Your Active Journey

Stage 1: Getting Prepared

‘DG Doing More’ is here to help you get started because we understand that it can be a daunting and intimidating thought process to move more. Follow these simple steps which will help you with moving more.

It helps if it’s fun

  • Find an activity that you enjoy! Consider reconnecting with a fun activity from your past – you can find a great range of groups, clubs and activities locally in our DG Doing More Directory
  • It often helps to do an activity with a friend or family member. However, if you go along alone don’t worry as one of the best things about being active is making new friends, who like you, started the journey alone.

Take it slow to start

  • If you haven’t been active for a while, start out slow. Don’t over do it and risk injury.
  • Be prepared to reduce activity if you have bitten off too much. This is not failure, this is how you will succeed.
  • Moving more is not about being out of breath and sweating from places you never knew existed! Start with activities where you can still talk, which raise your heart rate slightly and that give you a rosy glow to your checks.
  • The basic principle is to sit less and move more!

Building Strength

  • You don’t just need to work your heart for good health, it’s also important you build muscle strength. This is particularly important as we age, as it allows us to continue managing everyday tasks and substantially reduces the risk of trips and falls.
  • Building in regular strength exercises doesn’t require equipment or a fancy gym – you can simply use your body’s own resistance or everyday household items, such as tins. This type of exercise helps strengthen your muscles and bones, whilst improving your balance and coordination – this reduces your risk of osteoporosis.
  • Moving more is all about doing a little bit more each week and gradually making small achievable changes to your daily routine. Start with exercise sessions lasting only five or 10 minutes, then gradually increase the length of your activity over time.
  • Take a look at DG Doing More Strength and Balance for more information and example activities

When to consult a health professional

  • Almost everyone can start being physically active, particularly at light and medium levels (e.g. a brisk walk). Walking is a great and safe activity that works wonders for both body and mind.
  • Participants wishing to participate in higher level activity (e.g. running) should work towards this gradually. This includes people who have become inactive overtime.
  • The talk test can be a useful way to measure personal effort.
  • Pregnant individuals and/or those with a health condition(s) should seek advice from a health professional before commencing a physical activity programme.

Stage 2: Getting Active

Starting a new physical activity can be daunting. We all have our own experiences and motivations.

Our Activity Tool will provide you with some really useful information and activity ideas – just watch the videos and answer the questions

Practical Everyday tips for home, work, weekend and leisure

Doing More at Home

  • Walking, running, fitness classes or maybe one of the many videos that exist on YouTube are easy methods for physical activity to be included
  • Give yourself a routine that will provide you with enjoyable activities that encourage and enable you be move more
  • When you take a call on your mobile phone, walk around the house, the office or the street whilst on the call. If it’s your mum that could get a few minutes done!

Doing More at Work

  • Standing not sitting
  • Take the stairs
  • Travel actively for business journeys to help increase your daily steps
  • Walk and talk to a colleague rather than sending another e-mail – this can be productive and improve your wellbeing at the same time

Doing More on the Weekend

  • Spend time being active with family and friends
  • Experience and explore our region’s indoor and outdoor environments including beaches and coastline, forests, cycle paths, leisure, sport facilities and heritage sites
  • Walk to the shops to get the item you forgot!

Make that coffee to go!

  • We all love meeting friends for coffee – but make it ‘to go’ and enjoy it as you catch up while walking in the beautiful D&G outdoors!

Stage 3: Staying Active

The key is to keep it interesting!

  • Understand your reasons for wanting to be more physically active. Set out some short term goals and benefits you wish to achieve!
  • Find physical activities that help you meet other goals simultaneously. For example, active travel to work or making new friends at a sport or community club.

Action plan (where, when and how) and prioritise time for physical activity. Remember some is good, more is better. Bouts of 10+ minutes can be effective – it doesn’t need to be an hour!

The Health Scotland Get Active booklet will explain some of the ‘need to know’ information about physical activity and will encourage you to prepare your own activity plan.

  • Keep it fresh and change it up if it is not working! Vary your activities or walking and cycling routes. Dumfries and Galloway has plentiful paths, trails, forests, beaches and parks which are rich for exploring. Please see our DG Doing MoreDirectory for some inspiration
  • Find a partner or join a group activity. Being active with others is a motivator!
  • Invest in some equipment or clothing
  • Change your goals and challenge yourself! Increase effort level (intensity) or step count gradually overtime.
  • It is useful to set yourself some challenges so that you can monitor your progress and get motivated.
  • Be SMART with your challenges and set goals
Specific ‘I’m going for a walk at lunchtime’ is better than ‘I’m going to be more active’
Measurable ‘I’m going to walk at lunchtime for 30 minutes’
Achievable Start with a short-term challenge and you’ll be more likely to succeed. This will motivate you with your long-term challenge.
Relevant Ensure it makes sense to you
Timed Give yourself a clear deadline for when you want to achieve your challenge