How much exercise do I need to be healthy?
Welcome to the latest Lane Cove Physio blog. As the physiotherapists who want you at your best, we’ve got a wake-up call.
According to the latest National Health Survey, many Aussies aren’t even close to hitting their physical activity goals. We’re talking about a deficit that’s contributing to a health crisis, from heart disease to diabetes, right here in our clinic.
Australia’s Physical Activity Landscape: A Quick Look
According to the National Health Survey, only 27.2% of Australians aged 15 years and over met the physical activity guidelines. Alarmingly, nearly half of employed individuals spend most of their workday sitting.
Physical activity is not just about hitting the gym; it’s crucial for combating heart disease, stroke, Type 2 diabetes, and high blood pressure, common health issues in Australia.
The Physical Activity Guidelines: Australia’s Stance
Young Adults (15-17 years): The guidelines recommend at least 60 minutes of moderate to vigorous physical activity every day and strength activities on at least three days per week. Unfortunately, less than one in ten young people meet these guidelines.
Adults (18-64 years): The guidelines recommend 150-300 minutes of moderate activity or 75-150 minutes of vigorous activity per week, along with strength or toning activities at least twice a week. Sadly, just about one in four Australian adults meet these criteria.
Seniors (65+ years): At least 30 minutes of physical activity is recommended on most days.
Tips and Ideas for Incorporating Physical Activity into Your Lifestyle
Build Activity into Your Day
- Walk or cycle for short trips.
- Use stairs whenever possible.
- Get off the bus one stop early.
Active at Work
- Take walking meetings.
- Step outside during lunch breaks.
Active and Safe
- Always wear sun-protective clothing and sunscreen.
- Don’t let bad weather stop you; try indoor activities like yoga, Pilates, or indoor rock climbing.
Lane Cove Physio: Your Local Solution for Meeting Australia’s Physical Activity Guidelines
We at Lane Cove Physio not only understand the Australian guidelines but also the Australian lifestyle. Our physiotherapists are trained to design personalised exercise programs that cater to the unique needs of Australians, whether you’re a young adult, a busy working professional, or a senior citizen.
Preventing Injuries: Tips from Lane Cove Physio Physiotherapists
- Warm up properly and don’t forget to cool down – to begin, your warm up should entail some gentle cardio exercise to get your heart rate up and the blood flowing to your muscles. For example, a brisk walk or a light jog until you break a sweat, starting slowly and gradually building the intensity. After 5-10 minutes, start some exercises specific to the intended activity. For example, a basketballer could do some passing, dribbling and shooting. Finally in the warm up, dynamic stretches should also be included in order to prepare the muscles, tendons and joints for full range of movement throughout the activity. Similar to warming up, cooling down after exercise is important to assist the body in returning to its normal state. This may entail 5-10 minutes of low intensity cardio exercise, followed by some static stretches to ensure muscle length is maintained. Physiotherapists can assist in showing you the right technique for your stretches.
- Wear the correct gear – appropriately fitted protective gear that also meets safety standards will help to prevent injury. This may include; headgear, mouthguard, shin pads and/or goggles, depending on the activity or sport. Well fitted shoes are equally, if not more important. Old or worn out shoes can lead to overuse injuries such as shin splints or tendinopathies.
- Gradual progression – start slowly! If your body is not used to this particular type of exercise, it’s crucial to introduce it slowly to prevent injuries like muscle strains. When starting a new activity, you are more prone to suffer from DOMS (delayed onset of muscle soreness – muscle soreness that is usually worse 2 days post exercise). Don’t worry, it is completely benign, usually disappears within a few days, and the more you continue doing this type of activity, the less you’ll get it. So don’t give up! Also, utilise the principle of gradual progression – in terms of the amount of time spent in the activity, the frequency (number of days per week) and the load/resistance lifted or moved. 5-10% increase per 1-2 weeks is usually appropriate. A physiotherapist can show you how to do this safely.
- Rest – when undertaking a new exercise, soft tissues used go through periods of breakdown and repair. It is vital that to give your muscles a chance to repair by having at least 48 hours between exercising that same muscle group. Furthermore, resting between sets of exercises will help the muscles prepare for the next set. We are much more likely to injure ourselves when fatigued. So for example, you may perform 3 sets of biceps curls. Make sure to have at least 1 minute of rest between each set, and 2 days before repeating the biceps curls again. This is not to say you can’t work out other muscle groups in between!
- Cross train and maintain variety – listen to your body. If you are getting little aches and pains, either take a day off, train at a much lower intensity, or try something a little different to give your body a break and a chance to recover. Completing repetitive movements over and over, such as with running or cycling can lead to overuse injuries if no other muscle groups are used.
- Re-hydrate and replenish with nutritious food – a healthy, balanced diet will keep you training at the intensity you wish and will assist in muscle repair. Conversely, poor nutrition can lead to low energy levels and muscle weakness. Hydration before, during and after exercise is also vital for flushing out toxins and replacing lost fluids.
What is Hydrotherapy?
Hydrotherapy involves exercise routines performed in a specially designed warm-water pool. The buoyancy and resistance of the water offer a comfortable yet challenging environment for fitness and rehabilitation under the supervision of our accredited exercise physiologists.
- Multi-Functional: Hydrotherapy is not just for those recovering from injuries or surgeries; it’s also an excellent option for general fitness and well-being.
- Safety: The water environment reduces the risk of injury, making it ideal for people of all ages and fitness levels, including seniors and those with mobility issues.
- Pain Management: The warm water and weightlessness can relieve joint pain and improve circulation.
- The Australian Way: In a country that’s home to some of the world’s most beautiful bodies of water, what’s more Australian than incorporating water into your fitness routine?
Aqua Natal Classes: A Joyous Splash into Motherhood
Our Aqua Natal Classes are designed for expectant mothers looking for a unique blend of exercise, relaxation, and community bonding. Conducted in our hydrotherapy pool, these classes are overseen by physiotherapists specialising in women’s health.
Benefits for Expectant Mums
- Physical Preparedness: Strengthen key muscle groups used during labour and improve your overall stamina.
- Mental Well-being: The tranquil setting of the water helps reduce stress and anxiety, offering a holistic approach to prenatal care.
- Australian Community: Share this special time with other mums-to-be in your community, all while enjoying a form of exercise that feels quintessentially Australian.
Take the Next Step: Book Your Appointment Today!
At Lane Cove Physio, our physiotherapists are qualified to design individualised exercise programs suitable for any athletic level – from the complete beginner to a seasoned sportsperson. We can also monitor your exercise technique and assist you in progressing your program safely.
Don’t let another year slip by without taking control of your health and wellness. Whether you’re a seasoned athlete, a soon-to-be mum, or someone just looking to improve their overall health, Lane Cove Physio is the right place to start.
Give us a call at 94285772 or book online to schedule your appointment with Lane Cove Physio’s expert physiotherapists.