Regular exercise may be one of the most important things you can do for your health.
Physical activity can assist in reducing the risk of chronic illness, improve overall body balance, coordination and flexibility. It can also help to maintain a healthy body weight and improve overall mental health.
- The Australian Government's Department of Health recommend that we are active every day each week and that we do 150 to 300 minutes (2 ½ to 5 hours) of moderate intensity physical activity or 75 to 150 minutes (1 ¼ to 2 ½ hours) of vigorous physical activity, or a combination of both.
- Take care when exercising and make sure that you do not injure yourself. Always allow time for warm up, cool down stretching, and be mindful of pre-existing injuries that could be aggravated by the type of exercise you are doing.
- When considering an exercise regime, involve a friend, join a sporting club or a gym.
Below you will find three common blocks (barriers and misconceptions) that can prevent you from exercising.
I can't find time to exercise
Busy people can easily talk themselves out of doing exercise, especially when they are feeling tired. The minimum weekly exercise requirements can appear difficult to reach or maintain on a regular basis. However, if we consider the time spent following up on health problems compared to investing in exercise which can prevent health problems, then exercise makes a lot of sense.
I can't keep the exercise going
Dealing with pre-existing injuries or post-exercise recovery can be demotivating. Or perhaps the original goal was a little unrealistic. If you are trying to get back into exercise, it is useful to consult a fitness trainer or physical therapist to ensure that you do not injure yourself or aggravate pre-existing injuries. Once you get going, manage post-exercise recovery with cool down routines. Set specific rewards when you achieve a milestone (for example reaching certain weight, mastering particular skill or noticing improvement in your mental/physical fitness).
I play organised sport, which is not available during off season
When playing organised sport, consider developing an off season training schedule. You can do this with your team members, which helps to keep motivated. Even if it is not possible to train together you can consider a training schedule that you undertake on your own, and then check in with other team mates to see what everyone is doing and find out what others are finding effective. It is also a good time to think of strategy and focus for the next season.
Below are three things you can do to boost success.
Keep a log of your exercise
You can also use exercise/movement tracking apps to find out if you are meeting minimum requirements. If you are struggling, try to set yourself weekly goals. Small increases over time reinforces the healthy routine and leads to overall success.
Find the right space
Try to look for safe and enjoyable spaces where you can spend at least 20 to 30 minutes per day. It can be as simple as walking to the bus stop or going to get a coffee. Adelaide is a pedestrian and cycling-friendly city with lots of routes to explore. If restricted to your home environment for any reason, using household objects for resistance training and making use of your garden could be great alternatives.
Consider walking/cycling instead of motorised transport
Even if you are a long way from uni or work, you can consider getting off public transport one stop early, or parking a little further away so you can get that 10-15 min walk in, or utilise that lunch break or gap between lectures and do a short walk. During times when this might not be an option, a good alternative is to have a walk in your local neighbourhood. It all adds up, plus you get to notice your environment, observe the seasons and boost your vitamin D levels.
Need more info?
- Exercise your way to good mental health
- 15 tips to restart your exercise routine
- Head to health - being active
- Best fitness apps
Adelaide Uni Options
- Adelaide University Sports
- Adelaide University Union club options
- AU Strava - Intervarsity competition between UofA, Flinders, UniSA, and Torrens. Competitions in cycling and running with the best times uploaded for the overall leader board.
- Classes at The Fitness Hub
- Check out our Mind & Body page for some mind/body practices including: yoga, dance, martial arts, Feldenkrais and getting out into nature.