One of the questions I nearly always get asked is this:
“Paul, what do you do to keep fit?”
And I often think the person asking it is hoping that I’m going to reveal some secret strategy that I’ve been keeping to myself which makes keeping fit or staying healthy easy.
You know, the type of “insider” advice that only a medical professional would know about and nobody else would.
Well, the bad news is, I don’t really have anything “top secret” like that!
And that’s because no such strategy exists. And besides, it’s not really needed.
Keeping physically fit and healthy boils down to one main thing – and that’s keep moving.
I’ve heard it said by many of my clients in their 50s, 60s and 70s, that the biggest difference they can make to their own lives is to simply “keep moving”.
This might seem like a really simple piece of advice but it’s a really timely one too.
With the dark nights fast on us, and the weather making it increasingly less likely that you’ll want to get out and do something like “get some exercise”, then it’s a good time to make some plans about ways you’re going to keep moving this winter.
And what I’ll do is let you in on my own plans for the winter ahead.
This way, you can maybe get one of two ideas about how you might be able to form your own “keep moving” routine for the next few months.
Note, this is just what works best for me. I’m showing you how easy it is to create a structure to your weekly routine that will see you feeling a lot healthier.
So, here goes:
l Monday: A 60-minute swim at lunch-time at the Mill House baths;
l Tuesday: A 45-minute jog around the town (reflective and protective clothing on);
l Wednesday: A 90-minute bike ride after works (various routes in and out of town);
l Thursday: A 30-minute jog after work;
l Friday: Back in the swimming pool of the Mill House baths;
l Saturday: A two-hour bike ride;
l Sunday: A one to two-hour walk around the Headland or at Seaton.
As you can see, I try to do something every day.
In the summer, I’d not be in the pool and I’d be more likely to replace swimming with bike riding or another walk.
Now, in between that, I like to do something like yoga or Pilates too.
And I start every day with at least five to seven minutes of stretching – usually in the warm water of a shower at 7am.
But that routine is just what works for me.
I’m fairly addicted to exercising. I find it really helps me to relax and enjoy my evenings at home a lot more if I’ve had a chance to unwind or let go of whatever is pent up in my head from a day at the clinic – especially if I can get on a bike, pull on my runners or put on my goggles.
My tip for you – if you’re struggling to find a routine or have no idea where to start at keeping active – just go for a long walk.
And while you’re on that walk, start to think about some of the things you might enjoy doing – and then commit to doing them even just once per week.
Amazing things happen when you’re active, and you’ll find it much easier to come up with any amounts of ideas to keep active this winter – and keep stiffness and tension at bay.