There is a reason why the common adage goes ‘exercise is good for you’. It’s amazing not just for your body but also for your mind. It also relieves stress, improves memory, helps you sleep better, and boosts overall mood! Plus, you don’t need to be a fitness freak to obtain the benefits. Research has proven that even modest amounts of exercise makes a difference. Regardless of your degree, fitness level or age, you can learn to use exercise as a powerful tool to feel better. So here are some 6 great ways to start getting active!
If running seems a bit intimidating, don’t despair. Even just a few minutes of physical activity are better than none at all. You can always start with baby steps, for example, going for 5 to 10-minute runs around your local area. Remember the more you exercise, the more energy you’ll start to have, so eventually you’ll feel ready for a little more. As exercising becomes habit, you can slowly add extra minutes or try different types of activities. If you keep at it, the benefits of exercise will begin to show! Here are 2 suggestions for making running more fun.
Running and walking alterations
If you’re keen for a slightly less intense outdoor workout try running walking alternations in the ratio 1:4, or 1 minute running followed by 4 minutes walking for at least half an hour, 4-5 times a week. As you grow accustomed to the routine, feel free to challenge yourself, increasing running time and reducing walking time towards a new ratio of 2:1 for longer running periods. Just be careful not to overexert yourself increasing the exercise load by no more than 10% each week. Not feeling up to the challenge? Simply reduce the pace to a jog and find a more comfortable ratio.
Running in a Group
Running with your uni mates can have tremendous benefits on both your fitness and mental health. This is because they ensure you stay motivated and hold you accountable in developing a consistent running routine, by encouraging you to put in the extra effort to keep up with the others. Plus, when you get caught up in the pace you just might not realise how fast you’re going, making it much more exciting than running on your own.
2. Martial Arts
Ever feeling stressed and needing a way let loose? Try martial arts! Whether you’re striking a bag or training in a friendly group, martial arts can have a huge impact on your emotional well-being by releasing stress and promoting happiness through your achievements, whilst improving your strength, stamina, reaction speed, flexibility and agility. Focusing on technique and practicing with a sharp mind will also enhance your memory and learning ability, skills which are especially useful for your lawyering goals. Plus if you need a temporary distraction from more mundane reading sessions, even one or two hours at a dojo each week can clear your mind allowing you to get your head back into the textbooks. With a huge variety of martial arts to choose from including jiu jitsu, taekwondo, karate and judo, these activities are bound to sweep you off your feet, unless you become a sparring prodigy. And if it does happen that’d be awesome, as it’s about time the ‘Karate Kid’ got a proper sequel.
3. Social Sports
There are a huge variety of social sports run by ARC, including Oztag, Volleyball, Netball Fast 5’s, Flag Football, Futsal and many more! You can sign up at https://www.arc.unsw.edu.au/sport/social-sport for weekly sessions to get down to the village green and play. It’s a fantastic opportunity for you and a couple of your mates to get together and have a great time all whilst working your body at the same time.
4. YouTube workouts
Nowadays a lot of content we engage with is online, so why not use it to improve our health? With a simple online search, you can access thousands of workout routines. You can also get specific exercises to target certain muscle groups and areas of the body, such as ‘workouts for building back strength.’ If you are unsure of how to perform certain exercises, there are tonnes of informative videos that instruct you on what is the correct form as well. So why not add a fitness channel to your YouTube subscription list and keep up-to-date with awesome tips regarding your areas of interest.
Short on time and don’t feel like leaving the house? Try some skipping! Skipping is a full body workout so you’ll being using your abdominals to stabilise the body, legs for jumping, and shoulders and arms for turning the rope. According to the British Rope Skipping Association, 10 minutes of skipping can have the same health benefits as a 45-minute run. So next time you want quick and effective exercise with less effort, why don’t you give skipping a go? Skipping can also be extra fun if you try challenging yourself with its different varieties, such as single leg skipping, double unders and criss-cross skipping, and can also boost balance, coordination and agility making it a flexible exercise in more ways than one.
Ever need to relax a mind strained by readings and assignments? Or perhaps ease the back pain from picking the more uncomfortable seats in the almost always occupied law library? Why not try some yoga? All you need is a yoga mat and a desire to relax to embark on this spectacular journey. Whether you are a beginner who wishes to try basic yoga poses or asanas, or a frequent participant who practises more advanced techniques and sequences, yoga has a vast range of benefits on both your body and mind. Not only does it improve flexibility, posture, bone health, muscle strength and balance, releasing tension in limbs and easing pain, but it helps you easily focus and relax at your own will, a particularly useful practical skill for quickly relieving stress before standing in court or conversing with clients. Wellbeing Warriors is hosting a group yoga session for keen individuals, if you wish to preview this relaxing and beneficial experience.