Let’s start a movement movement!

By Linda Mrkic - B.A. Science, Physical Education M.S., Exercise & Wellness

Based in Healthy Life Waverley Gardens, Linda is an accredited exercise scientist, lecturer and trainer with a passion for helping people become healthier by moving more. A former elite cross country runner and tennis player, Linda is also the founder of Yutu Fitness in Melbourne. http://lindamrkic.wixsite.com/yutu-fitness

You know what they say, “If you don’t use it, you lose it”. 
We humans are sitting more and moving less than any other moment in history.  All this time in front of our screens isn’t doing us any favours. The inactivity is hindering our immune system, mobility, movement and, scarily, our lifespan.

Physical inactivity is currently the leading risk factor for pre-mature death amongst adults. And 1 in 3 Australian adults are sadly not moving enough to benefit their health.

We’ve got to do something. And doing something is all it takes. It doesn’t have to be a heavy exercise regime, positive results can come from any kind of movement- walking to the shops, going out for lunch at work, playing recreational sport, dancing, gardening, even doing the housework … anything that gets you off your backside and moving your arms and legs.

Moving makes you feel good
Study after study has shown that some form of consistent physical activity at all ages is the key to a healthy life.  As well as making you feel good, it has all kinds of benefits for our health and lifestyle:

  • Reduced blood pressure
  • Decreased total cholesterol
  • Improved health and wellbeing
  • Reduced health related medical costs
  • Reduced stress levels
  • Improved mental health
  • Maintenance of healthy weight
  • Increased sense of energy, confidence, happiness
  • Development of social skills
  • Quality of sleep 
  • Quality of balance and posture
  • Maintenance of healthy bones and strong muscles
  • Decreased risk of heart disease
  • Decreased risk of developing Type II diabetes

Your recommended daily dose of ‘move it!’
Movement is important at ALL ages and stages of life. Here are the Australian Government’s Department of Health (2016) life stage recommendations. It’s a movement every body needs to get behind, every day. 

Infants (Aged 0-5)

Frequency: Every day.
Duration: At least 3 hours interspersed throughout the day.
Mode: Supervised floor-based play in safe environment.

Children (Aged 5-12)
Frequency: Every day.
Duration: Accumulation of at least 60 minutes of moderate to vigorous intensity interspersed throughout the day. A minimum of 3 days a week, should be activities based around those that encourage strengthening of muscle and bones.
Mode: A variety of aerobic activities, some which include a vigorous intensity.

Teens (Aged 13-17)
Frequency: Every day.
Duration: Accumulation of at least 60 minutes of moderate to vigorous intensity interspersed throughout the day. A minimum of 3 days a week, should be activities based around those that encourage strengthening of muscle and bones.
Mode: A variety of aerobic activities, some which include a vigorous intensity.

Adults (Aged 18-64)
Frequency: Most, preferably, all days of the week.
Duration: Accumulate 150 to 300 minutes (2 ½ to 5 hours) per week 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. Do muscle strengthening activities on at least 2 days each week.
Mode: A variety of aerobic activities & strengthening exercises, some which include a vigorous intensity.

Seniors (Aged 65+)
Frequency: Most, preferably, all days of the week.
Duration: 30 minutes of moderate intensity.
Mode: A range of physical activities that incorporates fitness, strength, balance and flexibility.