Exercise is all about timing and choices

Staying fit is much easier if you enjoy it, writes David McLean
Slogging it out on the weights in the gym is not for everyone. Picture: GettySlogging it out on the weights in the gym is not for everyone. Picture: Getty
Slogging it out on the weights in the gym is not for everyone. Picture: Getty

THE United Kingdom has been fascinated by choices this May – who to vote for to run the country, what the new royal baby will be called and what to watch on a Sunday night now that Poldark has left our screens.

The most personal choice had to be who to vote for. It was extremely important, but let’s remember that while a government is for five years, your health and wellbeing is for life. Choosing to lead an active and healthy lifestyle can transform your life as much as a ticking a box on election day. That is why we at Edinburgh Leisure are calling on the public to choose choice this May.

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Statistics recently sourced by Edinburgh Leisure (TRP 10,000, 2015) show, perhaps surprisingly, that those who made friends whilst being active were the least likely to cancel their fitness membership. In fact, “making new friends” ranks as the top reason for staying active with a fitness membership.

In addition, those customers who joined with the goal of being “healthier, fitter, and more challenged” maintained their exercise routines for longer.

So, contrary to some perceptions, it’s not all about weight loss.

At Edinburgh Leisure, we’re always trying to get to know what makes our customers tick and what drives them to stay active in the face of all the other things competing for their precious time.

Edinburgh Leisure research suggests that the largest barrier to physical exercise is time. Recent surveys showed that 44 per cent of respondents wanted to increase their levels of physical activity but nearly two-thirds (63 per cent) stated that lack of time due to work or home life was the main barrier.

In all of our gyms, we deliver many time-efficient gym-based activities and fitness classes that last from 10-30 minutes which appeal to the time-poor customer.

We also believe that, like anything in life, you will only maintain your activity plan if you are enjoying it! And that means very different things to many different people.

The most popular alternative fitness trends of late include: trampolining, urban obstacle course workout Parkour and body weight training (as the name suggests, using your body’s own resistance rather than any equipment to increase strength and fitness).

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It’s clear that slogging it out on gym cardio equipment for half an hour or enduring an hour of a high-intensity body pump surrounded by others is not for everyone. For some, signing up to an allotment gardening project is more likely to keep them moving. For others, scaling a climbing wall repeatedly until they can do it faster than their friends is what gets them motivated. Edinburgh Leisure can offer all of the above.

As summer approaches, some of us feel the pressure to embark on a fad diet or the latest exercise regime touted by the stars. It is vital to remember that everyone is different and you should choose something that fits your own lifestyle and personality.

For some of us, being active is about taking time out to relax with an evening swim, improving your skills in a chosen sport or simply going for a walk with other like-minded souls in Edinburgh’s great outdoors.

We believe it is important to cater to your own tastes and build a realistic and effective approach to being active and to healthy living. We want everyone to enjoy moving and are here to help you make one of the most important choices for your future very soon.

David McLean, fitness manager, Edinburgh Leisure