Exercise and boundless movement. We had it, we may have lost it, but now we need it more than ever before.
The boundless energy of my children never ceases to amaze me. It’s like watching 3 energiser bunnies going full steam ahead for about 14 hours a day. And then some…Full on and no in between.
As an adult, I’m exhausted just watching them. I hear stories from friends who have teenagers who say their kids sleep the day away and bemoan the fact that they have trouble waking their children before midday.
Going from child to teenager means that a lot of our youth (not all) seem to lose some of their enthusiasm for physical activity. Their energy levels significantly decrease and they are no-where near as active as they had been years earlier.
So what happens? Why the sudden change? I don’t have the answer to that question but I’d like to know why. Sure hormones, other interests and a whole lot of pressures associated with being a teenager come into play, but does that really impact such a significant change?
And as an adult with all the time pressures and life pressures we are presented with, how do we come around to find the time to exercise, when in many instances we want to be our teenage self again and just pull up the covers and go back to sleep. Mooching around the house never sounded so good yet for most of us it isn’t an option. Exercising as an adult for many of us is mandatory, not obligatory. It’s not so much anymore about ‘looking good’ it's about feeling good and it’s about one word: ‘health’.
I’d suggest that I am a somewhat active adult. I’d do at least 30 minutes of exercise 3-5 times a week and consider that pretty good with everything else I have to juggle.
Yet a recent article talking about the minimum amount of exercise you need to stay healthy made me question if I am doing enough. According to Australia’s national exercise guidelines, we should be doing 150 to 300 minutes of ‘moderate intensity’ physical activity or 75 to l50 minutes of ‘vigorous intensity’ physical activity each week. Basically (according to this article) we need to be doing a minimum of two and a half hours of moderate activity or 1 and half hours of high-intensity activity per week. That means my 30 mins 5 times a week (if I can do that) is just cutting it. Added to this, according to the guidelines, we should be doing muscle-strengthening activities at least 2 times a week.
The article does suggest some good news in that a lot of our physical activity can be incorporated into our daily routine. A brisk walk, a bike ride or just constant movement all help. The key, this article would suggest to keeping healthy is to just move. Get up off the couch and have a go. ‘Move more’ is what we are being told to do. So this year as part of my New Year’s Resolution I am going to try to do just that - I’m just wondering if lifting the glass of pinot a few times a week counts as muscle strengthening exercise?
Read ABC Life's Article: What's the minimum amount of exercise you need to stay healthy?