Physical activity for the inactive

Date: 25 June 2020   Author: Energise Me

Youth Project Manager, Emma, talks about falling out of love with physical activity and finding her way back.

Emma doing yoga - Falling back in love with Physical activity

An active childhood

I was lucky enough in my youth to be given lots of opportunities to be active. I competed in gymnastics and tchoukball, I undertook my Duke of Edinburgh award, and I spent so much time on my school’s indoor climbing wall. Once, I even ate my lunch at the top (carefully).

However, as I approached my thirties, I found myself living an increasingly sedentary life. I made the move from hospitality management, where I had been on my feet for hours at a time, to an office-based job. I took up knitting.  A notoriously stationary hobby. And as my daughter grew older, I found myself opting for sitting-down-with-a-coffee over running around.

The less activity I did, the less I wanted to do. I stopped viewing exercise as a fun activity and started seeing it as a chore. I tried half a dozen yoga and body balance classes.  Started and all-too-swiftly stopped 3 separate 30-day challenges. Even the weekly family walks I had committed to fell by the wayside faster than you can say, “but it’s raining and I’ve got chores to do.” I had completely fallen out of love with physical activity.

I anticipated an office full of super-sporty types - competitive and high-achieving. What I found was an attitude to physical activity that was varied and warmly encouraging.


Given my inconsistent approach to activity, you can imagine the slight trepidation I felt when I joined the Energise Me team! I anticipated an office full of super-sporty types – competitive and high-achieving. What I found was an attitude to physical activity that was varied and warmly encouraging. The team represent a mixture of runners, walkers, team-sports aficionados, exercise-class-takers, and independently active types. All of them are slowly encouraging me to be more active.

Since joining Energise Me, I have found a local yoga gym, where the teacher makes me feel welcomed and is encouraging. I have taken up climbing again, going with my daughter who cheers me on no matter how easy a route I pick. And I dragged a friend to a boxing session. Although, I haven’t yet built up the courage to join my new colleagues at Park Run!

I have learned that understanding why you want to undertake physical activity, and participating for the right reasons, is key to building a consistent approach to exercise. Do you want to take part to hang out with friends? To be healthy or get in shape? To learn new skills or meet new people? Or just for fun?

And of course, finding the right activity!

Emma trying Archery - falling back in love with exercise


Variety is key

For me, variety is key. I like to try new activities and sports. I am happy remaining at beginner level (for now)! Trying to build more activity into my daily routine has made a big difference too. I’ve started walking to work when I can. Rather than taking the bus. Joining in with my daughter for the odd game of football instead of sitting on the sidelines. I am already noticing a change. I have more energy, more stamina. The more activities I try, the less nervous I am about undertaking new challenges. Just last week I tried my hand at archery and crossbow shooting – something I have previously been too scared to try.

My advice to anyone trying to increase their activity levels would be to find what excites you. Whether that is one sport played regularly, or a rotating parade of new challenges. And don’t be afraid to rope in your friends and family, either!

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