Being active is one of the key 5 Ways To Wellbeing. Being active can increase your psychological wellbeing by keeping your mind and body engaged. There are plenty of fun ways to keep active, such as going for a walk or run, playing sport, dancing, riding a bike or even gardening! Doing something every day will make you feel good and clear your mind!
Being active is important for good health at all ages and life stages to help keep your mind and body working well.
Being active isn’t hard or costly and can be very enjoyable.
Being active can increase your good moods, keep you at a healthier weight, increase your muscle mass, increase your brain cells, improve your looks and prevent or delay the onset of many illnesses.
Why Be Active
We think that the mind and body are separate but what you do with your body can have a powerful effect on your mental wellbeing. Evidence shows regular physical activity can:
Cause chemical changes in the brain that positively impact our mood.
Help prevent and reduce symptoms of depression, anxiety and stress.
Help add more years to your lifespan.
Help achieve and maintain a healthy weight and blood pressure.
Reduce rates of obesity, cardiovascular disease and decrease the risk of getting some cancers.
Strengthen your heart, lungs, bones and muscles for increased energy and strength.
Help improve your quality of sleep, add brain cells and build new connections between those cells throughout your life.
Increase blood flow and oxygenate the brain.
How to get started
Being active doesn’t mean you need to spend hours in the gym; find physical activities that you enjoy and think about how you can do them every day. Minimise the time spent sitting or lying down each day to increase your health and wellbeing. Stay safe and prevent injury during exercise by following some sensible tips.
Start Simple Increase your activity levels gradually. Begin with simple activities, such as walking, gardening or doing small household tasks. Take a short 10-minute walk around the block when you wake up in the morning, at lunchtime, and when you return from work.
Do what is enjoyable Do activities you enjoy with family and friends. You can also use the links below to find options and group activities in your local area. Over time, these activities will become easier, more interesting, relaxing, and satisfying.
Make a plan and stick to it Work out a regular routine for being active. Don’t forget that every step counts and it is even better when stairs are involved!
How to be more active
Read about Australian physical activity guidelines.
Adults aged 19 and over should do at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity aerobic activity – such as fast walking or cycling – a week.
Go for a walk or run.
Ride a bike.
Play a game.
Get off the tram a couple of stops early.
Take the stairs instead of the lift.
Move around the office every hour – try talking to a colleague at their desk rather than emailing or phoning.
Yard work: mowing the lawn, raking leaves, or just picking up the twigs that have fallen in the yard.
Walk the dog! Taking Fido for a walk is beneficial not just for you, but for your pet too!
Swim: visit your local public swimming pool or Council Leisure Centre.
Sign up for a yoga class at the local gym, find one in the newspaper or Neighbourhood House.
Tai chi. An ancient form of graceful gentle movement and stretching.
How to be active at work
Go for a brisk walk around the block for ten minutes during your break.
Take the stairs instead of the lift where possible.
Move around the office every hour.
See if your workmates would be interested in doing some exercise together; this could be a walk, run, kick about, or even a yoga class.
Try to stand up and walk around throughout the day as much as possible. This could mean walking to someone’s desk to talk to them, standing up when you’re on the phone, or suggesting a walking meeting.
“Our staff group walk every Tuesday in the park and it clears our mind and energizes us for the afternoon”
“My son started getting into scootering so I was at the skate park most weekends. I used to skateboard a bit when I was in my teens and I am now in my 30s. I noticed one of the other dads who didn’t look much younger than me [do it], so I thought why not? After a few falls and a bump or two…I am up and skateboarding again. It is awesome to know that I can still do it and my son loves the fact that we do an activity together.”
“I was feeling tired most of time and wasn’t getting anywhere need the recommended exercise they talk about. I am so busy with work, the kids and keeping up with their schedule there is little time for me. So I started taking the stairs rather than the lift at work. I know I get at least 15 minutes of exercise a day and I feel like my mind is less foggy. It is amazing how little it takes to feel better.”