Is it better to exercise little and often?
Most of us know the benefits of exercise, from improving energy, sleep, mood and health, to reducing anxiety, stress and depression. However, we also lead busy and hectic lives and we struggle to imagine how we can fit an exercise plan into our precious time. The good news is, that recent research shows that doing exercise little and often has huge benefits, not only to your level of fitness but your physical and mental health and your wellbeing.
Many of us are put off exercise before we even begin by the though of hours in the gym, or running for miles, but the best way to start is by baby steps. Start by changing a couple of things, walk part of the way to work, use the stairs instead of the lift, go for a short walk during lunch, walk around the house while you’re on the phone, or simply stand up.
We can quickly feel overwhelmed if we have set ourselves unrealistic targets, but by making small changes to our life, that we can realistically achieve, they effortlessly fit into our schedule. The change then becomes a habit and when this happens we can then motivate ourselves to add another small goal. It does not take long for these changes to start making us feel better both physically and mentally. Just remind yourself to get moving. Small movements every day have the power to improve every part of your body. Remember to check your expectations. You didn’t become unfit overnight so don’t be discouraged if the physical changes take longer than you hoped for. Be kind to yourself and look for the positives. Those small changes have undoubtedly started to improve your general health.
The NHS recommends 150 minutes of exercise a week which is roughly 20 minutes a day. This can also be broken up into smaller amounts throughout the day e.g. 10 minutes walking, 5 minutes stretching and 5 minutes dancing along to your favourite song. At Pilates Scotland, we offer 20-30 minute express Pilates classes. These classes are designed to encourage the ‘little but often’ way of exercising. Practicing Pilates is a low impact way to improve mobility and strength throughout your body. The classes are also on demand making it easy for you to fit them around your busy schedule. Our expert instructors will support you and offer plenty of options so you can enjoy the session and take it at your own pace. Start your 14 free trial with us here.