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.

Weight Control

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.

Exercise Benefits

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 sleep

-Improves coordination, balance and mobility

-Reduces blood pressure

-Improves circulation


Along with cardiovascular exercise, strength and resistance training is also important as it

-Builds muscle

-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 

-Brisk walking




-Taking the stairs

-Kapa Haka

-Household chores e.g. vacuuming



-Competitive sports

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

(Ministry of Health NZ, 2014)