What kind of exercise?

You almost certainly exercise already, even if you think you don’t. Walking around your home or at work, climbing stairs, carrying shopping, doing the gardening and cleaning – they’re all forms of exercise.

 

To get real health benefits, though, you need to do a bit more. Government guidelines suggest 150 minutes of moderate intensity exercise every week. It means getting warm (not pouring sweat) and breathing faster than usual – you should be able to talk but not sing. Don't worry – 10 minutes at a time is fine, so the target isn't overwhelming.

 

Another way of measuring whether you’re doing enough is to assess for yourself how hard you’re working on a scale of 1-10, where 1 is lounging on the sofa and 10 is about to keel over. Depending on your health and goals, you need to aim for something between 4 (where you’re beginning to feel puffed) and 7 (very hard, tiring).

 

How much it takes to get there is entirely individual – and so are the options we’ll explore together. If it’s not fun, you won’t stick at it, so I’ll find alternatives you really enjoy. No two sessions are the same, so you won’t get bored.

 

We need to work on four aspects of your health.

 

Endurance to strengthen your heart and lungs. That might be walking, climbing stairs, swimming, dancing, ball games, skipping, hula hooping, jogging or anything else you enjoy.

 

Flexibility to stretch out your muscles and enable you to do ordinary things, such as reaching comfortably for a mug from a kitchen cupboard. I use stretching techniques, yoga and Pilates poses that will make you more supple and comfortable in everyday life.

 

Balance is key. Falls mean injuries and fear of falling can stop you from leading the life you want. We might try standing on one leg, bouncing on a stability ball, balancing on a wobbling surface, hopping or walking on your heels (harder than it sounds), for example.

 

Strength makes lifting and carrying easier, while stronger muscles support your joints, help you to recover more quickly from operations and injuries and give your body a better shape. We’ll play with resistance bands, weights and your own body weight to build your strength.