The right mix of exercise

*This piece was originally written for The Summerset Scene magazine - Autumn 2022

Fitness is a puzzle. Should we move slowly or quickly? Should we throw things, lift things, hang from things or swim around in things?

Our bodies thrive on consistency and variation. Consistency is moving our body on a regular basis, while variation can be seen in the different ways we move. In my 12 years of experience in fitness, I’ve discovered that those who can thread the needle in terms of consistency and variation with their exercise have the best success in getting and remaining healthy.

Along with our daily activities of gardening, housework and running errands, setting aside dedicated times to exercise is like taking the body to the workshop to tune it up regularly. Specific exercise routines give us a chance to focus our attention directly on certain areas we want to improve.

Our body is a system that requires varying amounts of pressure, stress and work in order to grow stronger. Much like grapes that are subjected to varied weather conditions make the best wine, so the same is true of our bodies and exercise.

Put simply, there are three key areas we want to focus on in order to keep ourselves healthy, active and strong:


Walking, rowing, swimming, cycling and dancing. Recommended frequency: 4–5 times per week.


Hiking, yoga, group circuit classes, and ball sports such as tennis, golf and bowls.

Recommended frequency: 2–3 times per week.


Weight training, group strength classes and Pilates. Recommended frequency: 2–3 times per week.

All of these activities include elements from each of the other categories, but there is usually a specific focus on one more than the other. If you can tick off at least one from each category every week, you’re certainly in the realm of remaining healthy, vibrant and active for longer!

*This article was originally written for Summerset Scenes magazine Autumn 2021