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123FeelFree tips. Easy to include in your daily life. Not too much sweat…

It will help you to train for the Hercules Trophy. But most of all, it’s a feasible way to keep a healthy mind in a healthy body.

  1. Ask a friend, your partner or a relative to take up exercising with you. It’s a fun way to spend time together and to catch up on the latest news. Choose a time that fits you both and make it your weekly appointment. You’re less likely to cancel an appointment, even if it is an exercising appointment.
  2. Do you have a job where you spend most of your time sitting down? Then, don’t stay at your desk during your lunch break. Go out, stretch your legs and take a walk with a colleague. It will clear your head and give you enough energy to get you through the rest of your working day.
  3. Variation is important, also when exercising. You are less likely to get bored or injured if you change your exercising routine. Go for a walk one day and for a bike ride the next. Consider fun activities such as dancing, zumba, aerobics or team sports such as volleyball.  Even chores like vacuuming or working in the garden count.
  4. Choose the right time for you. Some people are more motivated to go for a run in the morning whilst others prefer a swim straight after work to clear their head. Take a look at your daily routine and see where you can best fit in exercise. It is different for everyone. Most important is that you set feasible goals.
  5. Don’t underestimate the power of music. A run or a walk is more fun when listening to your favorite music. You’ll even enjoy doing the most annoying household chores when you’re dancing at some up-tempo music.
  6. Lengthy low-intensity work-outs such as walking and swimming are more efficient for burning energy and improving your endurance than short high-intensity work-outs. In other words, you’ll benefit more from a 20 minutes’ walk than from a 5 minutes’ fanatic run.
  7. Taking up exercise doesn’t always require a subscription at the gym. You can easily build in more exercise in your daily routine. Some examples: get a cross trainer or home trainer and exercise during your favourite soap, take the children to a play ground and push them on the swing, join in rope skipping or jumping on the trampoline. Fun for you and the kids.
  8. Laughing at a good joke, a good comedy or in the company of friends. It’s not only fun but because you use a lot of muscles when laughing, it’s also a good work-out.   
  9. Not a big fan of exercise? Take a look at the following benefits: it makes you feel younger and fitter, it reduces the risk of chronicle conditions such as heart- and coronary diseases, diabetes type 2, osteoporoses, muscle aches, fatigue and insomnia. So what’s keeping you?
  10. You haven’t exercised for a while? Make sure that you gradually increase time and intensity. This way you’ll avoid muscle soreness and injuries. Start every exercise with a warm-up and end with a cool-down. If your muscles do feel stiff after training, hot compresses, hot baths or a sauna can do wonders. The warmth will open the blood vessels which improves the blood flow and makes the muscles recover faster.
  11. Do both aerobic and muscle strengthening exercises. Aerobic sports build stamina whilst muscle strengthening exercises will help you avoid muscle injuries. Aerobic exercises are walking, running, rowing, swimming,…
  12. What to eat? Except if you’re ambition is to become the next Philippe Gilbert or Kim Clijsters, there’s no need to follow a special sports diet. Eat 3 well-balanced meals a day (of a different energy level), 2 pieces of fruit, 3 portions of veggies, 2 portions of calcium and 3 snacks in between meals and you should perform just fine. Don’t forget to have plenty of variation so you take in all important vitamins and minerals. It is however true that carbohydrates provide energy, so make sure you also put pasta, rice, beans,… on the menu
  13. Drinking water during exercise helps maintain your performance. During exercise the body temperature rises. In order to avoid it from rising too much you start sweating. This loss of fluids thickens the blood what makes the heart work faster and makes you perform less. So it’s important to drink plenty of water during and after exercising.
  14. Some people suffer from heartburn when practising their favourite sport. Not eating at least ½ hour (sometimes more) before you start exercising may help but also try avoiding dairy products, citrus fruits and carbonated beverages. Try to find out whether certain exercises s.a. abdominal exercises causes your heartburn. If so, try to do them at the end of your work-out.
  15. When it’s a hot summer day, you often don’t feel like exercising. However, if you take some ground rules into consideration, you should be fine. Exercise early in the morning or late in the evening when it’s less hot, wear an appropriate outfit, drink lots of water and be aware of your salt intake to avoid dehydration. And if all, you can always opt for a cool swim.

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