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Walk before you run. Exercise is for life, not just for January!

Exercise is for life not just for January imageArticle by Anne Elliott

A very happy new year to you all.

I hope your waistline didn’t take too much of a hammering. It all  seems to have flown by in a flurry of turkey stuffing and afternoon snoozes. However as sure as Monday follows Sunday we are now assailed with wall to wall diet and exercise advertising. I find it so ironic walking into supermarkets that one week ago were focussing on the richest, most fatty, sugary, exotic celebratory foods from around the world and literally overnight, banks of fresh, low fat, low sugar, and thin reduced calorie stuff has taken its place. Cynical and manipulation come to mind. Eschewing such pressures and following a reasonable healthy lifestyle is very hard, and this week it was made even harder.

A bit of news that you might have missed because it has slipped out quietly, is that the NHS Quality Outcomes Framework (QOF) is to be dramatically slimmed down in April. Amongst these cuts will be those relating to assessing physical activity. It seems that many GP’s remain unconvinced or are unaware of the benefits exercise has on health even though in light of a mountain of positive research, UKActive have reported the benefits exercise has on managing or preventing chronic diseases such as Coronary heart disease and type 2 diabetes. For many people, their GP is the gateway to the range of interventions available from the NHS. It appears that if you are looking for preventative/management  physical activity measures from clinically trained physical activity professionals, you might have a problem.

Exercise is for life – not just for January!

In the mean time, as its January, you might decide to do it yourself and start that exercise programme. If you want it to last longer that the average 5 weeks you might want to consider these points.

  1. Exercise is not just for post Christmas, its for life.
  2. You may be extremely enthusiastic at the moment and be raring to go. However, nothing puts you off exercise like a gung-ho injury on day 3.
  3. You may not be aware of your fitness level. It may be lower than you think it is. So start gently as its better to give yourself small doable achievable goals.
  4. Stroll before you walk before you jog before you run before you marathon
  5. If you’re not sure how to start, all be it in a gym of a new sport – get a bit of knowledgeable advice first. Don’t waste you time. Be effective.
  6. Remember that what you are trying to achieve is a calorie deficit so you don’t have to ‘do exercise or sport’ just move more. Learn how to salsa? – now strictly is over why not have a go.
  7. However you do it, alone or with a friend, make sure you have fun. Then you’ll want to do it again and again.

Enjoy yourself and move well and wisely.

If you haven’t already done so, please take 2 minutes to complete a quick survey on women and diet on behalf of Middlesex University – details and survey here. Thank you!


ANNE ELLIOTT is 52. She has a Personal Training Practice that specialises in working with middle-aged clients and their associated health problems. She lectures in Sports Science at Middlesex University, is an ABAE boxing referee, is registered with REPS at Level 4 and is undertaking a Doctorate in exercise in middle age. Anne appears regularly in the media talking about her specialisation - exercise in middle age.

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  1. Walk Before You Run. Exercise is For Life, Not Just For January! - Todays Pulse01-09-14
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