PHYSICAL ACTIVITY refers to all movement including leisure time, to moving from one place to the next, both moderate to vigorous intensity.
This could include walking, cycling, swimming or active recreation and can be done at any level, skill and can be enjoyed by everybody.
BENEFITS OF PHYSICAL ACTIVITY
There are many proven benefits of physical activity including:
- Help reduce the risk, or help manage, Diabetes and Cardiovascular and Respiratory disease
- Maintain and/or improve Blood Pressure, Cholesterol
- Reduce the risk of some Cancers and assist rehabilitation
- Prevent unhealthy weight gain, and assist with weight loss
- Build strong muscles and bones – aids balance and helps mobility
- Help prevent mental health problems – stress, anxiety
- Allow you to socialise, meet people and gain confidence and feel happier
It doesn’t matter your fitness level, your age, weight, health problems or ability, we can all exercise at our own level, to achieve lasting health benefits, and improve your quality of life.
Research has shown only half of Australians are doing enough Physical Activity
HOW MUCH PHYSICAL ACTIVITY SHOULD WE DO?
Australian Physical Activity and Sedentary behaviour Guidelines for Adults 18 – 64 years
- Doing any physical activity is better than none. If you currently do none start by doing some and slowly build up to the recommended amount
- Be active preferably every day of the week
- Accumulate 150 to 300 minutes (2.5 to 5 hours of moderate intensity activity) or 75 to 150 minutes (1.25 to 2.5 hours) of vigorous intensity or a combination of both each week.
- Do muscle strengthening at least 2 days each week
Sedentary Behaviour Guidelines
- Minimise the amount of time spent sitting
- Break up extended sitting as much as possible
Australian Physical Activity Guidelines for Older Adults
- Older people should do some form of physical activity, no matter what their age, weight, health problems or abilities.
- Older people should be active every day in as many ways as possible, doing a range of activities that include fitness, strength, balance and flexibility
- Older people should accumulate at least 30 minutes of moderate intensity physical activity on most, preferable all, days
- Older people who have stopped exercise, or who are starting a new physical activity, should start at a level that is easily manageable and gradually build up to recommended amount, type and frequency
- Older people who continue to enjoy a lifetime of vigorous physical activity should carry on doing so in a manner suited to their capability later in life, provided safety guidelines are adhered to
If you are older and suffer from chronic conditions or have not exercised before it is important that you talk to your GP first in case you have any underlying health conditions that could affect which exercise you do
SOURCE Australian Government Department of Health, and to learn more go to Physical Activity