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No time like the present

By Dean Ewington*

THE days are starting to grow longer and warmer, so it is nice to see some people emerging from their winter hibernation.

While this is a good thing, I would love to see more people keeping active and participating in regular exercise all year round.

Exercise must be treated as a priority in your day and something that you plan for just like all the other “more important” activities that take up your valuable time.

You also need to think about why you need to exercise and what it will mean to you now and into the future.

I always say that the single most important reason to exercise is so that you can be there for your family when they need you most.

If you want to walk your daughter down the aisle, or see your grandson play AFL, or do well in any field they choose, you need to look after yourself.

Exercise remains the single most important component of good health.

The first step is to find a buddy who will join in and make it fun and interesting.

Just like a team sport situation, sometimes we need to make a commitment to other people to establish a routine.

Research has clearly shown that people who train in groups, no matter how small, have a much higher compliance rate and along with that comes better health gains and a longer, happier life.

It is also important to seek expert advice.

To think that you can go from being a non-exerciser to a regular participant in exercise on your own just does not stack up.

In my 27 years in the fitness industry there are only ever five to 10 per cent of people who can successfully make this transition without some form of help or coaching.

Knowledge about what exercise to do, how long to do it for – at the right intensity and the correct technique, as well as appropriate nutrition are what skilled fitness trainers and exercise physiologists are trained to have.

So, it is time to change your thought pattern.

It is no longer “if” you are going to exercise today, but at “what time?”

To boost your motivation, check out the Fitness Australia website (www.fitness.org.au) to find local trainers who may be able to help or visit a health club to see what is on offer.

But whatever you do, please make sure you make a plan and enjoy the benefits of exercise and an active lifestyle.

*Dean Ewington is the managing director of Oceana Aquatic and Fitness

Caption: Sweating it out in a group setting will see you reaping the motivational and health benefits in no time.