Because of the largely outdoor lifestyle we enjoy in Australia, exercise is a visible and ingrained part of our culture.
We’re lucky to live in a country where we have so many positive ideas and images around health and wellbeing. There are numerous events, resources and organisations out there to support us to exercise and be fitter, healthier versions of ourselves.
But as a nation, only a minority of us are even reasonably active. According to the 2011-12 ABS National Nutrition and Physical Activity Survey, just 43 percent of adult Australians met the ‘sufficiently active’ threshold.
That means they undertook at least 150 minutes of exercise, over five or more separate sessions, in the week before being surveyed.
This means that well over half of us aren’t exercising enough, so there’s clearly plenty of room for improvement.
Everyone knows exercise is good for their health. However, despite this awareness, many people struggle to exercise as often as they should. This can be due to a number of factors – like lack of time, family or work demands, or injuries.
But with the right exercise training, consistency in how often you exercise, developing the right mindset and putting appropriate goals in place, everyone can achieve better health and fitness.
The Health Benefits of Exercise
Regular exercise is good for us – that’s a no-brainer – but do you realise how good it is? Some studies show that just 20 minutes of low-intensity physical activity a day can:
- Improve your mood
- Promote a healthier posture and body image
- Aid weight loss
- Reduce the symptoms of health conditions and diseases, or even remove them completely
- Help build muscle tone
- Improve your cardiovascular fitness
- Boost your energy levels
- Enhance your sex drive
- Help protect you from potential injuries
- Increase your flexibility
- Save you money on petrol or public transport fees
- Release toxins through sweating
- Ease stiff muscles and help with pain relief
It can be difficult to determine how to improve on your current level of fitness. Joining 12WBT will give you access to Exercise Plans that will suit your individual needs and keep you on track.
Fitness Exercises to Boost Your Health
Many studies have shown that incorporating just a few short, targeted exercise sessions a week to accompany your regular physical activity can really help you to become a stronger, happier and more balanced person. In fact, in 2013 the University of Toronto carried out a review of 25 studies and found they all showed that moderate exercise can reduce depression.
Going for a long walk along the beach, smashing out a 5km run, or swimming a few laps in the local pool are all great forms of regular exercise. And there’s a huge range of other fitness exercises that can help target specific areas to build up and improve your overall fitness. You might want to exercise for cardiovascular fitness, toning and sculpting or strength training - and stretching is highly recommended at the end of any session.
Don’t forget to drink plenty of water to stay hydrated before, during and after any exercise session you complete. Dehydration is a serious condition, particularly if you’re exercising outdoors in the sun.
A balanced, targeted exercise regime, matched with adequate sleep, a highly nutritional diet and plenty of rest will do wonders for your health and wellbeing.
Where to Find the Right Exercise Training
Many of us could do with a bit of help to get on the right exercise path, and there are plenty of people and organisations you can turn to, including 12WBT.
At 12WBT we have a team of highly experienced and enthusiastic fitness professionals. They design fitness programs that combine with exceptional nutritional guidance to see you achieving your health and weight goals. Whether you’re training for a marathon, a work fun run, overseas hiking trip, want to stay fit and healthy during pregnancy or you’re just wanting to shed a few kilos, we can help you get there.
Otherwise, there are thousands of personal trainers and other fitness instructors who can help – just make sure they’re well-qualified and have the right experience and credentials. You can check to see if they’re registered with Fitness Australia or the Register of Exercise Professionals.
Word-of-mouth recommendations from friends, colleagues or family members are often a good place to start, and if you can, try before you buy with either a free session or by just paying for one session before you commit to more.
Another great way to exercise is to join a group training session. You can search for these in your local area on the internet, or try your local council or community centre for ads promoting groups you could join. At 12WBT, we see community as being a vital part of our programs, with many members meeting up to train with each other, first getting in contact via our online Forums.
Competing in Fitness Events
If you’re feeling pretty confident about your fitness level or even just want to see how you’re performing after starting a new training regime, competing in a local fitness event can be both challenging and rewarding.
In a fitness event like a fun run or half-marathon, you get a chance to exercise with a group of friends or meet new people and you’ll see how you measure up against the rest of the runners out there.
When competing in your next fitness event remember to:
- Sign up early so you don’t miss out
- Schedule some preparatory running training and targeted exercise sessions
- Get a good night’s sleep the night before and avoid drinking alcohol as it will dehydrate you
- On the day, spend 15 minutes walking or jogging to warm up your muscles
- Drink lots of water before, during and after the event – the ideal amount to drink is a litre every hour
- Sign up for a running training program like those on offer as part of 12WBT.
Exercising, although challenging at times, doesn’t have to be tedious or monotonous. There are so many different ways you can incorporate a little more physical activity into your busy schedule, to keep yourself and your family fit and healthy.
And why wouldn’t you want to do that? It’s one of the best gifts you can give yourself and your loved ones.