Mareike's ultimate guide to healthy living - step #3: moving more!

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After taking stock of your current health and fitness, and putting out fires by addressing any issues that were uncovered during the process, it's now time to get a little more practical and start moving towards better health and fitness outcomes.

So let's move on to Healthy Living Step No. 3: Move more!

Here are my top tips for increasing your levels of physical activity:

  • Make it fun. Go on a hike, walk with friends, take a belly dancing or karate class, or whatever you enjoy. There's no need to only use the cardio equipment in the gym if you're dreading it and you don't like it. Find something that's fun to do which will make it easier to stick to for the long term.
  • Keep track of it. Make a note of your physical activity in your diary. Put big Xs on the days that you exercise. Keep a visual record that you look at frequently as a reminder and motivator.
  • Set a weekly goal for activity. To build your confidence, make the first goal so easy that you say: "I know I can do that." Set weekly goals because if you set a daily goal and miss a day, you might get discouraged. Weekly goals give you more day-to-day flexibility. And at the end of the week, reward yourself with a visual reminder of your accomplishment, such as buying flowers for yourself or a new top to exercise in.
  • Work activity into your day. Ten per cent of something is better than 100 per cent of nothing. So even if you have 10 minutes, it's better than zero minutes. Take a 10-minute walk before lunch or walk up and down the stairs when you're feeling drained and tired.

Other ideas include wearing a pedometer to track how many steps you take per day (I recommend aiming for 10,000 steps per day) and working with a personal trainer (you can double up with a friend to lower the cost) to create an exercise routine.

Whether you're trying to lose weight, get fit and strong, or trying to improve your overall health, exercise is a critical factor in helping you achieve it. Get out there and get some!

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Mareike Bout is a qualified and registered personal trainer who specialises in holistic fitness and lifestyle coaching. She is a recognised leader in the industry, receiving the peer-voted South Australia Personal Trainer of the Year award in 2008. She is also a regular guest on Adelaide’s top-rating radio station FIVEaa. Mareike runs her personal training business, One Life Live Well, both online and from a private studio in Adelaide. Services include one-on-one training, outdoor group fitness, lifestyle coaching and weight-loss programs. Individually tailored programs encompass aspects of exercise, nutrition, relaxation, positive thinking, life balance, and goal setting. Her approach is to guide, support and educate her clients so that they posses the tools required to live a life of health, strength and vitality!