Benefits of moving more

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Chris Leach

National Policy Advisor - Active Living

As children, many Australians emulated sporting heroes across all sports, whether in the backyard, school grounds or local park. But this passion to be sporting greats has not led to an active lifestyle.

The reality is that around 60% of adult Australians are physically inactive and those that are inactive have a higher risk of developing heart disease, some cancers, dementia and are more likely to be overweight.

Australians love their sport and millions will tune into AFL and/or NRL grand finals this month, passionately cheering for the athletes on show. But don’t just be a spectator - unleash that childhood memory and participate in physical activity.

Rather than dwell on the negative impacts of a sedentary lifestyle, let's focus on the benefits of participating.

Moving more - will help you to have a healthy heart.

Engaging in 30 minutes or more of physical activity on most days of the week can decrease your likelihood of developing cardiovascular disease. It’s as easy as a half-time kick or after-game scratch match.

Research has shown that engaging in moderate intensity exercise such as walking may lead to:

  • a 7.2% reduction in the risk of high blood pressure
  • a 7.0% reduction in the risk of high cholesterol  
  • a 9.3% reduction in the risk of coronary heart disease

Exercise is known to help decrease ‘bad’ cholesterol and can help manage high blood pressure, both of which can increase your risk of cardiovascular disease.   

Moving more - is great for your mental health.

Research suggests that engaging in physical activity can release endorphins and other feel good hormones. 

In other great news, research shows that the physical activity doesn’t have to be high intensity for you to reap the mental benefits – so a brisk walk around the block will have you feeling great in no time.

Moving more – will help with weight management.

Physical activity will help maintain a healthy body weight, decreasing your likelihood of developing type two diabetes, cardiovascular disease and other chronic illnesses.

Being physically active, especially doing weights, will help to build more muscle and increase your basal metabolic rate, helping to manage body weight.

As a bonus – you’ll look and feel fabulous.

As a further incentive, people who are physically active regularly experience:

  • Better sleep
  • Decreased cognitive decline
  • Reduced stress
  • A lower risk of osteoporosis
  • Enhanced immune function

Moving more can be done in so many ways that exercise shouldn’t be a chore and the benefits of go beyond looking good.

Check out Heart Foundation Walking groups

Don’t just watch sport – participate – and reap the benefits of moving more