There is a life-changing medicine out there, that doesn’t require a script or a trip to the chemist. Its not expensive or hard to swallow, but it is recommended you take it with water. It can help reduce your risk of chronic disease and help you improve your quality of life, but it doesn’t come wrapped in foil or plastic…

Its exercise!

Now – don’t stop reading just yet, or push this aside into the too hard basket. Hear me out.

If you could do something every day that was potentially life lengthening and had the ability to improve your general well being – would you do it? Of course you would.  So why don’t we all exercise every day? The answer to that question is complicated and often specific to each person. However, by looking at the potential positives of adding exercise into your routine, maybe we can change our thinking about exercise and start treating it more like a medicine and less like a chore?

Lets start from the beginning…

 

What makes exercise so good?

As a comparison to normal pharmacist prescribed medicine, exercise has a multitude of benefits:

  • Its free
  • You can take it anytime that suits you
  • You can modify your dose, depending on how your feeling or your lifestyle limitations
  • It can be administered yourself, or by someone else – its up to you.
  • It’s all natural

Now, I’m not saying medicinal intervention doesn’t have its place, because it certainly does and doctor prescribed medications should continue to be taken as advised, regardless of increasing physical activity. All I am trying to show you is how exercise should be viewed, as a form of medicine that helps aid our body in various ways.

So now, lets look at some of the health benefits of regular exercise:

  • Weight loss and prevention of weight regain
  • Improved fitness and a general feeling of well-being
  • Lower risk of heart disease and/or stroke
  • Lower risk of developing type 2 diabetes or hypertension
  • Improved cognitive/brain function
  • Lower risk of some cancers, including bladder, breast, colon, kidney, stomach and lung.
  • Reduced risk of dementia
  • Improved sleep and feelings of fatigue
  • Reduced incidence and feelings of anxiety and depression
  • Reduced incidence of falls, and thus fall-related injuries
  • Reduced risk of gestational diabetes or post-partum depression in pregnant women

That’s a lot of reasons to get moving.

 

Right, how much do I have to do then?

For healthy adults, it is recommended that you complete 150 to 300 minutes of accumulated moderate intensity physical activity per week. These numbers sound like a lot, but it translates to only 30 minutes of activity 5 days per week or about 20 minutes everyday.

This exercise can be completed in short bouts throughout the day, or all at once, depending on your routine. However it is beneficial to try to be active on most days.

Doing some physical activity is better than nothing. If you currently don’t do any, start by doing something (even if its 5 minutes at a time) and gradually build up to the recommended amount, as you feel able.

For those who have specific exercise/health goals, or for athletes, these guidelines may not be sufficient and you may need extra guidance to find the right fit for you

 

But I have ______, which limits my ability to do exercise, what do I do?

A lot of people have pain and/or pre-existing medical conditions, which limit their ability to complete exercise comfortably. If this is you, assistance from an exercise professional such as an Exercise Physiologist would be ideal to aid you in exercising effectively within your personal limitations.

Got more questions or need help changing your exercise habits? Call us on 5441 8008 to book in an appointment to get started.

 

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