Everyone should stay active. Daily activity is important for your health and wellbeing. It will help boost your fitness, improve health markers, and even increase your happiness. But what’s the best daily fitness routine?
Why should you have a daily fitness routine?
General fitness is best tackled in small, regular amounts. The best way to use exercise to manage your weight, waistline, or health, is to do a little every day. This is better than doing a huge amount less frequently. Even a few minutes of fitness-based activity on daily basis can have a meaningful impact on your health. And the best thing about everyday fitness is that it’s sustainable. You can stay active for life, even if you don’t feel able to keep up a gym routine or sports training!
What do we mean by daily fitness?
There’s a difference between daily lifestyle fitness, and more intense focused workouts. Daily fitness does not mean going to the gym every single day or running every morning. This is not about following a structured workout plan with no days off.
Daily fitness is about living a healthy, active lifestyle. It’s the habits and routines which keep your body fit and your mind healthy.
The important factors of every day fitness
How can you design your personal daily fitness plan? What you do will depend on several factors. You’ll need to think about your personal fitness and physical ability, your daily routine, time constraints, and where you live.
But here’s what a good daily fitness routine should include:
This should be the basis of your everyday fitness plan. It’s more important than your official workouts and gym visits. Think about “NEAT” – non exercise activity thermogenesis. This means all the activity and movement you do which isn’t official exercise. Move, stand, and do manual chores as much as possible.
Walking is vastly under rated as a daily exercise tool. Can you walk more often during the day? Or increase your current walks? There’s no rule here: you can do one or two long walks, or lots of short walks during the day. Just get your step count up.
Stretching and posture
Any kind of stretching will benefit your body, help you unwind, and could even impact your sleep too. You could do yoga or Pilates, or just stretch out at home in whatever way feels good to your body.
Some kind of strength training should be part of your daily fitness plan. Everyone can benefit from strength or resistance training. As we get older, we lose muscle mass and bone density. Strength training will help address this. You don’t have to do weight training (although that’s good too). Strength training can mean body weight exercises which are easy to do at home.
Add some cardiovascular fitness work to your daily routine. CV work (or cardio) simply means any exercise which makes you breathe harder, gets your heart pumping faster, and works up a bit of a sweat. Make it something you enjoy. A fast walk? Playing football with your kids? Riding your bike? It’s important to find a form of cardio fitness you like and will do regularly.
How much do you need to do?
Don’t set any rules about how much cardio work, strength training and stretching you need to do every day. By setting targets, you risk falling short and giving up. Instead, set yourself health goals. 10,000 steps over the course of the day (or 70,000 over the week, if your routine is erratic). 10 minutes of stretching every day. Getting outside for fresh air and sunshine on your skin. The sense of feeling your heart beat faster and your body work up a sweat. These are all great targets for keeping your body fitter and healthier as you age.