Did you know that June is Men's Health Awareness Month? Men's Health Week was established in 1994 to encourage men to get moving to improve the quality of lives. The purpose of this campaign is to gain awareness of preventable health problems and to encourage routine health check-ups and treatments of disease among boys and men.
If the thought of donning your trackie bottoms and going for a run makes you break into a sweat before you’ve even left your front door, we’re here to help. Because fitness can be daunting. Some of us feel fear at the mere thought of entering a gym, let alone knowing what to do with a weights machine.
Fitness doesn’t have to be scary. There are lots of things you can do to start getting fit without having to join a spin class, buying expensive pieces of kit or even telling anyone about it. Here are some top beginners fitness tips:
- Take the stairs – be that at home, at work or during your commute. We’re not suggesting you sprint up ten flights in one go but ditch the lift and make friends with the stairs. That increased heart rate is good for you!
- Walk more – how do you get around? Car? Bus? Train? Get off one stop early or walk to the station. Do this once or twice a week and then start to gradually do it more. And with the lighter mornings and longer evenings, there’s no excuse for this little increase in commuting time.
- Set aside Sundays – many of us have lazy Sundays, which is absolutely fine, we all work hard, right? But what makes a lazy Sunday lunch even sweeter? Earning it! Get outside on a Sunday morning and do something energetic. A long walk, a little jog around the block, a game of basketball with the kids. You’ll be surprised how quickly it becomes a habit, and how virtuous it makes you feel.
- Get ‘appy’ – our smartphones are with us all the time, so put yours to work. Download a selection of fitness apps and see which one works for you. Apps such as Workout Trainer by Skimble, or the Johnson and Johnson 7 Minute Trainer are great. Both have a wide range of quick High-Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) workouts that can be done in less than ten minutes but that is proven to be as effective as much longer in the gym.
The benefits of moving more and getting fit far outweigh the fears. It can mean weight loss, increased energy, better emotional health, lower blood pressure, lower cholesterol, a reduced risk of type 2 diabetes, improved self-confidence, increased libido and countless other things.
And who knows where you might end up if you get up, get out and get healthier this June? Imagine what you could be in and July, and the next month, and beyond? And it all starts with the first step. So start as you mean to carry on, and get moving this month!