Importance of keeping our activity fresh

Emma White - Nutritionist

Keeping our bodies moving in new and progressive ways is essential for ongoing development. Our bodies are very clever survival machines, so they can adapt to the norm to be as efficient as possible.

With activity, this means we burn fewer calories doing the same movements over time and they generally require less effort. Moving our body in a way it isn't used to – such as stretching, walking sideways or balancing on one leg – is great for testing our body and keeping our overall fitness up. As well as this, changing our workouts or trying a new type of exercise is great for ensuring we continue to benefit from the exercise as much as possible.

When it comes to your daily activity, it's important to follow the FITT principle to ensure continued results. This means:

FREQUENCY – be mindful of how frequently you're moving. If you've been doing the same amount of movement every day for a while, it may be time to increase this a little to benefit your health, and weight loss – more movement equals more calories burned! If you're a keen exerciser and have been managing two sessions a week for a while, can you make time for a third?

INTENSITY – think about the intensity of your daily movements – could you walk a little faster? Clean with a bit more vigour? If you're someone who works out, is it time to try running a little faster or lifting slightly heavier? If movements or activities start feeling less challenging, it's a sign you need to up the intensity.

TYPE – do you do the same type of activity or daily movements week in, week out? If so, it could be time to try something new. Variety is great for ensuring we keep moving forward, but also for staving off boredom! This can mean trying a new exercise such as a dance class for fun, or simply doing something different around the house. Try marching on the spot while you wait for the kettle to boil, or use the upstairs loo rather than the downstairs loo as often as possible.

TIME – consider the amount of time you're active each day. If it's been the same for a while, try upping this where possible. Clean for 20 minutes longer around the house. Or if exercise is your thing – increase the time spent running or walking.

New movements are great for our body and mind – as they say, variety is the spice of life!

Nutritionist Emma White (ANutr), MSc Human Nutrition is passionate about how food science applies to the human body, and how the nutrients in what we eat affect us and ultimately have an impact on our health.

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