5 exercise tips to stay healthy

Dr Nick Fuller
Leading Obesity Expert at the University of Sydney and founder of Interval Weight Loss.

One in 10 deaths worldwide are attributable to physical inactivity. We are simply not moving and it is a large part of the reason for the skyrocketing waistlines we see today. Very few of us are even meeting the measly 2 and ½ hours (30 minutes of moderate intensity activity for 5 days of the week) recommended to keep healthy. So next time you start out on your exercise routine don’t get disheartened when you don’t see the weight decrease on the scales. There are reasons why you are not seeing the weight shift, get frustrated, give up, and then go back to old habits.

Here are five exercise tips that you should incorporate next time you aim to kick those kilos for good:

1. Start tracking your steps

This can be done on a smart phone or any activity tracking device such as a pedometer. Work out your daily average and gradually increase your steps each week, working towards a minimum of 10,000 steps per day. Pedometers tend to over-estimate by 10% (depending on the quality of the product) so factor that into your daily average. Take the stairs instead of the lift, park the car further away when visiting the shops, walk for 5-10 minutes on 3 different breaks throughout your work day. And don’t let anyone tell those short strolls aren’t helping because they certainly are! As well as the health benefits, your productivity in the office will be all the better for those frequent breaks as research has proven that the most effective workers are those that work for blocks of no greater than 50 minutes at a time. So next time your boss complains that you aren’t at the desk, show them the science! 

2. Listen to music

Research has shown that listening to music may improve your enjoyment and intensity whilst working out, which means you are more likely to stick to your daily exercise routine. Music prevents distraction whilst exercising, increases your enjoyment, improves your mood, and an increased tempo or beat of the music will even make you work harder whilst exercising.

3. Mix it up

Next time you go on your daily walk or run, go on a different route, and don’t do the same type of activity every day. Your body gets use to the stress you impose on it and you need to shock the system with a variety of different exercises and intensities to help you achieve your weight loss goals. The same applies for weight loss as it does for an athlete trying to improve their performance. If you do the same thing, day in, day out, you will plateau and won’t see results.

4. Incorporate different intensities

Use high-intensity exercise on the days when you are time poor. This is a sure way to get your sweat on and can be done in the convenience of your local park. Try a body circuit routine, moving from one exercise to the next, for a total of 15-20 minutes. Incorporate pushups, walking lunges, prone holds, side planks, step ups, star jumps, and short bursts of running, or any other exercises you can incorporate without the reliance on anything except a change of clothes.

5. Focus on enjoyment

Partake in activities you enjoy. Use physical activity as a time of opportunity rather than a chore. There is no better way to enjoy the outdoors whilst also exploring a place you have never been. So next time you have some spare time go somewhere you haven’t been and try an activity you have never done.

About Dr Nick Fuller

Dr Nick Fuller is the founder of Interval Weight Loss and is a leading obesity expert at the University of Sydney with a Ph.D. in Obesity Treatment. Dr Fuller is also the author of three best-selling books and his work been published in top ranked journals in the medical field, including JAMA, Lancet and American Journal of Clinical Nutrition.