V for Life

Get active this April

Posted by Justina on 03/04/23 in Articles, Life After Retirement

Active does not always mean running!

This April we encourage you to move more – and there are no strict rules how to do it. This blog will give you a couple of ideas how to shake, step, lift, stretch or dance a little extra.

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You have the whole month to enjoy the pleasure of taking small steps through #ActiveApril. Perhaps make the commitment by devising your own calendar or to do list or downloading the free one from Action for Happiness. Set your own limits according to your own body and have fun! Feel free to come up with anything that brings you joy, especially if you currently don’t have time to do these things. In April, actively make some time and reap the rewards of better fitness and mental health.

Get inspired

Getting active could simply be improving on a specific task each day, gradually increasing the difficulty or different fun thing to mix things up a little.

Spend less time sitting – this could be done on advert breaks while watching TV, doing some gentle stretches or walking to the kitchen to make a cuppa. While you are waiting for the kettle to boil, squat on the spot or do some bicep curls with the coffee jar.

Step outdoors and soak in the nature, check which trees are blooming and how lovely they smell. You could use Google Lens to take a picture of the plant and it will suggest what species it might be.

If you have a garden, do some gardening! Pluck out some cheeky weeds, sow some seeds or pick some flowers for your table.

Take a stroll around the block and do some bird watching, especially now that many of our favourites are busy nest building. How many varieties will you spot? If you are lucky, you might see green parakeets, yes in your local park!

Have some April showers plans in your pocket for those days when you feel like staying in. Take a new spin on chores. Play some music and throw some dance moves or sing while washing dishes, or vacuuming Freddie Mercury style!

There is more to Active April

In your calendar you could add other things you will actively try this month. It doesn’t have to be sporty it could be anything which would make you feel good. This could be as simple as reading a chapter of a book or turning your screens off 2 hours before bedtime.

Visit your neighbour for a cuppa and a chat or do something nice for them.

It could be trying something new, such as vegan baking and sharing a cake slice with someone.

Try new habits that could result in feeling more calm. How about going to bed earlier or yoga and meditation? There are many videos on YouTube and free apps, which can guide you through it. For a quick deep breathing session, take five big breaths, inhale each time through the nose and slowly exhale through your mouth. Try it now!

Meet new people and try joining some local groups. Check with your local Age UK if there are any lunch clubs, friendship groups, maybe even try bowls or crafts.

If you have a dog, teach it a new trick, like a high-five or a spin around. Or try more complex ones such as weaving between your legs. Other pets can be trainable too, even guinea pigs and budgies! 

Take the simple decision to drink more liquids and see how it affects your health. Ideally this would be water but, if you struggle with that, try adding squash or some water in juice. Help yourself by coming up with a plan for how you will achieve this. Hourly timer? Using your favourite glass from your special collection? Perhaps you enjoy drinking through the straw.

Add more vegetables, nuts, lentils, wholegrains to your diet. Or eat a piece of fruit every day – it might be dates with almond butter or apple with a slice of cheese.

Up for a challenge?

If you feel like these tasks are too easy or you would really like to push yourself. Challenge yourself to go an extra mile. If you have a step counting device and set goal of steps per day, if you already doing 6,000 let’s bump it up to 8,000.

You could use Google Maps to measure the distance or simply extend your daily walk to do a touch more. Perhaps at the end of April you will do two loops of your favourite walk. By using a fitness app like Strava, you can make your walking route a picture, such as the shape of a heart or a dinosaur (great if you’re babysitting).

Running or cycling already? Why not add a couple of extra miles to your daily goal, or a quick sprint between lampposts or trees.

Try protein rich snacks to power your active goals

Protein Balls 

Banana & Peanut Butter Fortified Milkshake 

Satay Tofu 

Get active and be happy this April – be safe and most importantly enjoy the journey!


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