Exercise is one of the most effective ways to ensure both physical and mental health in the long term. Deciding on how to exercise is a very personal thing so I would like to look at the benefits in motivation across the board. Always remember to check that the exercise you are doing is within your capabilities from a medical point of view. If unsure check with your physician prior to starting an exercise programme.
1 The Gym.
Many people do not like the gym as they feel self conscious training in-front of others. The big advantage of the gym is that once you break that barrier it is a superb means of long term motivation. The benefit of gym training is that you can improve in tiny amounts each time you go. It does not depend on the weather and is managed by experts that can give you advice.
2 Group lessons .
Any group activity is very good as there is a social interaction with others while you do the lesson. The trainer managing the lesson is very motivating by encouraging the group. Another benefit as with the solo gym experience is it can be done in all weather conditions. This is good for school children also but the experience must be made attractive and be inclusive.
Both classical and popular dancing are excellent in improving your general fitness. Modern dance that is attached to rhythmic music can keep people exercising longer than they would in a gym environment as the rhythm feeds into their natural desire to move.
Brisk walking is also very beneficial . It can be used to get from A to B rather than taking transport and increases fitness in the process. If you can walk with others and or get a dog this can motivate you to keep going every day.
5 Find a part time profession that has a build in fitness requirement
Younger people might consider joining the part time military reserve or civil groups like the fire service. These organisations will require you to retain a level of fitness to be a member and have a great social benefit also.
This is an excellent form of exercise provided you swim during the session. Chose pools that have designated lanes for serious swimmers and set yourself a specific distance or a specific time per length. As with the gym make sure you increase you output a little bit each time by incremental improvements. This might be distance or time progression which ever suits your personality.
7 Team games
Team games are also very good as you have a commitment to the team and will work harder to support your team. There is also a built in sense of competition which appeals to many. On top of matches here there are the training nights which give further opportunities to exercise
Gardening is gentle exercise but is beneficial for older people and helps with maintaining flexibility.
Peter Bull ( author of the book GET INTOUCH WITH YOUR SLIMMER SELF)