Don’t let the heat get you beat

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Hot weather is a major influence on sedentary behaviour, however Accredited Exercise Physiologist Kate Battocchio says it’s important to remain as active as possible.

Examples of sedentary behaviour include:

  • Sitting or lying down while watching television or playing electronic games.
  • Sitting while driving a vehicle, or while traveling.
  • Sitting or lying down to read, study, write, or work at a desk.

The National Physical Activity and Sedentary Behaviour Guidelines for Adults (18-64 years) recommend at least two and a half to five hours of moderate physical activity, or one and a quarter to two and a half hours of vigorous physical activity a week.

‘But I am over 65. How much physical activity do I need?’

No matter what age, staying active will ensure you get the best out of life.

There are five physical activity recommendations for older Australians:

  1. Older people should do some form of activity, no matter age, weight, or health problems.
  2. Older people should be active every day in as many ways as possible, doing a range of physical activities that incorporate fitness, strength, balance and flexibility.
  3. Older people should accumulate at least 30 minutes of moderate intensity physical activity on most, preferably all days.
  4. Older people who have stopped physical activity, or who are starting a new physical activity, should start at a level that is easily manageable and gradually build up the recommended amount, type and frequency.
  5. Older people who continue to enjoy a lifetime of vigorous physical activity should carry on doing so in a manner suited to their capability into later life, provided recommended safety procedures and guidelines are adhered to.

Ideas for building up 30 minutes of physical activity

  • Get out in nature: go for a bush walk, mountain hike, walk along the beach; visit a waterfall, lookout or lake that involves a walk; get a book on birds and go bird watching; get out in the garden and plant some vegetables.
  • Get wet: visit the local pool, rock pool, waterhole, or dam for a swim; go snorkeling, kayaking or canoeing; join an ocean swimming group or event; learn to stand-up paddle; join an aqua-aerobics class.
  • Work-out at home: cleaning e.g. mopping, vacuuming, washing the car, yard work; resistance training using bands, hand weights (or tins of food); try a workout DVD or app; do sit to stands (or other exercises) during the add breaks on TV; do calf-raises while brushing teeth or waiting for the kettle to boil.