7 exercise habits that will boost your energy

Find activities you enjoy and that fit in with your lifestyle

1. Walk whenever and wherever possible

Remember that the average office worker's week is 85% inactive, so walk whenever and wherever possible (e.g. get off the train, bus, or Tube a couple of stops early to give yourself a good 30-minute walk to work three mornings a week, take the stairs at work and always walk up the escalators).

2. Find the exercise you love

Find something active you enjoy that fits your lifestyle and aim to do this 2–3 times per week. The golden rule with exercise is consistency—if you don't like the exercise you have chosen and it doesn't fit your lifestyle, you just won't keep it up.

3. Morning exercise is best

Morning exercise is best for energy and burning calories, and people who exercise in the morning are always more consistent exercisers. Why? Because, more things can get in the way of your plans to exercise at lunchtime or in the evenings. So do 20–60 minutes of exercise at least three mornings per week—it doesn't matter what you do, as long as you're moving.

4. A balanced exercise programme

Aim for a balanced exercise programme, combining resistance, cardiovascular and stretching exercise.

5. Having great energy makes exercise easier

Ensure you sleep well and follow good nutrition habits. This will ensure you have great energy for exercise; it will also aid your post-exercise recovery and maximise your results.

Inactive habits to avoid

  • Sitting at your computer for an hour or longer without movement
  • Spending longer at your computer than you need to (e.g. going home after a day's work and surfing the net or social media sites)
  • Spending evenings and weekends in front of the TV
  • Playing computer games
  • Driving everywhere. Avoid using your car for journeys that you could do in less than 30 minutes by foot. You'll get fitter, save money and help the environment all at the same time!

6. Challenge yourself

Exercise in your discomfort zone. This is not your comfort zone (e.g. sitting on a bike reading the newspaper), but nor is it your pain zone (e.g. pushing yourself so hard that it's really painful).

7. Motivate yourself with a goal

Set yourself a health and fitness goal, making it as specific as possible and setting yourself a deadline for achieving it. Share your goal with someone—this will help you to stick to it.

Excerpted with permission from Energise You by Oliver Gray; Published by Jaico Books

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