Exercise for the right reasons

Exercise can often be viewed as a chore or punishment, designed to be a weight loss tool or a way to create the ‘ideal’ body. This attitude can create a negative relationship between people and movement; exercise is not a chore or a punishment for “eating that chocolate”.
We must think of exercise and movement as a celebration to show us what our bodies are capable of!
Movement is fundamental to a healthy life, and here is why.
Firstly, there’s physical benefits that go deeper than weight loss and muscle building, including improved heart and lung fitness which helps to reduce risk of and improve management of chronic health conditions. Regular exercise and movement can improve the outcomes and adverse effects of long term conditions such as diabetes and heart disease.
Regular exercise will improve sleep quality, allowing you to increase productivity and overall quality of life. It also helps improve mineral bone density, reducing the risk of fractures and falls.
Did you know there are a range of mental health benefits to being active that are often overlooked? Regular exercise has been proven to decrease symptoms of depression and anxiety through the release of happy hormones that occur naturally through activity.
It has also been shown that an active lifestyle promotes improved memory. People who exercise regularly also have significantly reduced levels of stress, so exercise is a great way to clear your head.
Along with benefits to mental and physical health, an active lifestyle has a range of social health benefits. Team sports provide social health benefits, they allow people to reconnect with friends over a shared interest as well as promoting general social and team building skills.
Playing on a team or even going for a walk can help to meet new people, boost motivation and build community engagement. Because when you’re outside exercising or a part of a team, you’re actively participating in your community.
You may be wondering what a healthy amount of regular exercise is? Well the answer isn’t nearly as scary as you might think. It is recommended to aim for 30 minutes of moderate intensity physical activity per day.
There are so many incredible physical, mental and social health benefits of movement, so get out there, get involved and live your best life.
We offer NDIS Allied Health services including Dietitians, Exercise Physiologists, Occupational Therapists and Social Workers.
If you need help getting your exercise ‘right’, contact Hunter Primary Care on (02) 4925 2259 or email ndis@hunterprimarycare.com.au.
Written by Georgia Amess, Exercise Physiologist.