Versus Arthritis Centre for Sport, Exercise and Osteoarthritis
University of Nottingham

Greg’s Top Tips for gifting an active lifestyle

Published by Team GB | 13 December 2016 | View article...

Professor Greg Whyte OBE competed in two Olympic Games in the modern pentathlon and is an expert in the science of sports and exercise.

As you’re battling the crowds to get gifts for your loved ones, you may be forgetting one of the most valuable gifts you can give to yourself: exercise. We all know that keeping active is good for our health, but with Christmas just around the corner, it is easy for exercise to be placed on the back burner. Here are some top tips on how you can give yourself the gift of an active lifestyle this Christmas.

Find an activity you love

Doing exercise can seem like a chore if you haven’t found an activity you love. If you find an activity that suits you, then keeping active can be something you enjoy. If you like being outdoors, then perhaps walking or jogging may be for you; if you love a boogie, why not give a Zumba class a go? These days, there's a huge variety of classes and groups on offer across Britain to suit everyone - so get out there and discover an activity for you.

Change your perspective

There are many reasons to do exercise other than just doing it because you have to. Think about what exercise can bring you: it could be a sense of pride after beating your personal best, bonding with friends, or the post-exercise feeling of relaxation. If you focus on the good things that exercise can do for you, you'll begin to see keeping active as a gift for your body and your mind.

Small festive goals

Just because it's the festive period doesn't mean it's time to put goals and achievement milestones on hold. In fact, there's even more reason to set yourself tiny goals: achieving them means you'll feel your best and most proud in time for Christmas. In the weeks leading up to Christmas, think of some small goals that you can realistically achieve per week. These could be as simple as walking for 30 minutes twice a week or doing some yoga for twenty minutes after work each night.

Christmas resolution

We've all heard of New Year's resolutions, but what if you were to make positive changes to your life much sooner? Taking action now through small, maintainable changes to your lifestyle is the way to create true, long-lasting change, enjoyment and happiness for you and your family. Perhaps you could make activity a part of the festive season with some wintery walks with the family. Making Christmas resolutions may just be the answer to beginning a healthy lifestyle that’s active all year round.

Give the gift to others

That feeling of pride after doing something good for your body and mind isn’t easily matched. You can gift this feeling to those around you by encouraging them to find and do an activity they love. You can also help to free up time for your loved ones in order for them to exercise; maybe you could agree with your partner on one night a week in which you take care of things at home so that they have time to go to a class or go to the gym. Supporting those you love to be the healthiest and most active they can be has got to be one of the greatest gifts of all.

Posted on Tuesday 13th December 2016