Find your 30
The Australian Government’s new campaign, ‘Find your 30’ is all about getting Australians to commit to 30 minutes of activity per day. Australia has a reputation as a sporting nation, but these days the everyday Australian is more likely to be found sitting on the couch watching sport rather than participating in it. While we are often passionate supporters of our sporting team, we now need to put as much passion into participating in sport as we do into watching it. With obesity levels at all-time highs, Australians need to start moving as though our lives depend on it – because, when you think about it, they do.
The Find your 30 campaign is about finding ways that anyone – no matter how busy, tired, inactive or old you are – can work half an hour of physical activity into your day. You don’t have to join a gym, wear lycra or take up a contact sport – things like getting off the bus or train one stop early and walking to your destination, taking the stairs instead of the elevator, walking to talk to your colleagues rather than emailing them and getting your family out for a game of frisbee can all add up to create those vital 30 minutes of exercise a day that we all need.
Department of Health guidelines state that adults should accumulate two-and-a-half to five hours of moderate intensity physical activity, or one-and-a-quarter to two-and-a-half hours of vigorous activity each week. Children should participate in at least 60 minutes of moderate to vigorous intensity physical activity each day. While this might seem like a lot, there are a huge variety of ways you can accumulate the exercise you need. Here are a few:
Find your 30 at work:
- Park further away from work and walk.
- Get off the bus, train or tram one stop earlier and walk.
- Cycle or walk to work.
- Take the stairs not the elevator.
- Consider walking meetings.
- Stand up during phone calls.
- Get up and move around every hour.
- Only fill your water bottle a quarter full so you have to keep getting up to refill it. You’ll also need to make more trips to the toilet.
- Walk to a bathroom further away.
- Walk to talk to your colleagues, rather than calling or emailing them.
- Take a break from your screen at lunch and go for a brisk walk. Start a lunchtime walking group to make it social.
- Do some stretches or quick chair exercises while you sit in front of your screen.
- Try sitting on a swiss ball instead of a chair.
Find your 30 at home:
- Do some vigorous housework.
- Get into the garden.
- Wash your car yourself rather than taking it to the car wash.
- Have a games night rather than sitting in front of the TV. Choose active games like Twister, hide and seek or Wii tennis.
- Play with your kids in the backyard or a local park.
- Go for a family walk around the neighbourhood.
- Follow along on a fitness video on YouTube.
- Go for a bike ride with your kids.
- Do some exercises, such as push up or sit ups, during commercial breaks of your favourite TV show.
- Do squats or calf raises while standing at the stove cooking dinner or waiting for water to boil.
- Use a yoga app to do a few stretches and poses before bed time.
- Do a short burst of exercise as soon as you get out of bed in the morning (say 50 crunches, 40 squats and 30 push ups). It won’t take long, and if you do this every day you’ll see the results.
- Put on your favourite music and dance around the house.
Find your 30 in your community:
- When you take your kids to the local pool, hop in and swim a few laps yourself.
- Try your local Parkrun – you can run or walk at your own pace.
- Go bowling.
- Rather than catching up with friends over a coffee, catch up during a walk.
- Carry your groceries yourself rather than using a trolley (only if you don’t have a huge shopping list though).
- Try a sport or a class you’ve always wanted to try (maybe tennis or aerial yoga or aqua aerobics – whatever piques your interest). Talk a friend into coming along too.
- Hit the dance floor and dance the calories away.
- Waiting for a flight? Don’t just sit there, walk the terminal instead.
- Walk to the corner shop instead of driving to pick up that milk or bread.
There’s so many reasons to get moving, and finding your 30 minutes a day can lead to a happier and healthier lifestyle. Benefits include:
- Weight loss
- Improved heart and lung health
- Improved mental health
- Improved brain health
- Improved bone health
- Opportunities to meet new people
- Reducing your carbon footprint
- Improved self esteem
- Better energy levels
- Better sleep
- Lower blood pressure
- A more positive outlook
To keep healthy, we need to be active every day in as many ways as we can. Being active in small ways throughout the day can make a big difference to your health, happiness and wellbeing. And of course, if you have time for longer bursts of activity, then all the better. It will all add up a happier, healthier you – and who doesn’t have time for that?