Move more to achieve a healthy weight
Moving more means:
- Being physically active for at least 30-60 minutes every day
- Enjoying a wide variety of physical activities
- Being active throughout the day – like walking to work or school, taking the stairs instead of the lift
- Spending less time sitting, for example, watching television or at the computer
- Choosing an activity or sport that suits your ability and fitness level
- Including gentle stretching
- Seeking the expert advice of an Accredited Exercise Physiologist (AEP)
An Accredited Exercise Physiologist can assess your fitness level and work out an exercise program that is safe and right for you. They can tailor the plan to your individual lifestyle and support and motivate you to make changes for life. For further information or to find an AEP visit the ‘Find an exercise physiologist‘ feature of the Exercise and Sport Science Australia (ESSA) website www.essa.org.au
Try a wide variety of physical activities
- It sometimes takes time to find an activity that is right for you, that fits into your lifestyle, corresponds to your fitness levels and something you can enjoy on a regular basis.
- Different exercise give different health benefits, improving muscle and bone strength, heart and lung fitness, developing coordination, balance, team building skills and others helping flexibility and relaxation.
Be active throughout the day in as many ways as possible
- Try walking to work or school.
- Taking the stairs instead of the lift.
- Park further away and walk to your destination.
- Carry your shopping bags instead of pushing a trolley.
- Walk to the shops for your newspaper or milk on the weekend.
- Play active games with children.
- Walk or play with your pet.
- Challenge family and friends to be active with you.
Spend less time sitting, for example, watching television or at the computer
- Get up from the computer or TV at least once every hour, to move around or get a glass of water.
- At work, walk and talk to a colleague rather than send internal emails.
- During TV advertisement breaks, get up and do some simple exercises in the lounge room.
- Take TV’s out of bedrooms and avoid lying down in front of the TV.
Be moderately physically active for ideally 60 minutes or more every day
- If you can’t be active for an hour or more, start with what you can do and build up.
- Just being active in everyday living is great, but not always enough, to gain some of the health benefits of movement, our bodies also need a more moderate pace activity.
- Moderate-intensity activities cause a slight, but noticeable, increase in your breathing and heart rate. You should be able to still talk, but not have enough puff to sing, whistle or carry on a long conversation without feeling breathless.
- Examples of moderate intensity activity, include brisk walking, swimming, cycling, or lifting moderately heavy weights either in a gym or simply lifting moderate heavy objects around the house or garden.
- You don’t have to do the 30-60 minutes all at once, it fine to break your activity into 2 or 3 bouts of 15-20 minutes each.
Choose an activity or sport that suits your ability and fitness level
- Exercise can be a stress on the body, particularly if you try to do too much too soon, or attempt an exercise outside your current fitness ability.
- Start out slow and build up the speed, duration or difficulty gradually.
Include gentle stretching
- Always stretch your muscles gently before and after exercise.
- Increasing your flexibility over time will reduce muscle pain after exercise and reduce the chances of injury.
- Don’t over stretch, you only need to feel a gentle pull on the muscles and hold the stretch for about 30 seconds each without bouncing, then repeat twice.
DAA would like to acknowledge Joanne Turner, dual qualified Accredited Practising Dietitian (APD) and Accredited Exercise Physiologist (AEP) for providing the exercise information and tips included in this website.
For further exercise information or to find an AEP visit the Exercise and Sports Science Australia (ESSA) website www.essa.org.au.
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