Training | POSTED August 30, 2023

Our Top 3 Tips to Increase Your Physical Activity

Most people do not meet the current weekly physical activity guidelines outlined by the World Health Organisation (WHO). The WHO encourages adults to engage in muscle strengthening activities that involve all major muscle groups on 2 or more days per week, and at least 150-300 minutes of moderate to intensity aerobic physical activity accumulated throughout the week. For many people, these recommendations can seem quite daunting, and it can be challenging to know where to start. What do we recommend? Our top 3 tips to increase your physical activity include:

  1. Participate in healthy hobbies
  2. Engage in exercise classes that you enjoy
  3. Join a team sport

Healthy Hobbies

Turn healthy into a hobby. One way to boost physical activity levels is to find hobbies that do it for you. Gardening, for example, is a great way to help your body get into positions that you’re probably not going to find yourself in throughout your day to day. Gardening acts as a fairly low intensity movement with little to no weight bearing activities involved. You’ll often find yourself kneeling and standing and getting your joints and legs to do a fair bit of work. Even better, there is a lot of bending over involved. This introduces low grade movement into our back and exposes us to varying degrees of motion. Add some pots of soil in there and you can start introducing some weight bearing activities into the (potting) mix.

Another great example is picking up a social activity like dancing. Dancing has the added bonus of being social that gets us moving in a more dynamic, aerobically demanding way. The cool thing is that you can vary the intensity by choosing different styles of dance. Salsa, country swing, and hip hop are some examples that will get the heart pumping!

Gardening

Keep it Classy

It can be easy to supplement a solid training program with some fun and enjoyable exercise classes. Classes such as yoga or pilates are great ways to get your body moving in ways that you’re not used to, but not only that, they are easily accessible to anyone. These classes can be physically challenging as they not only push you to move in new ways, but they also require a different level of focus to strength training. Many of our clients engage in exercise classes to complement their personal training sessions at Ivy Training. It’s no secret that we focus on strength training in our sessions, however we always encourage individuals find other physical activities they enjoy which can supplement their training.

Exercise Classes

Release Your Inner Athlete

When was the last time you participated in a team sport? A lot of you will likely murmur back in high school. Joining a local sporting club is another great way to get you moving in a social and interactive setting. Sports teams and clubs often have different grades, so don’t be afraid to enquire if you feel like your dribbling skills aren’t up to speed! Different sports also utilise varying levels of intensity, movement patterns and energy systems. Some activities are more fast paced and explosive and require rapid directional changes such as soccer, AFL or basketball. Whatever sport you choose, make sure that it fits with your lifestyle and that you enjoy the challenge. The Matildas definitely make it look like a lot of fun!

Matildas Soccer Team

Conclusion

Whether you are a highly active individual, or lead a fairly sedentary lifestyle, exposing yourself to activities that get you moving in ranges and in ways that we are not used to is highly beneficial. Think about a squat – the more we do it, the better we get at it and the stronger the movement becomes. The same can be said for any movement in any range. In fact, going against the norm and exposing yourself to unfamiliar movements not only has physical benefits, but can be highly motivating and mentally stimulating.

If you’re not already, one of the best things that you can do for your health is to jump under a barbell and lift some weights. That being said, we also like to encourage exposure to other forms of movement and exercise by trying out different forms of exercise. Keeping yourself active outside of regular weights training is really important as it not only helps to meet the recommended weekly activity guidelines, but also gives you exposure to new and different things. Engaging in physically demanding activities trains different energy systems and gets you moving in different ways that can translate to more effective strength training sessions in the gym. So, what are you waiting for? Start a new hobby, enrol in an exercise class, or join your local sporting club!

References

  1. World Health Organisation: Physical Activity