January is a time when many people look at getting more active. A common new year’s resolution is to exercise more regularly or be more active, but sometimes people struggle to find the right sport or activity that they’ll enjoy. I persevered with trying to go for a run for a long time, before finally admitting that I hate going for a run! If you don’t enjoy something then you’re much less likely to stick with it for the long term. Here are some things to consider to hopefully inspire you to be find a way you enjoy being more active.
First consider whether you prefer to exercise as part of a group or on your own. This might also be linked to why you want to exercise – is it purely for health and fitness benefits or is it also to meet new people? If you want to exercise as part of a group and/or you want to meet new people then team sports are a great place to start. You could look for a local ‘Back to netball’ session or a women’s recreational football session. Rounders is a great sport to play in the summer months. Which sport you choose will likely depend on your own preferences and previous experiences or interest in those sports. You might prefer to go to a class – yoga, pilates, aerobics – there will be plenty of options at your local leisure centre or gym. Perhaps you could persuade a friend to come with you?
What if you prefer to exercise alone? I completely understand this! Sometimes it’s nice to just do something for yourself on your own. There are lots of options if this is the case. You could go to the gym, go for a walk or a run, maybe try the Couch to 5k if you’re a beginner? Swimming is my personal favourite. You can go at your own pace, and be alone with your thoughts. If it’s difficult for you to find the time to get out to exercise, then there are also plenty of options where you don’t even need to leave home. Dedicated fitness apps and equipment can make high quality exercise classes accessible from home. For a cheaper option, there are also lots of great workouts on YouTube, enabling you to try out various options until you find one you enjoy…and all from the comfort of your own home. This is especially good if you feel self-conscious about exercising.
It’s also worth considering how often you want to take part in these activities. If you want to do something a few times a week, do you want this to be the same thing? Lots of people enjoy going to the gym multiple times a week, but it’s not for me. I prefer a bit of variety. Maybe go for a walk one day and a swim a couple of days later? Or get variety by having a solo activity one day, and a team activity another. The key thing is that you should enjoy it. If you want it to become a long-term routine then enjoyment will drastically increase your chances of success.
This doesn’t just apply to if you’re looking to be more active yourself. Perhaps one of your children or your partner are looking to get more active or try a new sport? If so, maybe use these questions and discussion points to understand why they want to do it and what they’re looking for. There are so many sports and ways to keep fit that there really is an option for everyone. Perhaps you might even find something that you’d enjoy doing together. Whatever you decide, good luck with trying something new. You never know if you’ll enjoy something until you try it, and you might just surprise yourself!