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Weight Management - Physical Activity

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Weight Management - Physical Activity
Summary
  • Regular Physical Activity reduces the risk of developing coronary heart disease, Type II diabetes, hypertension and obesity.
  • Participating in more vigorous exercise will result in greater health and fitness benefits.
  • Ask your medical practitioner before undertaking any exercise regime.
Description

Regular Physical Activity reduces the risk of developing coronary heart disease, Type II diabetes, hypertension and obesity. It can also help with treatment where these conditions already exist. Regular Physical Activity can improve metabolic control in diabetes, reduce blood pressure in hypertension, reduce triglyceride (fat) levels and increase HDL-cholesterol levels (the "good" type of cholesterol in the body).1

Physical Activity increases energy expenditure (the burning of calories), raises the resting metabolic rate (the rate at which you burn calories while resting) and protects against excessive loss of fat-free mass (muscle, water, bone and other tissues in the body that are fat-free).2


EXERCISING FOR HEALTH
It is important to incorporate regular Physical Activity into your life. Try to see all forms of Physical Activity as an opportunity to improve health. Moderate-intensity activity (activity that causes a slight, but noticeable increase in breathing and heart rate) is beneficial for our health. Try to undertake a total of 30 minutes of Physical Activity every day. This can be a continuous period of Physical Activity lasting for 30 minutes or a combination of activities lasting at least 10 minutes each e.g. 3 x 10 minutes. Moderate-intensity activities include brisk walking, mowing the lawn, digging in the garden, medium-paced swimming or cycling or active play with children.3


WAYS TO INCORPORATE PHYSICAL ACTIVITY INTO YOUR LIFE

  • If you live close to work, walk or cycle or instead of driving your car to work.
  • Get off the bus or train a stop earlier and undertake the rest of the trip on foot or park your car further away from work.
  • Walk up and down stairs instead of using the lift or escalator.
  • Get a group of work colleagues together and walk during your lunchtime.
 

EXERCISING FOR FITNESS
Participating in more vigorous exercise will result in greater health and fitness benefits. Vigorous exercise (exercise that makes you 'huff and puff', which makes it difficult to talk in full sentences between breaths) should be undertaken 3-4 days a week for 30 or more minutes each time. Vigorous exercise includes sports like football, squash, netball and basketball and aerobics, circuit training, speed walking, jogging, fast cycling or brisk rowing.4
See your Doctor before commencing a programme of vigorous Physical Activity. This is especially important for people who have been inactive, those who have heart disease or a history of heart disease in the family or those with other medical conditions.5
It is important to warm up/cool down and stretch before and after exercising. See the Warm Up and Cool Down topic on the Healthpoint for further information.

  • Management

    Lifestyle

    Diet Hints
    • Eat a variety of nutritious foods including wholegrain breads and cereals, vegetables and legumes and fruits.6 7
    • The diet should be low in fat (particularly saturated fat), sugar and salt.8
    • Limit alcohol intake.9 10  

    See the Weight Management Diet topic on the Healthpoint.

  • Pharmacist's Advice

    Ask your Pharmacist for advice.

    1. Ask your medical practitioner before undertaking any exercise regime.
    2. Follow the Weight Management Diet on the Healthpoint.
    3. Warm up/cool down and stretch before and after exercising. See the Warm Up and Cool Down topic on the Healthpoint for more information.
    4. Keep up the fluid intake. Your Pharmacist may suggest some special high energy drinks.
  • Notes

    References

    1. National Health and Medical Research Council. Dietary Guidelines for Australians. Commonwealth of Australia; 1992.
    2. National Health and Medical Research Council. Acting on Australia's weight: A strategic plan for the prevention of overweight and obesity. Summary Report. Part 2. Background Papers. Chapter 5. The role of physical activity in overweight and obesity. Commonwealth of Australia. 1997. 
    3. Commonwealth Department of Health and Aged Care. National Physical Activity Guidelines for Australians. Brochure;1999.
    4. Commonwealth Department of Health and Aged Care. National Physical Activity Guidelines for Australians. Brochure;1999.
    5. Commonwealth Department of Health and Aged Care. National Physical Activity Guidelines for Australians. Brochure;1999.
    6. NHMRC. Dietary Guidelines for Australians. [cited 2001 Sept 6]. Available from: URL: http://www.health.gov.au/nhmrc/publications/pdf/n4.pdf.
    7. Therapeutic Guidelines. Cardiovascular. 3rd ed. Victoria (Aust): Therapeutic Guidelines Ltd; 1999.
    8. NHMRC. Dietary Guidelines for Australians. [cited 2001 Sept 6]. Available from: URL: http://www.health.gov.au/nhmrc/publications/pdf/n4.pdf.
    9. NHMRC. Dietary Guidelines for Australians. [cited 2001 Sept 6]. Available from: URL: http://www.health.gov.au/nhmrc/publications/pdf/n4.pdf.
    10. Therapeutic Guidelines. Cardiovascular. 3rd ed. Victoria (Aust): Therapeutic Guidelines Ltd; 1999.
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