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The Crisis Book – Exercise

The following is an extract from The Crisis Book: Overcoming & surviving work-life challenges by Rick Hughes, Andrew Kinder & Cary Cooper.

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It is widely recommended by health practitioners that adults engage in moderate intensity exercise for 20-30 minutes a day at least five days a week (that gives us two days off each week!). Children and young people need to aim for about 60 minutes a day.

Exercise can be fun, engaging, stimulating, help you sleep better, reduce how you respond to stress and generally make you feel better about yourself.  It’s a no-brainer.

If you spend a proportion of your time exercising now, you’ll build up a reserve of fitness, which will reduce the potential for the aches and pains you might otherwise suffer from later in life.


  • Doctor. If you haven’t exercised for some time or you have a medical condition, make an appointment with your medical doctor. They will determine what exercises might be safe and appropriate. Suddenly leaping into high-energy exercise could do more harm than good.
  • Walk the talk. Walking is probably the most accessible form of exercise around and cheap! Walk at a brisk pace to increase your heart rate, blood flow and circulation.
  • Sociable. Whether it’s a team-related sport or just something you do with someone else, exercise can be a great way of socialising and making friends, which in turn can improve your sense of well-being. A commitment to others makes it more likely to happen!
  • Chores. It’s amazing how much energy you can expend when vacuuming, dusting, cleaning, polishing or washing windows. You get to exercise and have a nice, clean and tidy home!
  • Gardening. If you have a garden, mowing the grass or weeding will help you get some exercise and it gets you our in the fresh air too.
  • Stairway. Modern buildings are full of elevators. If you take the stairs, you get some important exercise. Even if it’s going down the stairs only, it’s still exercise. Make a habit of it and you’ll start to make this normal behaviour.
  • Cycling. How about peddling to work? Or try getting our into the hills for some mountain-biking. There are lots of road cycling clubs these days for people of all capabilities and ages.
  • Swimming. Whether your excuse is you don’t like to get your hair wet, or you feel self-conscious about your body, once you’re in, you’re just like everyone else. Swimming pools often have slots dedicated to learning or training, so if you’re not very good at it, you can learn. Even a gentle paddle up and down the pool helps to flex the limbs.
  • Make it happen. Schedule exercise in your calendar as though it is an important meeting.
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