The current recommendation for adults are as follows:
Physical Activity Guidelines
- Doing any physical activity is better than doing none. If you currently do no physical activity, start by doing some, and gradually build up to the recommended amount.
- Be active on most, preferably all, days every week.
- Accumulate 150 to 300 minutes (2 ½ to 5 hours) of moderate intensity physical activity or 75 to 150 minutes (1 ¼ to 2 ½ hours) of vigorous intensity physical activity, or an equivalent combination of both moderate and vigorous activities, each week.
- Do muscle strengthening activities on at least 2 days each week.
This is a direct paste from Australia’s Physical Activity and Sedentary Behaviour Guidelines.
50% of Australians do not meet these basic guidelines. This is pretty scary considering that the world standard for not meeting these guidelines is 33%. We generally live very sedentary lives these days. It’s easier to use the remote instead of having to get up to change the TV channel, we drive more and more. Television is a huge part of our modern lives, encouraging up to 5 hours of sedentary behaviour per day.
Sedentary behaviour has lifelong impacts far beyond immediate weight gain. If Australians met the basic general guidelines for physical activity there would be a potential reduction of 6% in heart disease, 7.8% for Type II Diabetes, 10.4% for breast cancer, 11.2% for colon cancer. (These figures are taken from a 2012 article published in The Lancet journal.)
So. How can we increase our activity day to day?
Let me share how I increase my activity. I live on a highway out of town. To get to any flat walking or running paths I either have to dodge traffic or drive. Huon Valley Council, howsaboutafootpath? I also use a FitBit to track my steps. I’m pretty new to FitBit (I had a Jawbone UP24 previously) but I LOVE IT. I love that you can set challenges with friends. But, by nature I’m fairly lazy so every day I do the following:
- When I get up I put on my workout gear. Every day. I have a quick breakfast, then Mr S and I tag team. He has breakfast and hangs with the girls. I head out about 7.15am for a 10-20 minute walk. I loathe exercising alone with my thoughts so I listen to an audiobook or a podcast.
- I vacuum the house every day. All things aside, it gets my step count up a bit. I also have two toddler, so my house could actually stand to be vacuumed twice per day. Three is my limit.
- I either do a YouTube workout (this is my current favourite) or head out for a walk with the pram. More and more often it’s a YouTube workout. The girls are beginning to dislike the pram, and I’m beginning to dislike pushing 13kg 2yo + 18kg 4yo + 11kg double pram load. I mean, it’s a great resistance workout but I’m not a total idiot. Sometimes I put 18kg 4yo on my back in the ErgoBaby and push 2yo in pram.
- Extra yard work? Today I raked the entire yard. 1500 steps right there. Mr S is delighted when I show extra yard work initiative. If it doesn’t bear fruit or vegetables I don’t usually want to know about it.
- Put away the washing the long way. Make individual piles in one room, then do squats, pick up the piles and take them to the other room. Squats again and back to the original room.
- Park the car at the end of the carpark. I do this is I’m solo, but if I have the girls with me it’s far easier (sanity saving) to park outside the door.
- Take the kids outside and run around. My 4yo and I play ‘Run and Touch’, where we run from opposite ends of the yard towards each other and either high five in the middle or tap an arbitrary point at the end of the yard.
- Give your kids an outdoor activity, set a timer for 15 mins and do as many high intensity exercises you can in that time. I enjoy (that’s not quite the word…) jumping jacks, mountain climbers, using my deck edge as an aerobic step, trail running in a tiny loop around my hilly yard and sit ups.
- My favourite is to crank up the music and get moving. My girls LOVE to dance and we put on some thumpin’ music and get going. Our favourite right now is Hermitude’s ‘Through The Roof’.
Sometimes I run. Mostly I don’t. Shin splints have pretty much written the end of my not-so-illustrious running career. Right now hiking through the paddocks in my gumboots is keeping me pretty busy and happy.
I’m currently studying ‘Foundations of Technology For Healthy Living’ though University of Tasmania, and this has opened my eyes to the ways we can increase our exercise and the benefits of doing so. A few weeks back we learned about best outcomes for exercise and training plans, and there was a suggestion that having a plan, AND a contingency plan is key to success. With that in mind I made a training printable.
Want it for your very own? Of course you do! Click on the image above to download or click this hyperlink.
What are some ways you can increase your daily movement? Tell me everything!