How to make physical activity part of your day

We all know that physical activity is something that can help us maintain a healthy weight. Did you know that regular physical activity reduces the risk of some cancers, Coronary Heart Disease and Type 2 Diabetes? It can also improve many other conditions including high blood pressure, bone health and overall wellbeing. Being active also reduces your risk of death from many causes.

It is recommended to participate in moderate intensity physical activity for 30 minutes, five days per week. However, we know that many Australians are not active enough. One of the most common reasons people give about why they are not regularly active is because they don’t have time.

The good news is that you don’t have to do all of your physical activity for the day in one go. It can be broken up into smaller amounts of 10 minutes duration and can be spread throughout the day. So rather than think you don’t have 30 minutes to spare, try some of the following tips and you might be surprised at how active you can be, without having to find time to hit the gym.

Walk a few minutes extra

Get off the bus a stop or two early and walk to work and home. If you drive to work, park in a new location and walk for a few blocks. Adding a 15 minute walk before and after work doesn’t take up too much time, but is enough for you to meet your daily activity requirement on work days.

Get on your bike

Another active way to travel to and from work is riding a bicycle (with a helmet of course!). Even riding to and from work just a couple of days each week would be beneficial for your health.

Take the stairs instead of the lift

I’m sure you’ve heard this one – but have you tried it? If you work in a multi-storey office, ride the stairs to your next meeting. On weekends, avoid the escalator at shopping centres and go for the stairs instead. Often stairs are located next to escalators so you don’t even have to go out of your way.

Make time on weekends

What about weekends? Before sitting down at a café, dinner or going to the movies, make it your goal to include some active time. Get out in the garden – it can be a great way to get the heart rate up! Or pick a coffee spot that is a 15 minute walk from home.

Interested in a health coach?

The COACH Program® is a confidential free health coaching service delivered over the phone by nib’s Accredited Practicing Dietitians to help those at risk of, or with, Coronary Heart Disease. Based on a self-management model, it’s all about helping you to take better care of yourself. Please phone 1800 339 219 or email [email protected] for more information.