RENEE VALENTINE: Time to set new goals for spring

“Now spring is upon us it is time to set new goals. These will be different for everyone”.AS I bid good riddance to winter today and prepare to embrace spring tomorrow, I thought it would be a good chance to report my findings from my own personal research into ways to implement and maintain daily physical activity in a time-poor environment.

OK, it was not a real study but at the start of winter I set myself the task of performing 10 minutes of physical activity daily in June, 15 minutes in July and 20minutes in August.

The reasoning was that I wanted to regain my pre-baby fitness by summer but had previously found it too easy to excuse myself from exercise if time did not allow. My objective was to establish a daily exercise habit by the start of spring.

Last week I jinxed myself by saying our household had been lucky to avoid any sickness this winter, so my final week of the campaign hit a hurdle in the form of a 48-hour bug my son brought home from school.

But what I did find was that because I had been making myself exercise daily for those couple of days, where I could not exercise I was really conscious of it and was itching to do something by the time I had regained my usual energy levels.

So what I found was that I was more conscious of doing something every day and once I got in the habit of doing it, then I felt guilty if I did not do something and would find time to exercise, even if just in five-minute or 10-minute blocks.

Anyway, if you are struggling to find ways to implement physical activity in your day, then I can highly recommend doing it this way and slowly building up to 30 minutes each day.

According to the federal Department of Health, regular daily exercise can help reduce the risk of some cancers and help with rehabilitation, improve blood pressure and cholesterol, help maintain a healthy weight, reduce the risk of type 2 diabetes and reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease, among other things.

Now spring is upon us it is time to set new goals. These will be different for everyone, but there are 13 weeks of spring and plenty of time to establish some good exercise habits of your own. And there are plenty of events coming up to help get you moving. Here are a few things you could consider doing in spring.

It is not too late to sign up for Steptember (steptember杭州夜网.au/) or Go for Gynae month (goforgynae杭州夜网.au/), where you commit to doing 10,000 steps each day in September to raise awareness and support for much-needed causes while also getting yourself active.

Next week Lifeline Newcastle & Hunter will celebrate suicide prevention with a dawn walk at Fort Scratchley on September 10 (lifelinehunter杭州夜网.au).

Run Newcastle is Sunday week and the Maitland River Run (September 27), iStadium Run Newcastle (October 11) and the Fernleigh 15 (October 18) are all coming up.

The change in seasons usually signals various summer sports competitions starting, so get a team together or find a team to join. Summer competitions are a great way to socialise as well as get fitter. Try a parkrun, the weekly free, timed five-kilometre event held in a supportive and encouraging environment all over the Hunter region.

Or join a running club. There are a few free ones like PureRun, held every Wednesdays at 6pm from Darby Street or The Esplanade at Warners Bay.

Ring a few gyms and see what offers they are currently running. You will generally find gyms offering free classes this time of year. Or you could try something totally different like a salsa class, polercise or stand-up paddleboarding.

Renee Valentine is a qualifiedpersonal trainer and mother of [email protected]杭州夜网m.

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