Increase your physical activity
Getting enough exercise is important for many reasons, and inactivity is a significant health risk.
Regular exercise is necessary for good health, as it reduces the risk of
chronic diseases and disabilities like heart disease, stroke, diabetes, cancer,
high blood pressure, osteoporosis, and osteoarthritis.
It also aids in promoting good mental health and
can help to prevent depression and anxiety.
A key aspect to weight control is exercise, because it burns calories and promotes a suitable metabolic rate.
Note that the key concept behind weight gain is energy balance, which is determined by energy intake
and energy output.
Maintaining an equal energy balance is vital in weight control. Therefore energy intake must be matched by energy output.
If energy output is lower than energy intake, this means
the body has excess energy which is then stored as fat.
Along with the physical benefits of exercise, there are also psychological benefits.
Once exercise is a regular activity, stress levels are
often managed, moods lifted and sleep is regulated.
Adults should be aiming for at least 30 minutes of
moderate-intensity physical activity,
five days a week.
Moderate intensity exercise involves a noticeable
increase in heart rate and respiratory rate.
Not only does exercise maintain weight,
it has a number of benefits:
-Increases bone density and strength
-Improves mood and motivation
-Increases strength of your heart
-Improves coordination, balance and mobility
-Reduces blood pressure
Along with cardiovascular exercise, strength and resistance training is also important as it
-Increases muscular strength
-Enhances bone density
-Increases metabolic rate
Note that exercise does not only include going to the gym or going for a run. It can include other forms of physical activity you may not consider to be ‘exercise’. Ideas to increase your physical activity include:
-Park your car a 10 minute walk from your work place and walk the rest of the way
-Use your break to do some lunges, squats or stretches
-Taking the stairs
-Household chores e.g. vacuuming
Even going for a brisk walk during your lunch break can increase your physical activity and reduce the risks for chronic diseases. Challenge a work colleague and get your friends involved!
© 2014 by Sarah Luskie & Madeleine Fisher created with Wix.com
(Ministry of Health NZ, 2014)