Exercise Right Week is an annual public awareness campaign through Exercise & Sports Science Australia (the accrediting body of our Exercise Physiologists).
The aim of this campaign is to highlight the importance of exercise, physical activity and movement not only for physical health but also for mental well-being. It showcases that exercise doesn’t discriminate, it is in fact for everyone regardless of age, weight, background or health status. This campaign endeavours to help Australian’s understand where they can get the right advice for their individual needs. The answer lies in an Accredited Exercise Physiologist.
The theme for Exercise Right Week in 2020 in “Movement is Medicine”. What does this mean?
Living with a chronic condition can be tough, and exercise can seem like a daunting concept. This is where an Accredited Exercise Physiologist can help to get you moving again. Not only can they provide further education regarding your condition and the benefits of exercise, but they will prescribe safe and effective exercise interventions specific to your individual needs.
Exercise can help to prevent and manage a wide variety of chronic conditions, including but not limited to, heart disease, diabetes, osteoarthritis and some cancers. Many of these conditions are treated with medications to reduce symptoms such as high blood pressure, pain, swelling etc. however, exercise can also help to reduce many of these symptoms when prescribed correctly.
In light of the recent health pandemic world-wide and with more people staying at home in isolation, there’s no doubting that the general population’s physical activity level has reduced. Here’s some tips on how you can stay active around your home and how to protect yourself, and others, when going to public venues for exercise.
- Turn your housework into exercise
Let’s take hanging out the laundry as an example. We need to bend to pick up an item from the basket and then reach up to hang the item on the clothesline. So why not adopt a squat and press like movement as you go (see pic 1.). It may not be quite the same as using weights in the gym but it’s definitely better than nothing, plus you’re achieving two tasks in one! Better yet, forget the washing basket, let’s leave the items in the washing machine, take them out to the line one item at a time and watch your step count increase.
- Create a home gym
Some fortunate people have hand weights, stationary bikes and exercise machines at their home which makes a home work-out a little easier to achieve. But just because you don’t have these items, doesn’t mean you can’t improvise. Let’s get creative. Dumbbells can be replaced with many different items from around your home (cans of food, water bottles filled with sand, tools from the shed etc.) so there’s really no excuse for skipping your resistance exercise. Most home work-outs are comprised of body weight exercises too, for example, wall/floor push-ups, chair squats, calf raises, glute bridging, single leg balance. Your accredited exercise physiologist can develop a program suitable for you.
- Step it out
Now let’s not forget about the under-rated activity of walking. Backyards can be an ideal environment for increasing your step count, or why not use the passageways in your home. You could set up your very own walking course through your home, around the dining table, into the living room and around the coffee table etc. and count how many laps you achieve each day. Don’t rule out going for a walk outdoors provided you avoid large crowds. It is known that the virus is spread via droplet transmission from an infected person. Keep your distance from other people if you choose to walk outdoors, avoid touching surfaces unnecessarily, especially avoid touching your face, and of course, wash your hands when you return home. Say goodbye to the friendly handshake with your neighbour and adopt a friendly smile instead.
- “Don’t just stand there, bust a move”
Young MC has been telling us to do this for years! Why not turn your living room into a dance party for you and your family. Nothing gets those “feel good endorphins” pumping like some good music and exercise. Get your heart rate elevated along with your mood. You don’t have to get your booty shaking like Beyonce, perhaps a beginner’s line dancing class on Youtube is more your thing, or maybe you’ve been going to line dancing for years upon end and can teach your family members all the moves yourself. You’ll have all the dance moves down pat for a post COVID-19 celebration.
- Normality for gym goers
For some people, going to the gym gives them a sense of normality and routine, which can be extremely hard to maintain during the current circumstances. If you are a gym-goer, it is important to maintain good gym hygiene once your gym re-opens. It’s crazy that it took a worldwide health pandemic to make us all realise the importance of hygiene! Wash your hands before, during and after your workout and if available, use hand sanitizer when moving between equipment. If you cough or sneeze into your hands, ensure you wash them prior to touching any equipment. Use a clean towel to lay on when using the floor space or equipment and bring your own water bottle, preferably with a lid as opposed to an exposed spout. Most gyms have cleaning liquids available for the equipment so ensure you clean the equipment before and after use. It is also very important that you avoid touching your face during a workout! All of these strategies should have already been in place pre COVID-19, this is just your friendly remainder to adhere to them. Here at 4 Life, we are adopting extra hygiene methods in our gym and offices and we highly encourage you to do the same.
If this hasn’t motivated you to get moving and stay active, or perhaps you’re not sure what exercises are suitable for you, call us here at 4 Life and book an appointment with one of our Accredited Exercise Physiologists. They would love to help you get started.