MOVE – how to get started

The challenge of increasing physical activity is quite daunting to many people but don’t panic about it, start by taking a planned approach to your daily physical activity by following these simple steps:

Step 1: Check with your doctor.  Before commencing any exercise regime or physical activity you should consult with your doctor. Considerations need to be made for your current health and fitness levels, any medications you may be taking as well as any existing and/or previous injuries. Your doctor is the best person to assess all these factors and make recommendations on activities that will suit you.

Step 2: Easy does it. The most common error people make when starting an exercise and activity program is to go too hard, too soon. The guaranteed end result is that you’ll end up sore and sorry and lose your motivation to continue. Your introduction to any physical activity regime should be simply enough to remind your body how to do it. There should be minimal sweating and definitely no straining. From then on it should be “Easy does it”. It should take at least 2 weeks before you get to a point that you are starting to challenge yourself.

Step 3: Adapt more physical activity into your daily life. A great way to increase the total physical activity in your day is to add challenges to your usual daily activities. This is referred to as “incidental exercise” and the key is to replace a few ‘convenient’ activities each day with something that will cause you to move more.

Step 4: Plan regular exercise. Regular planned exercise is the best way to MOVE and burn calories. Health bodies such as the World Health Organisation recommends at
least 30 minutes of regular, moderate intensity physical activity on most days to maintain good health and that more activity may be required for weight control. If regular exercise has not been a part of your daily routine, getting started may be a struggle at first. However with perseverance you will very quickly begin to feel the benefits of your efforts which is very motivating. The longer you persevere the more likely it is that regular exercise will become a habit!