Enjoying your exercise!*

Wednesday, 24 February 2016, By James Harris

Exercising in your own time can be a hard and dreaded task. You don't have your personal trainer to help motivate you, you have no gym equipment to enable you to complete the exercises that you're familiar with, and it is so easy to make excuses and convince yourself of less active ways to spend your personal time.

 

But why not make exercise fun?

 

The key is finding and undertaking physical activities that you enjoy. It sounds simple enough, because it is simple enough if you understand the physical activities that excite and interest you.

 

A fun, everyday physical activity for me, is walking my dog. Of course my dog loves getting up and out of the house, but this activity contains many elements that distract us from the physical work we are doing. You are thinking about the route you will take, how your dog is behaving, how your dog is interacting with other dogs passing by, how he or she loves it when you throw them their ball, and so on. As your mind has covered the above points and countless more, you have clocked up a good number of steps without realising. Try exploring new parks in your area to keep yourself and your dog interested, including local spots where your dog can run free off the leash like Ruffey Lake Park in Doncaster or Fawkner Park in South Yarra.

 

Now, what if you don't have a dog? Well, there are plenty of other options for you. Get adventurous and try the countless destinations around Melbourne that are suited for wonderful wanders. Get together a few of your closest friends and enjoy a day trip throughout one of Victoria's most popular mountain ranges. The 1000 steps in Upper Ferntree Gully (Dandenong Ranges) is a rewarding challenge, and there are many stunning boutiques and cafes in this area to stop off at on your way home. Another popular track to walk up is by Hanging Rock in the Macedon Ranges, which is known for its rich history and breathtaking views at the summit of the walking trail.

 

Before we see the end of the warmer months, make the most of the the many swimming locations around. Swimming is fantastic exercise as it is low impact whilst being great for your aerobic fitness. There are opportunities to challenge yourself by trying different strokes, and changing scenery from indoor pools to outdoor pools, local beaches and other natural swimming holes. Whilst you are in your swimming gear, try a water sport such as surfing, kayaking, or paddleboarding. Many popular beaches such as St Kilda Beach have equipment such as kayaks and paddleboards for hire, so there's no need to commit to purchasing the relevant equipment as a beginner.

 

Playing a team sport with a group of friends is one of my favourite past times, and beneficial for countless reasons. Whilst bringing people together, you become naturally more competitive as you are pushing yourself and your friends to perform at your best. A team sport I have taken up recently is volleyball, and I love that it challenges me and pushes me to my limit as I am striving to win. Team sports, such as volleyball, are great way of getting to your hard cardio target and enjoying it. There are countless social and competitive leagues to choose from, with everything from basketball to netball, dodgeball to tennis having set competitions in most suburbs. Get a group of friends or family together and see what interests you all. Maybe get a group of like-minded Vision clients together and start your own team!

 

At the end of the day, you need to enjoy your exercise to ensure that what you are doing is sustainable. Your trainer only has the opportunity to see you and motivate you for about 1 of 168 hours per week, meaning that what you do in your own time impacts heavily on your fitness and weight loss goals. Exercise is meant to be enjoyable, so try something new and keep your body moving!

 

*Disclaimer: Individual results vary based on agreed goals. Click here for details.

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