Walktober is a health initiative encouraging everyone to get at least 31 minutes of exercise for each of the 31 days of October.
Many Australians don't get the recommended 30 minutes of daily exercise for many reasons: some don't like exercise; some can't find the time. Whatever your reason, we've written this article to show you that exercise doesn't have to be a chore!
Walk when possible.
Walk whenever you can. Walk your kids to school. Choose a parking spot that's further away. Opt for the stairs over the escalator or elevators. Walk your dog in the mornings before work or in the evenings when you get home.
Safety tip: don't put your earphone into both ears when walking, leave one out and don't have your audio too high. It's vital that you can hear if a car is coming, or if a bike needs to pass by.
Join a team sport
Being part of a team can be a fantastic feeling. It's a great way to get fit while making new friends. There is a team sport out there for anyone, find yours!
Sign up to a class
A class can be anything from yoga to boxing. You can go to specific studios, or sign up to a gym that has an array of classes.
Or, you can even sign up to online classes that you can do from your own home.
Safety tip: if any home classes require you to buy and use equipment, make sure that you know how to safely use them to avoid injury. It helps to have someone else home while you exercise in case you hurt yourself.
Make exercise more enjoyable
If you lead a busy life, think of your half-hour of daily exercise as "me time". "Me time" is time just for you to focus on yourself and practise some self-care. To help make exercise enjoyable, you can use the half-hour to reflect on your life, listen to a great audiobook, catch up on the latest episode of your favourite podcast, discover new music. If, for example, you have an exercise bike, you can even watch your favourite show on Netflix.
Whatever it is that you enjoy doing, find a way to incorporate it into your exercise to make it more fun. After a while, you'll begin to crave exercise as your body gets used to it.
Safety tip: make sure whatever you are doing while exercise isn't too distracting. You need to ensure your safety while exercising.
The benefits of exercise
Exercise is so beneficial to almost every aspect of our lives, not only does it help our physical health, but our mental health too.
The benefits include:
improved cardiovascular health which lowers the risk of heart attacks.
stronger overall - joints, bones and muscles.
reduced risk of developing health problems such as some cancers and type 2 diabetes.
better weight management.
lower blood pressure and blood cholesterol levels.
more energy which helps moods and sleep
can help the levels of endorphins and serotonin in your brain.
can reduce stress.
If you have any physical ailments, or other factors such as tiredness or mental illness, preventing you from exercise, please contact a health professional for advice. We recommend that anyone starting a new physical activity program see their doctor first.