How much do you move each day? Each week? Here at Caulfield Natural Health Clinic, we often talk to people about improving their health, reducing their injuries, or returning to sport and work. What we have found is that people who make the best long term recovery and maintain the best physical health, are those people who are able to sustain an active lifestyle. It isn’t as hard as you think to be active, and even if you are recovering from an injury, there are often ways to continue to move in a safe way.
The Australian Department of Health recommends children should accumulate 60 minutes of moderate to vigorous activity every day. Adults 18-64 are expected to accumulate half an hour a day of moderate activity every day.
While this might seem like a lot, consider the number of hours we are awake each day, just sitting. The recommendation isn’t even for 30 minutes of continuous activity.
Often the best types of exercise and activity to engage in are those that you will enjoy. For some people it will be going to gym or doing group classes but don’t forget about other options such as dance classes. There are plenty of classes available that you won’t need to bring a partner but you can come away with new ballroom dancing, salsa, or Greek/Israeli dance skills and friends. Meetup.com has lots of groups you can join that arrange for bike rides, hikes, bush walks, and even bird watching adventures.
You can find ways to move that can be easily incorporated into your routine.
- Walk or cycle to work, or park a little further away and walk the last 10 minutes into work. Walking with the kids to school or the last part of the way to school is a great way to connect with the kids and teach them healthy habits.
- Take the stairs instead of the lift.
- Get out into the garden and doing some weeding or mow the lawn. (Do make sure to stretch first before this one!)
- Regular movement breaks at work are essential to reduce the impact of “sitting disease”.
Some fun ideas for being active with the whole family include:
- Going for a swim. There are several heated indoor pools in Melbourne or don a wetsuit and brave the ocean!
- Family bike ride. Melbourne is blessed with many great cycling trails to suit all levels. Gardiner Creek Trail and the Main Yarra Trail are particularly family friendly. For the mountain bike riders, Candlebark Park, Lysterfield Park and the You Yangs offer fantastic off road cycling.
- Playing in the park. There are many, many fabulous parks around Melbourne with playgrounds and equipment to suit all ages and interest of children and adults. Don’t forget, that a walk or jog around the park can be intensified by using the outdoor gym equipment set up for adults along the route. These gyms usually have pictures with instructions of how to perform various exercises and a link to your phone for further clarification if needed.
You don’t have to go to the gym to be active! There are also plenty of online exercise classes such as http://www.beachbody.com that are easily accessible so you can do more vigorous guided exercise without the need for a babysitter. If you haven’t done these types of exercises before, you are welcome to chat to our Physio, Chiro, or Osteos to check the suitability of specific routines.