Six tips for getting fit from ultra runner Dr Andrew Murray

Image caption Andrew Murray ran seven ultra marathons on seven continents in a week

Edinburgh doctor Andrew Murray, who ran seven ultra marathons on seven continents in a week, gives his top tips on getting fit for the New Year.

I guess we all know staying active is important but maybe we don't realise quite how good it is for us.

Did you know for example that physical activity, if done regularly, has powerful anti-ageing properties, makes us happier and makes us live longer?

If you walk regularly, you are much less likely to be caught by the grim reaper - 30 minutes, five times a week, decreases the chances of dying early by 30%.

So if you are determined to keep one New Year's Resolution, consider getting active and staying active. It's the single best thing you can do for your health.

No-one is saying it's easy- but these simple tips can help:

  1. Walk a bit each day - 56% of calories spent in Scotland are walking. And its benefits are huge.
  2. Like most things, the first few days are the hardest - once the habit is formed it becomes easier. Recognise this and persevere.
  3. Build it into day-to-day life - consider walking to work, or to the shops. Take the stairs when possible.
  4. EVERYTHING COUNTS- any activity for example walking, cycling, dancing, gardening, gets the health benefits and the happy hormones going.
  5. Each step is a step to health. You'll have good days and bad days. But recognising it's important and doing it where possible will make for a happier, healthier you.
  6. Resources - such as Active Scotland, Take Life On, Paths for All, The Ramblers, Jog Scotland and Tribesports - can help with the 'where and the how', and provide support.

On 2 January, sports psychologist Dr Tony Westbury will give tips on motivation for New Year fitness resolutions.

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