for getting (and staying) active

OK, so you’ve decided you’re going to become more active. The tricky bit is deciding what to do, how to do it, and how much time and effort to put in. Here are four ideas that can help.

1. Choose something easy and fun

  • You’re far more likely to keep it up if you choose a gentle activity you enjoy. Here are some ideas:
  • A gentle walk in a favourite place – pace the time and length
  • Stretching and listening to your favourite radio programme
  • Gentle yoga or Pilates, guided by a DVD, website or App (see Footstep resources)
  • Volunteering in a museum, public garden or library
  • Dancing to enjoyable music at home
  • Planting out bedding plants in tubs or in the garden

2. Explore local fitness and activity opportunities

  • Find out what’s available in your local area. It could be a fitness group – but anything that involves moving and stretching, such as a pottery class or a singing group, is also fine.

3. Keeping motivated

This can be a tough one, so here are some tips:

  • If the activity you choose is too much effort, simply do something else. To understand more about getting the effort level right, check out the Effort Scale in Footstep 3 – Pacing.
  • Give yourself regular rewards for your successes. Find out ore about why rewards matter in Footstep 4 – Setting goals.
  • Tell other people what you’ve achieved so that they can see your progress and support you.
  • Find other people to do the activity with – fitness is more fun with friends, and that means you’re more likely to keep it up.

4. Dealing with difficulties

  • Many people still use their pain as a guide as to when to start and stop an activity. This is the pain managing you – it’s not you managing pain!
  • The main thing to remember is that when you begin to stretch and exercise, it is normal for pain levels to increase.
  • The good news is, these pains soon go away if you grade your activities. Grading means gently increasing the amount of time you spend doing your stretches, exercises or fitness plan over several days.