Reduce Your Risk
Physical activity is an essential part of a healthy lifestyle, however, statistics show that more than half of all Australian adults are not active enough.
Physical activity is any activity that gets your body moving, makes you breathe more quickly and makes your heart beat faster. You can be physically active in many different ways, at any time of the day.
Increasing the amount of time you spend moving – and decreasing the amount of time you sit still – could help you to enjoy a number of health benefits, including more energy and better sleep. Physical activity can help you reduce your risk of type 2 diabetes.
How much activity, and how often?
The National Physical Activity Guidelines for Australians (external site) set out the minimum levels of physical activity required for good health.
The guidelines recommend that if you are aged between 18 and 64 you should be active on most, preferably all, days of the week. On at least two days a week, you should do muscle-strengthening exercises, such as squats, lunges or other weight bearing exercises.
Each week you should aim to accumulate:
- At least 150 minutes of moderate intensity activityModerate intensity activity – Increase heart rate, increased breathing, perspiration, can hold a conversation but cannot sing. Approximately 55-70% of maximum heart rate or about 3-4/10 perceived exertion. , most days of the week, or
- At least 75 minutes of vigorous intensity activityVigorous intensity activity – High heart rate, breathlessness, cannot hold an uninterrupted conversation, generally not sustainable for longer than about 30 minutes. Approximately 70-90% of maximum heart rate or about 5-6/10 perceived exertion. , most days of the week
- No more than 2 consecutive days without activity
- At least 2 non-consecutive days of resistance trainingResistance training – Exercises involving pushing, pulling, or lifting weight to strengthen large muscle groups. May include machine weights, free weights, resistance bands, and or body weight. per week
- 8-10 exercises
- 1-3 sets
- 10-15 repetitions (you should feel you can’t do more than 15)
- Limit sitting time
If we have not done much activity before, it can be difficult to get going. So, how can we start or increase physical activity?