This year, National Fitness Day is on Wednesday 23 September. It’s a day when people of all ages, backgrounds and abilities come together to celebrate the ‘fun of fitness’.
The awareness day reminds us of the benefits and importance of leading healthier lives which, in turn, impacts our mental wellbeing, our happiness levels and often helps socially, too.
It’s easy to forget the social side of exercise. Whether it’s high-intensity training or a walk in the park, people tend to exercise in public, or at least in places where other members of the public are.
We form bonds at cycling clubs and attachments at yoga. These relationships are one of the hidden mental health benefits of staying active.
Evidence from “ukactive” shows that the average adult tends to spend more time on the toilet every week, rather than exercising! And, with Sports England reporting that people with disabilities and mobility issues are twice as likely as others to be inactive, it’s time for us all to take some action.
One perception of having an exercise routine is that to make any significant difference, you need to make some big lifestyle changes. This puts many people off from doing anything! However, fitness goals are much more achievable if you start in a small way and build from there.
The NHS website has some simple, useful advice on this – build activity into your day. It suggests things like walking or cycling to work or the shops or getting off public transport a stop or two early, so walking becomes part of the journey.
Finding the right fitness and disabilities products
Ability Superstore has lots of exercise equipment that ties in with the NHS recommendations.
Official guidance is for 150 minutes of activity each week, and strength exercises on at least two days out of every seven. The latter are among the easiest for everyone to do as they don’t necessarily require full-body movement, and can often be performed at home while sitting down.
The low impact chair exerciser is an example of a handy piece of equipment. An all-in-one chair-based exerciser, it can be used with any chair or seat and is perfect for the home, offering a multitude of ways to stay in shape. It consists of a comfortable moulded seat and two high-quality resistance bands, that are ideal for working biceps and triceps.
The mini-stepper is a similar concept and includes the feet. The pedals provide strength and exercise training for the legs, hips and buttocks. Arms and the upper body can be targeted with the removable training ropes which feature comfortable hand grips. The LED display allows you to keep track of your workout, as it shows you the number of calories burned, steps per minute and a total number of steps per session.
You don’t need lots of space for simple hand exercisers. These small pieces of equipment are a little like therapy balls. The exercisers work hand and arm muscles and can make a difference in terms of upper body strength. They are great for improving and developing dexterity, wrist stability, muscle tone and grip strength. They’re also very affordable.
Cycling fans will understand the appeal of pedal exercisers and mini exercise bikes. Placed at the feet and set to different difficulties, they offer similar benefits to real-world cycling and standard exercise bikes. They are a fun and easy way to get some gentle exercise, helping to build muscle mass and improve the circulation of blood around the body. The pedal exerciser can be adjusted to suit each person’s specific requirements, featuring a resistance knob which allows the user to increase intensity when they feel that they are ready. Its digital display enables the exerciser to monitor their progress as it displays time, reps and calories burned.
We also stock balance trainers, which can be used for building muscle and core strength, improving stability and motor skills.
These products alone show just how broad the options are, meaning the majority of us can find what we need to help us keep on top of our fitness — and not just for National Fitness Day.
So why not use National Fitness Day as a catalyst to start with a fitness plan? An opportunity to draw a line under inactivity and to move forward with a healthier, happier you!