Exercise helps to normalise your blood sugar levels (the things that, when low, make you crave sugar) and stop any fluctuations that would cause you to splurge on unnecessary treats. It also activates your muscles, which in turn makes your body burn fat opposed to carbohydrates – which for a lot of people is the main goal. By doing exercise you’ll raise your metabolic rate; your body will use oxygen more efficiently and the rate at which you digest food will increase.

Top Tips

For a lot of people, it’s not the thought of exercise itself that puts them off; it’s the time it takes. If you’re looking for ways of including fitness into your daily routine, these steps could help you:

  • Although no one wants to – waking up 20-30 minutes before you usually do in order to do exercise is one way that people combat this time issue; it will also set you up for the day and get your metabolism going before you even leave the house.
  • Park further away from the shops when you go; this way you’ll get some extra steps (and carrying) in between your shopping.
  • Take your lunch as the opportunity to go for a walk, even if it means getting to know a new area or carving out a regular circuit so that you’re keeping your body active at all points in the day.
  • If where you work has stairs, use them, you could burn as many as 302 calories a week just by taking them one at a time!
  • Hoover your house more regularly; vacuuming or mopping can burn 150 calories per hour!
  • Do squats, crunches, stretches or simply jogging on the spot whilst you’re cleaning your teeth, waiting for the washing machine or dinner.
  • Go out with friends at the weekend; dancing itself burns up to 370 calories per hour!
  • Take an evening or weekend to clean the family car yourself as opposed to paying to get it cleaned. Not only does this save you money, but cleaning a car burns 204 calories per hour!

Have the right mindset

Exercising isn’t all about what you do physically; you need to make sure you’ve psyched up mentally to develop a routine. Make sure you don’t let circumstances prevent you from sticking to a routine; if you’re constantly stop-starting you won’t see any real progress. Ensure you don’t get hung up if you miss a day or two of exercise, just think about your goals and why you wanted to do more exercise and recommit.

When you’re wondering why you bother at all, remember why you started and the way exercise makes you feel afterwards. But it’s not all about those endorphins! You need to want to do it’s the first step towards a happier, healthier you.

Find out more about how your diet can affect your mood

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