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Fitness

Fitness

 

 

According to the latest Australian Nutrition and Physical Activity Survey 60% of Australians undertake no or low amounts of physical activity. It is recommended that we undertake at least 30 minutes of moderate intensity physical activity most, if not all days of the week.

  

Benefits of exercise 

Exercise is not just for weight loss. The benefits of exercise are extensive, and include:

  • decreased stress levels,
  • better sleep,
  • better mental health,
  • lower risk of depression,
  • better musculoskeletal health,
  • decreased risk of being overweight,
  • decreased risk of high blood pressure and high cholesterol, and
  • decreased risk of chronic disease including cardiovascular disease, colon and breast cancer, Type 2 diabetes and osteoporosis.

 


Measuring your fitness

Fitness can be measured in a variety of ways, but the most common are:

  • Strength – your ability to lift or move objects,
  • Endurance – your ability to be able to undertake physical activity for a sustained period of time,
  • Flexibility – your range of movement,
  • Agility – how easily you move, and
  • Speed – how fast you are.

 


Physical activity guidelines

To achieve optimum health and fitness the Australian Physical Guidelines state that:

  • doing any physical activity is better than doing none,
  • aim to be active on most, preferably all, days of the week,
  • accumulate 150 to 300 minutes (2 ½ to 5 hours) of moderate intensity physical activity or 75 to 150 minutes (1 ¼ to 2 ½ hours) of vigorous intensity physical activity, or an equivalent combination of both moderate and vigorous activities, each week, and
  • do muscle strengthening activities on at least two days each week.

 


Tips for increasing your fitness
If you’re struggling to meet your fitness goals, try these tips:

  • if you can’t undertake 30 minutes of continuous physical activity, break your physical activity into manageable segments such as 3 x 10 minute sessions,
  • if making time for exercise is a barrier, schedule your exercise like you would an appointment,
  • set tangible goals such as to build up your fitness so that you can complete a 5km fun run by the end of the year or to be able to walk around the park without stopping,
  • look for opportunities to be more active such as taking the stairs instead of an elevator or walking to the post box instead of driving, and/or
  • if you haven’t exercised for more than a year, speak to your doctor or an Accredited Exercise Physiologist before starting any intensive exercise routines.

 


Disclaimer
The content displayed on this webpage is intended for informational purposes and is a guide only. It does not replace or substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.

Information contained on this webpage must be discussed with an appropriate healthcare professional before making any decisions or taking any action based on the content of this webpage.

 

Sources

http://www.measureup.gov.au/internet/abhi/publishing.nsf/Content/Helpful+tips-lp

http://www.aihw.gov.au/risk-factors-physical-inactivity/

http://www.abs.gov.au/ausstats/abs@.nsf/Lookup/4364.0.55.004Chapter4002011-12

 

 

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