Whenever someone mentions ‘movement’ or ‘exercise’ for a lot of people the thing they think of first is running on a treadmill until you are dripping in sweat or lifting huge weights and looking at yourself in the mirror at a gym. But in fact, there are many different ways that you can achieve your daily dose of movement, including:
- Exercising outdoors
- Walking to work or parking the car further away
- Exercising during the ad breaks of your favourite TV show
- Playing with the kids or grandkids
- Taking the stairs instead of the elevator
- Structured exercise sessions
- Playing sport socially (or competitively) with friends
The key to being able to consistently achieve your daily dose is to find what motivates you and what works best for you.
Why should I aim to get a daily dose of movement?
It is well documented that exercise is good for your health, but what are the specific benefits that we achieve when we get our daily dose?
Keeps your bones strong
Exercise throughout all stages of life has been proven to increase bone density and prevent the bone loss that is associated with an increase in age.
Evidence shows that hip fractures are 38-45% lower in adults who have been physically active in their daily life when compared to those who are less active. The best type of exercise to keep your bones strong is strength training and impact or jumping training.
Improves your fitness levels – so you can do the things you love for longer!
Studies show that after exercising for as little as one week, the mitochondria (mini power-plants that produce energy) in the muscles multiply. This means that your body is able to produce more energy. Think of that feeling of rejuvenation you get after getting back into regular exercise, you have more energy to walk up stairs or run around with your kids.
Regular aerobic exercise is also known to increase the size of the left ventricle of the heart (the part that pumps blood to the body). This allows the heart to pump more blood and oxygen to the working muscles during exercise, therefore increasing cardiac output (amount of blood pumped to the body every one minute).
Reduce risk of health conditions including CVD, diabetes, osteoporosis, osteoarthritis, cancer, hypertension
Exercise improves body composition, blood flow around the heart and to the rest of the body; and insulin sensitivity, as well as reducing ‘bad’ cholesterol, blood pressure and systemic inflammation. Each of these components has been shown to be a significant contributing risk factor to various health conditions.
‘A sedentary lifestyle is one of the 5 major risk factors for cardiovascular disease’
Improve mental health
Evidence has shown that after just one week of exercise, individuals are likely to experience improvements in self-confidence and a reduction in symptoms of depression, stress and anxiety.
Increase muscle strength
An increase in muscle strength can allow you to perform daily activities easier, assist in injury prevention and reduce the risk of developing osteoporosis or experiencing a fracture from a fall.
Having stronger muscles can also assist in preventing health conditions including diabetes and cardiovascular disease, as well as slow the progression of these conditions if you already have them.
Reduce out-of-pocket health expenses
Exercise has been shown to reduce sick days, as well as out-of-pocket health expenses for those that are already living with chronic conditions.
‘In 2010-2011 it was estimated that $24.3 billion of healthcare spending came directly from the pockets of consumers, an average of $1,082 per person’
So, how do you get started in achieving your daily dose of movement? Start with finding out why you want to exercise or improve your fitness and what goals you would like to achieve. If you are unsure of where to start it is best to seek advice from an Accredited Exercise Physiologist. They can help you devise an individualised plan and find out what is going to work for you best.
For more information on how we can help, please contact us on 0419 287 631 or firstname.lastname@example.org