When Life Becomes Hectic
Ask yourself these questions:
- Are you out of your usual workout routine due to a constantly busy schedule?
- Are you unable to attend your weekly boot camp, Pilates, or spin class?
- Are you finding yourself not accumulating your 10,000 steps per day?
- Are you decreasing the amount of outdoor exercise you do?
- Are you feeling a little bit “lost,” not knowing where to start with a modified exercise routine?
If you answered “yes” to any one of these questions you have inevitably reduced the amount of physical activity you would normally participate in.
This is a special concern since the numbers paint a rather alarming picture of the health landscape. More than half of Australian adults (55%) do not meet the physical activity guidelines. A commonly cited reason? A study reported that half of the people surveyed said that their barrier to regular physical activity is lack of time.
Why you should make exercise a priority?
Don’t let exercise be put on the list of “I’ll get to it when this is all over”. It’s easy to ignore the importance of exercise when life becomes hectic and work, family, and personal commitments take up all your waking hours. Here’s a reminder of why you should make regular exercise high up your priority list:
- Enhanced mental health to keep your mind focused and clear
- Decreased risk of chronic health conditions and diseases such as high blood pressure and high cholesterol
- Helps maintain safe blood sugar levels.
- Improved overall fitness, which can help boost your immune system
- Promotion of better sleep and energy levels
The best exercise routine depends on a lot of factors such as your current capacity and health conditions, though arguably, it may also simply be an activity that you really enjoy doing. This is an important point as one study revealed that over 40% of Australians cited the lack of enjoyment as a barrier to regular physical activity.
3 Strategies to Keep Up Your Exercise Routine
- Plan, plan, and plan
Take the time to sit down and look at the month ahead. Then, ask yourself these two questions:
- Define WHAT you want to achieve
- Establish HOW you are going to achieve it
Firstly, you need to define what your November goals are when it comes to exercise. Being specific about each goal you want to achieve will help you be clear about exactly WHAT you need to do and HOW you are going to do it. Ask yourself if your goals follow along the lines of the following:
- Do a minimum of 30 minutes of moderate-intensity exercise each day in November
- Perform a 20-minute brisk walk and 20 minutes of whole-body resistance training three times a week
- Isolate each muscle group throughout the week and stretch after each session
Remember, these are the vital steps to TAKE CONTROL OF YOUR HEALTH.
Consulting a Health Expert such as our Exercise Physiologists in Elizabeth can help you find ways to keep exercising. Our EPs will use the science behind exercise, their experience, and your current capacity to put a plan together to help you achieve your goals. This step-by-step, day-by-day plan will be progressive and achievable to keep you motivated.
- Understand your current capacity
You need to know where your current health, movement, and functional capacity lie. Let’s go through a number of tests and assessments to help you determine what you are capable of NOW based on your current goals. This is crucial in helping keep you motivated. This would sometimes include:
- How many sit-to-stands you can do from a chair in 30 seconds
- The range of movement in your knee joint
- How long you can balance on one leg
- Finding out your pain levels when performing certain movements
This information will help your Exercise Physiologist prescribe the right plan that includes exercises, stretches, and mobility techniques that are tailored to your own needs. These measures are also helpful to keep you on track to achieving your goals.
It’s best to ask for help and understand what your current capacity is. Whether you are just getting started with exercise, or want to continue your exercise routine even if life and work become hectic, an Exercise Physiologist can prescribe the most appropriate and safe home-based exercise programs.
- Go online for exercise sessions
If life gets in the way and face-to-face sessions with your Exercise Physiologist are not always possible, what can you do?
You’ve probably heard the word Telehealth. So, what is it and how can it help you with keeping on track with your exercise routine?
Telehealth consultations are virtual appointments conducted either over the phone or via video. It allows you to interact with your Health Professional through platforms such as FaceTime, Zoom, WhatsApp, and Physitrack. Telehealth is very useful, especially in these situations:
- You need one-on-one sessions to help you keep on track with your health and
- You want to continue your Return to Work rehabilitation; or
- You require specific exercises for your prehabilitation to keep you going until
the sporting season commences.
If you have a chronic disease, illness, or injury, our Allied Health Experts in Elizabeth and our other locations can use MyHealthPal, our unique Telehealth platform. Our Exercise Physiologists can video call you and carry out your entire rehabilitation session whilst you are in the privacy of your own home. This service can be supported through NDIS and Medicare.
Our Allied Health Team has been using Telehealth services for several years now, racking up extensive experience in serving a diverse range of clients in a virtual setting – from training athletes in Thailand to providing post-surgery rehabilitation programs for patients on the US West Coast. Our team also uses a range of tools such as Physitrack for continuous support and monitoring of the plan in between your sessions.
How much exercise do you need?
The physical activity guidelines for Australian adults aged 18 to 64 call for 2.5 to
5 hours of moderate-intensity activity per week or 1.25 to 2.5 hours of vigorous-intensity activity weekly. For the same age group, strength training is recommended at least twice a week
For older adults aged 65 and above, the recommendation is at least 30 minutes of moderate-intensity activity preferably daily plus a range of activities and elderly exercise routines that incorporate cardiovascular fitness, strength, balance, and flexibility.
- Aerobic fitness — For aerobic exercise, there’s a wide variety of options to choose from – brisk walking, jogging, water aerobics, cycling, and even hiking on a trail. If you’re always pressed for time, you work around your busy schedule to incorporate exercise into your day. Here are some excellent examples to get more active at work: take your lunch out to the park and take a brisk walk to and from the office. Skip the lift and take the stairs to your floor. Park the car far from the office or shopping centre entrance so you can add more steps to your walking total for the day. Take a break from sitting at your desk every 30 minutes and move around the office.
At home, you can ditch binge-watching the TV, go outdoors, and play with the whole family instead. Get the kids involved in gardening. For errands, you can walk or ride a bike instead of driving to the supermarket. The possibilities are practically endless.
- Build your strength – For strength training, you can use body weight, free weights, machines, or resistance bands to build strength and endurance. Exercise resistance bands are convenient, allowing you to train using resistance even at home, with no fancy and expensive equipment to buy. Strive to work out all the major muscle groups during each session.
A good exercise band workout routine may include pectoral presses for the chest, lateral raises or presses for the shoulders, bent-over rows for the back, squats for the legs, and bicep curls and triceps extensions for the arms.
- Train for flexibility – Doing a stretching exercise routine for all the major muscle groups is highly recommended to maintain your mobility as well as prevent injuries. To get optimal results, experts advise spending at least 60 seconds for each stretching exercise and holding the stretch for at least 15-20 seconds. Alternatively, you can also get into yoga or Tai-chi as these practices incorporate stretching into their moves.
Start spending less time sitting and more time moving
If you’re ready to leave the comfort of your couch and start exercising, consulting an Exercise Physiologist is a step in the right direction. Our Allied Health Team in Clinic in Elizabeth and all our other locations are always ready to give you an assessment of your functional capacity, prescribe an appropriate exercise program to your health condition and goals, and keep track of your progress. Give our experts a call today at 1300 090 931 to jumpstart your journey toward better health and well-being.
Exercise is too important to relegate to the background when life becomes hectic. Adopt these strategies to incorporate physical activity into your busy day and enlist the help of your Exercise Physiologist. Your body will thank you for taking the extra step to make exercise, not an extracurricular activity but a healthy habit that is part of your life.