What really are the benefits of doing regular physical activity and why should you care?
In this episode of MoveMedics TV, I give you the low-down of the benefits, exactly how much physical activity you need to do to reap these benefits, and also what to avoid.
We also take a look at what percentage of Australian adults meet these guidelines so dive in and see how you fare!
’Til next time, Be Free In Your Movement™.
This information is not medical advice. Got health concerns? Consult a real-life health professional.
Views are my own.
- WHO guidelines on physical activity and sedentary behaviour
- Australian Institute of Health and Welfare
We all know that regular physical activities is good for us, but, what good does it do? How much activity do we need? And how many of us here in Australia actually do enough? Let’s find out.
Hi! I’m Selina from MoveMedics here to help you move better, feel better, so you can keep doing what makes you happy for as long as you want.
So what is so awesome about doing regular physical activities and why should you care.
Well, the many health benefits of regular physical activities includes: it helps us live longer.
It helps to prevent heart disease, high blood pressure, type 2 diabetes, and many different types of cancer. It is especially protective of breast cancer and colon cancer.
Now these ones I’ve just mentioned we’ve actually known for a while. What I am really excited to share with you today is that we can now confidently say, because we have evidence, that regular physical activities help support our mental health, it helps to reduce the risk and the symptoms of anxiety and depression.
Now this is really close to my heart because I’ve had depression in the past and I live with anxiety, and my personal experience is most definitely that my regular movement habit, which is a part of my self-care routine, is vital for my mental health, so this is double thumbs up from me.
Regular physical activities also support our cognition, so things like your memory, your processing speed, and your executive function, it helps to reduce the risk of us developing cognitive impairment such as Alzheimer’s Disease.
And perhaps the most immediately relatable one is that it helps us sleep better! And who wouldn’t want a better night’s sleep?
So how much activities do you have to do to reap these benefits?
According to the World Health Organisation’s Guidelines on Physical Activity and Sedentary Behaviour, adults, which is anyone between the ages of 18 and 64, we should be doing firstly: a minimum of 150 minutes of moderate intensity aerobic physical activity, or you could do 75 minutes of vigorous intensity aerobic physical activities.
What’s the difference? With moderate activities we get that lovely warm feeling in the body, our heart rate is elevated, we are breathing faster but we can still hold a short conversation.
With vigorous activity on the other hand, we are breathing much harder and faster, our heart rate elevates further, and we really can only say one sentence at a time.
So you can either do 150 moderate, or 75 minutes vigorous, which means two and a half hours of moderate activities, or an hour and 15 minutes of vigorous activities, which is actually very doable.
But there’s more.
Secondly, we should be doing two sessions of strengthening activity at a moderate or higher intensity that involves your whole body with all the major muscle groups, the benefit you get from doing strengthening exercise is in addition to what you get from doing your physical activities.
Thirdly, we should also be actively limiting our sedentary behaviour. What’s sedentary behaviour?
Well that’s pretty much everything we do sitting down, so I’m sedentary right now making this video, and if you sit on your way to and from work, on a bus, on the train, in a car, that’s sedentary, if you have a sitting down job, that’s sedentary, when we sit down to watch tv or use our devices, that’s sedentary, and I’m a musician so when I sit down to play piano or work on my music on my computer, that’s also sedentary, and that is what we want to reduce as much as we can, and if you can’t we want to move more so we balance it out.
So, how do you fare so far?
And how do we fare in Australia? I’m afraid I don’t have good news to share, only 55 percent of adult Australian meet the recommended guidelines of physical activities, now because we can’t have one and a quarter person, we can only count a whole person, 55% means one in two people are meeting the guidelines, and that also means every second person isn’t doing enough.
What about strengthening exercises? Well, 23 percent of adult Australian meets the recommended guidelines, they do two or more sessions of strengthening exercises per week, so that’s one in five of us.
Are there anyone who actually meets the guidelines for physical activities and strengthening activities? Yes! A whopping 15% of us do that, that is one in 10 only.
Now I will be honest, I don’t tick all the boxes, I do enough physical activities but I don’t always do enough strengthening activities, so I along with many of us have some work to do.
But before you get your diary out and fill it up with physical activities, STOP! Please don’t do that, because, doing too much too soon is not a good thing, that’s how a lot of people end up with pain and injuries and we don’t want you to have that.
The guidelines also says that some activities is better than no activities so if you are already active, brilliant, keep going, just work gradually over time to build it up to where you need to go.
So, what’s the verdict? Do you meet the guidelines? Where do you need to do more? I would very much like to know so please leave me a comment and let me know.
And if this video has been helpful for you please give me a thumbs up so the robot knows that this is awesome and will send the message out for everyone to know as well.
And please also share this video with your friends so they also know how much they need to do.
And if you haven’t done so already make sure you subscribe to my channel so my new video will come up on your home screen, and until then, thank you so much for watching and Be Free In Your Movement.