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This page brings you some useful hints on how to improve your health through physical activity.

  • Adults should be looking to build up to doing 30 minutes of activity every day
  • Children should aim to do an hour of activity on most days of the week.

Top Tips

  • Don’t overdo it – physical activity should be done at a moderate intensity for health benefits. You should feel slightly out of breath but still able to speak.
  • Choose to walk or cycle rather than just jumping in the car for short journeys.
  • Use public transport – walking to the bus or train station will help burn up extra calories compared to just using the car.
  • Walk up three flights of stairs – uses 15 calories compared to 0.3 if you use the lift.
  • Wash and wax the car – uses 300 calories compared to the 18 you would use going to a carwash.
  • Stand while on the phone for 30 minutes – uses 20 calories while sitting for the same time uses only four.
  • Walk the dog for 30 minutes – uses 125 calories while letting the dog out uses only two.

Physical Activity for beginners:

Walking
  • One of the most popular ways of being active and helps burn as many calories as someone running.
  • Nor do you need expensive equipment – just comfortable shoes will do!

Start by walking at a steady pace for 20 minutes, fours days a week. In the second week practice building up speed and walk on five days a week. Increase exercise to 30 minutes, on five days in your third week. In the fourth week continue walking for 30 minutes, five days a week and aim to increase your speed. Perhaps include hills in some of your routes.

For walking groups in your area contact:
North Lanarkshire Leisure – Tel: 01236 437 756
South Lanarkshire Leisure – Tel: 01698 476 262

Swimming

  • Suits people of all ages and fitness levels.
  • Not high impact like jogging – so useful for people with arthritis, back problems, weight problems or pregnant women.
  • Swimming is also useful for people with asthma.

Beginners should begin by swimming one length and then resting for 30 seconds to one minute. Take it gently, do not exhaust yourself by going too fast. Try this for 15 minutes.
Over a few weeks try to increase your time spent swimming, aiming for 30 minutes, three to five times a week.

Gardening
  • Saves going to the gym or walking in the street
  • Do digging, mowing the lawn, raking or turning compost.

Beginners should start off by doing around 20 minutes of gardening, in two 10 minute blocks, two to three days a week. Slowly build up to 30 minutes of gardening, three to five times a week.