The information contained in this article has been prepared by Nicholas Steel, an Accredited Exercise Physiologist (AEP) and Accredited Exercise Scientist (AES) working in Griffith University’s Health Clinics.
We sat down with Nicholas recently and asked him to give us some valuable insights into how people can improve their health through implementing minor changes into their daily routine. It may come as no surprise but incorporating a little movement each day can make a big difference to your overall health and wellbeing.
- Prevention, prevention, prevention…
Prevention is better than cure! Unfortunately we often take the more convenient (and expensive) option when it comes to taking care of our health. Let’s take High Blood Pressure for example – it is far more common for individual’s to see their GP, get a pill, take that pill every day and their blood pressure is controlled – right? Wrong. Simple lifestyle modifications such as better nutrition and structured exercise can help lower our resting blood pressure, which significantly reduces the risk of heart conditions, strokes and further complications. Emphasis needs to be placed on these cheaper, healthier, endlessly beneficial options that improve our quality of life – over the convenient “cure” where maintenance is no guarantee.
2. Everyone (especially young adults) needs to stretch more!
Adding a simple stretch routine to your daily life or a couple of times per week makes a major difference in releasing our muscles, enhancing performance and reducing tightness. Get stretching!
3. Balance isn’t practiced enough!
As we age, we commonly tend to lose our ability to balance and therefore increase our risk of falling and creating further injury. Balance should be incorporated into training and in little ways throughout everyday life. Try standing on one leg whilst brushing your teeth, standing on one leg while you wait for your kettle to boil or toast to pop, walk down the hallway heel-to-toe like being on a tightrope, and ALWAYS have something to hold on to or place your fingers/hands on for safe assistance.
4. Do things you love doing!
If there’s physical activities and ways to get moving that you enjoy and love – GREAT, DO THEM! Every person is different in their preferences surrounding movement, activity and exercise, so find what works for you, don’t let it be a chore and most of all, enjoy it.
5. Get more bang for your buck!
Get as many benefits out of movement that you can. If you can join exercise classes to get social, mental and physical benefit, then go for it. Check what you’re eligible for – Medicare and the government have systems for those with chronic disease and illnesses that allow you to get sessions with a range of health professionals covered by Medicare. Do your research and see what you may be eligible for.
6. Is your office set-up healthy?
If you sit at a desk all day working or studying, what’s your set up like? Is your chair comfortable and supportive? Is your computer screen at eye level? Ensuring that your workplace set up is ergonomically beneficial can have great impacts on our muscles, posture and fatigue. And in our current climate of people working from home more, the above should be applied in your home office.
National Health Guidelines
Do you know how much exercise we should get each week? Do you know what intensity is recommended for those periods? Are you aware of the nutritional recommendations for all Australians? Unfortunately, it is becoming more and more common that individuals are not aware of the guidelines that we should meet each week to minimize the risk of developing chronic disease. These are conversations that all Australians should have with health and medical professionals to optimise their health and wellbeing.
Guidelines on physical activity:
- Doing any physical activity is better than doing none. If you currently do no physical activity, start by doing some, and gradually build up to the recommended amount.
- Be active on most, preferably all, days every week.
- Accumulate 150 to 300 minutes of moderate intensity physical activity (can maintain a conversation whilst completing) or 75 to 150 minutes (can’t maintain a conversation whilst completing) of vigorous intensity physical activity, or an equivalent combination of both moderate and vigorous activities, each week.
- Do muscle strengthening activities on at least 2 days each week.
Guidelines on sedentary behaviour:
- Minimise the amount of time spent in prolonged sitting.
- Break up long periods of sitting as often as possible
What are you waiting for?!
If you’d like to start on your health journey or perhaps pickup from where you last left off, Nick would love to help you take the next step. He is easy going, highly experienced and passionate about helping people improve their health.
If you’d like to book an appointment to see Nick ot book in a personal consultation with Nick please call 1800 188 295, email [email protected], or visit www.griffith.edu.au/griffith-health/clinics for more information.