Why A Little Daily Exercise Is So Important

This is a guest post by Phil Ashforth. Phil is a staff writer for Mobility Smart, an online retailer of health, well-being and mobility equipment to help you recover from injury, recuperation and protection of joints and muscles when exercising or just helping you in normal daily life, you’ll find their website here. This is an ad.

In these times of lockdown, we’ve all had to adjust to the many new ways of doing things and the huge restrictions on our normal activities and freedoms.
Whilst we’re all doing our bit to halt the spread of COVID-19, it’s important that we don’t completely give in to lethargy and inactivity, and one of the major ways we can look after our sanity in these very trying times is in the form of a little daily light exercise.

I’m not coming at this from the perspective of being a personal trainer or online exercise guru, I’m just a person who’s realised there’s only so many box-sets and boxed wines before you get that stir-crazy feeling making its presence felt!

If there’s one saving grace at the moment, with all of this grim stuff going on, it’s that we’re in Spring and at least the weather, so far, has been nice so the view outside isn’t as black as the whole situation we find ourselves in.

Daily exercise can come in many forms, but what if you’ve really let yourself go over the last few weeks? What if your motivation levels are as low as your ankle socks?

A good way to motivate for more exercise, (even just a little of), is to get your WHY in place. For me personally, this is easy, its simply because I feel better after I’ve exercised, I feel more mentally alert, less lethargic and as though I have greater energy to cope with whatever comes along.

The link between physical exercise and mental wellbeing is well documented, so I won’t go too much into that here, but I personally think what puts most people (myself included in the past) off doing any exercise, is that they think it has to be something hard and long-lasting to get any tangible benefit.

Research from Harvard University suggests that people could avoid weight gain by burning just 100 more calories a day - just an extra 15 minutes of walking in a day would do the trick. These smaller sessions of exercise are important as they can benefit health and mental wellbeing in many ways.

Firstly, the release of endorphins, the feel-good chemicals in the brain, staves off low mood and loss of libido. Check out this article by Healthline. Even moderate exercise can strengthen muscles needed to do simple things like reaching, bending to pick things up, getting up off the chair - but the reverse is true, no exercise at all can weaken muscles and make every-day tasks that little bit more difficult than they should be.

So, if your WHY needs any more encouragement, think that for a very paltry investment of walking a few steps on the spot with a couple of cans of beans, you’ll also be giving your circulatory system a huge boost. Increasing the efficiency of how oxygen, nutrients and hormones are delivered around your body will reduce greatly, the risk of strokes, angina and heart problems. This in turn, leads to a healthier all-around glow, and stronger hair, teeth and nails as the body is doing what it is meant to do, simply getting a bit of movement in. Your immune system will also be strengthened, with less chance of both bacterial and viral infections, (whether the current very serious one or common-or-garden variety) getting a hold as your natural resilience is strengthened.

If you really struggle to get things going, even when you recognise why you should, just try doing ‘five’ of anything, to get you going, then stop.

Then, same again tomorrow, on onwards… don’t feel that It’s totally pointless taking only five steps on the spot, or doing five heel lifts, honestly, this is how I’ve personally conquered a total loss of motivation towards exercise and built things up to reasonable levels from scratch.

If you’re currently not taking exercise as you may have mobility issues, or you’re still recovering from an injury, illness or surgery, then there are many low-cost mobility aids to help support your body while you build your strength and regain your confidence.

The current lockdown situation is challenging for all of us at the moment, regardless of our bank balance or postcode, and as we are given that one opportunity to get out of the house to exercise a day, why not take it and get out and feel the sun, (assuming it’s still shining)! 

Don’t overthink it, just grab your trainers or shoes and go, just a few minutes is good, and the vitamin D will do you good. If you have a dog… he or she will never refuse a short walk, if you don’t, just take yourself out!

In summary, you probably already knew that a little exercise is generally good for you, but you may have been putting it off as this horrible lethargy grabs a hold.

The main message is that just doing very little of something, is better than doing absolutely nothing, and once you’ve done that exercise it’s yours, nobody can ever take it away from you. A real investment in you and as good as money in the bank, yet with so many additional benefits.



  1. I know I would not be coping as well with this period if I was not getting out of the house for my walk. I am also doing an indoor walking workout and I am feeling great for it if I am honest!

    I have gone from doing about 6,000 steps a day before lockdown to nearer to 17,000 steps since lockdown thanks to one walk and home exercising.

  2. I totally agree and getting out of the house for a nice walk, clears the mind, and gets you away from home for a little bit x

  3. We are so lucky that we have a large garden and can spend lots of time out there, we are also taking part in the PE with Joe as often as we can too. It really is so important to do what you can at the minute

  4. I have been seeing more people take walks through our neighborhood now than ever. It's a great form of exercise and a good way to relieve stress and exercise.

  5. I totally agree about keeping active. I'm already a keen runner, so am still doing that a few times a week. But on my non-running days I am trying to walk too. I've also been doing the Joe Wicks PE workouts and they are great fun!

  6. It's definitely a good message to not overthink it and to just get out there and do something. Any movement is better than none I always say. Mich x

  7. I was really active before the lockdown. It's not so easy now but we do try to do something as it can really help keep you feeling positive and happier.

  8. It definitely is important to have a little exercise daily. The kids tend to be doing some of the Joe Wicks workouts and I am trying to get some walking in.

  9. I try and do a bit of exercise, whether it's just going outside for a run or a walk. I know it's not much but it's better than nothing

  10. Getting out the house definitely helps my mental state. I’ve managed to do 2 x 5km runs this week and I’ve never ran before now!

  11. We have been enjoying the garden far more since the 'lockdown', however, have opted not to partake in the daily exercise allowance outside the home.

  12. We are doing a walk or a bike ride a day and it has been lovely. We have found some really lovely hidden gems on our doorstep

  13. I've been trying to do something every day, whether it's decorating, a Joe Wicks work out or just going for a walk. It's a saviour for mental health but I also have to remember not to beat myself up if I just spend the day on the couch with a good book.

    Katie xoxo