Exercise is such an essential part of mental and physical wellbeing, however many of us find it difficult to make time to stay active.
Often, when we think of exercise we imagine jogging or the gym. Exercise can be anything that gets you moving, and the trick to reaping the long term benefits is to find an activity that you love and do often.
Exercise can offer more than just physical benefits, a new activity can be a way to join a new community, improve self-esteem and can even improve brain function. By learning new skills or movements, your brain is laying down new neural pathways, a process known as neuroplasticity. Physical exercise has also been shown to help to improve learning and memory, in some cases even having a slight protective effect against age-related dementia. Here are a few tips to help you find the right exercise for you.
1. Do a quick personality assessment.
Are you a competitive person? Or do you prefer to focus on your personal improvement of technique? The type of activity that captures your attention and focus will be easier for you to commit to. Matching your activity to your personality will also mean that you meet people who have similar interests to you.
2. Work with your injuries.
Injuries that stop us from participating in an activity we love can be devastating. However, you can often find another activity that doesn’t aggravate your injury, either as a replacement or to maintain fitness while rehabilitating.
If you are struggling with hip or knee pain with impact sports such as running, switching to swimming or cycling are great options. If you like a little adrenaline, then mountain biking can be more of your style. Physiotherapists are able to advise you on which activities will be suitable for your particular condition.
Capitalise on your natural ability.
Throwing and catching might not be your thing, but your balance might be exceptional. We all have natural abilities, finding a sport that challenges and develops areas that you find to be strengths is key to enjoying a hobby.
None of the information in this article is a replacement for proper medical advice. Always see a medical professional for advice on your individual condition.