What are the health consequences of physical inactivity?
How much physical activity should I be doing?
How can I be more physically active with my family?
How can I be more physically active when I have no time
What is the difference between ‘moderate’ and ‘vigorous’ physical activity
What are the health consequences of physical inactivity?Physical inactivity increases the risk of mortality from a range of diseases and conditions. Physical inactivity can lead to an increased risk of chronic disease such as heart disease, type 2 diabetes, and some cancers.
In contrast, regular physical activity reduces feelings of depression and anxiety, helps to maintain healthy bones, muscles, and joints, helps to prevent falls among older people and promotes feelings of well-being.
How much physical activity should I be doing?Try to build up to doing 30 minutes of moderate-intensity activity a day – or more! You don’t have to do it all at once – you can accumulate your 30 minutes or more of moderate-intensity activity by combining a few shorter sessions of about 10-15 minutes each throughout the day.If you are looking to lose weight try building up to doing 60-90 minutes per day.
Physical activity guidelines for adults:There are four steps for better health for Australian adults.
Step 1 – Think of movement as an opportunity, not an inconvenience
Step 2 - Be active every day in as many ways as you can
Step 3 – Put together at least 30 minutes of moderate-intensity physical activity on most, preferably all, days
Step 4 – If you can, also enjoy some regular, vigorous activity for extra health and fitness
Moderate-intensity activity will cause a slight but noticeable increase in your breathing and heart rate. Vigorous activity is where you “huff and puff”; for example, where talking in a full sentence between breaths is difficult.
How can I be more physically active with my family?Less active family members need plenty of encouragement and support, especially in the beginning. Ideally, find an activity you can do together. Here are some ways to get everyone moving:
- Play actively with your children – kick a footy around, skip, jump on the trampoline.
- Go on a family bike ride.
- Take your dog (or the neighbour’s dog) for a walk.
- Walk your children to school.
- Buy a fitness DVD and get the whole family to join in – a great way to have a laugh and be active.
- Include physical activity in family outings.
- Keep a box full of bats, balls, kites, frisbees etc. – both at home and in the car and you will be always ready for action.
- Walk and talk – practice spelling and maths homework on the move; or go for a walk while you all catch up on each others day.
How can I be more physically active when I have no time?Life can be extremely hectic, and it is easy to think that there just isn’t enough time to be physically active, however, like most things; you just need to plan and prioritise.
There are tremendous benefits to getting even a small amount of physical activity each day, both mentally and physically. Being active gives you more energy, helps you sleep better, reduces the risk of depression and can help to prevent a range of chronic diseases.
Physical activity plays an important role preventing and delaying the development of chronic diseases. All you need is 30 minutes of physical activity on most, preferably all days of the week. You don’t have to do it all at once – you can accumulate your 30 minutes or more of moderate-intensity activity by combining a few shorter sessions of about 10 to 15 minutes each throughout the day. Research has shown that accumulated short bouts of moderate-intensity activity are just as effective at improving health factors such as blood pressure and blood cholesterol.
Here are some activities you can do everyday:
- Keep a pair of comfortable walking or running shoes in the car or at work and you will always be ready for a walk or run.
- Build as much incidental activity into your daily routine as you can. Just getting up out of your chair every half hour and going to get some water or walking to see a neighbour or co-worker instead of calling can make a difference.
- Take the stairs rather than the lift, or walk rather than rest on escalators.
- Go for a short walk during your lunch break at work.
- Start a walking group with work colleagues or friends and stick to a routine of certain days or times to go out together.
- Buy yourself a pedometer – a gadget which when worn on your hip counts how many steps you take. Use this to motivate you to keep increasing your daily steps.
- Work in the garden.
- Catch up with friends by walking together rather than meeting for coffee or a meal.
- Walk or cycle instead of using the car for short trips.