Why should we exercise?

Did you know that despite knowing exercise is good for us, half of all Australian adults aren’t moving enough.

Exercise should not be about losing weight or getting it over with like a chore.

We want to celebrate movement and what our bodies can do! We want to highlight some of the fantastic physical, mental and social benefits of exercise.

What are some reasons we move?

For our mental health

Exercising regularly can help you to manage stress, improve your sleep, boost your mental well-being, and help to protect against mental health conditions like anxiety and depression.

For our heart health

Our heart is a muscle, and just like the other muscles in your body, it gets stronger when you exercise! Staying active is one of the best ways to improve your heart health and reduce your risk of developing a cardiovascular condition in the future. Exercising can also help manage high blood pressure.

To connect with others

The social health benefits of exercise are often overlooked. In a society where more and more people experience loneliness, exercise is a great way to bring people together!

Exercising with someone else can enhance the stress-reducing effects of exercise and working out with friends or family is a great way to increase exercise adherence. In children, being active is a great way to help develop social skills.

To stay fit and strong

Exercise is important for ALL bodies, regardless of age or health status.

Staying active doesn’t just make you fitter and stronger, it helps to protect you from chronic disease such as heart disease and type 2 diabetes, and many others.

Did you know that walking 30 min, 5 times a week, would reduce Australias disease burden by 26%?

To boost our brains

Exercise can help improve your cognitive function things like learning, thinking, reasoning, problem solving, and decision making. Being active can also improve your memory and help to protect your brain against a range of conditions, including dementia and Alzheimers disease.

To look after ourselves

It’s NOT selfish to prioritise your health and take time to yourself to exercise. Show your body you love and value it by moving more!

Do you know what the recommendations are for activity and exercise?

Children aged 5-17 years of age should aim to accumulate at least 60 minutes of moderate to vigorous intensity physical activity a day.

If you are aged 18-64 years of age, it is recommended to;

be active on most days, or every day of the week

you should aim for 2.5 – 5 hours of moderate intensity exercise such as walking 30 minutes 5 times a week

you could also aim for 1.25 – 2.5 hours of high intensity exercise such as going for a jog for 25 minutes, 3 times a week

It is also recommended to undertake strength exercises two times a week. Strength exercises are important as they help make your muscles and bones strong and healthy. Strength exercises use weight to put pressure on your body. You can do strength training using your own body.

If you are aged 65 years and older, the recommendations are a little different.

Older people should be active every day in as many ways as possible, doing a range of physical activities that incorporate fitness, strength, balance, and flexibility.

You should aim to accumulate at least 30 minutes of moderate intensity physical activity on most days of the week.

So, what are some fun ways I can exercise and increase my activity and movement?

Here are some great ideas

  • Hiking
  • Dancing
  • Rock climbing
  • Walking your dog
  • Team sports
  • Shopping – and parking far away
  • Bike riding
  • Stand up paddle boarding
  • Playing with your children
  • Roller skating