Organised October Week 3: Exercise

Exercise is such a widely used term covering so many different types of movements, activities and sports. However one this is the same across all branches of exercise and that is all exercise is movement and movement is good regardless of the level or intensity. 

Exercise does not just have to be done at the gym, it can be as simple as going outside for a walk, doing body weight exercises at home, playing a friendly game of football or even just throwing a frisbee in the park. Whatever the type of exercise or activity you prefer it is all good and is always better than sitting on the couch. Yes there are different levels of intensity and some are more beneficial than others when working towards specific goals, but we will get to that later. 

Why Exercise is Important

Exercise is important for a number of reasons, a big and main reason is to improve health, quality of life and reduce risk of developing different diseases such as type 2 diabetes, cardiovascular disease, cancer and more. Other health befits related to physical exercise is better weight management, lower cholesterol levels, increased bone density, strengthens and builds muscles, lower blood pressure and lastly make you feel better overall, improving energy levels, mood and sleep, which is what we will be focusing on. 

This month we have been focusing on building the perfect routine to help you stay organised while striving to achieve your goals. A big part of staying organised and on track is maintaining focus. Things that effect focus are sleep patters, energy levels and mood which can all be improved through exercise.

Incorporating 30 minutes of physical activity into your day will:

  • improve energy levels
  • improve sleep quality
  • stabilise your mood which in turn will improve your focus and ability to excel at the work your doing.

As mentioned, physical activity can stabilise your mood, it does this by helping a person attain a healthier state of mind. Studies have shown that physical exercise helps with depression, showing improvements in overall mode and a reduction in negative thoughts. Exercise can be used as a way to distract you from daily worries and can be used as a healthy way to work through thoughts and emotions. There is also a chemical side to how exercise effects moods as physical activity increases levels of serotonin and endorphins and decreases levels of stress hormones. 

Knowing about all the benefits is one thing, but working out have to achieve them is another thing. 

According to the Australian department of health, physical activity and exercise guidelines for adults 18yrs-64yrs recommend to be active everyday including in each week a combination of moderate and vigorous activities.

Aiming for 2.5-5 hours of moderate intensity activity such as:

  • A fast walk
  • Golf
  • Swimming
  • Something as simple as mowing the lawn

And 1.2-3.5 hours of vigorous intensity exercise such as:

  • Jogging
  • Cycling
  • Soccer
  • Netball

It is also recommended to include muscle strengthening activities as part of either a daily routine or at a minimum 2 days a week. This can be as simple as:

  • Push ups
  • Squats
  • Lunges
  • Weight lifting
  • Sit ups
  • Daily house hold tasks involving lifting, carrying or digging. 

 

Working exercise into your daily routine is not an impossible task and it doesn't need to take up a lot of time. Starting small and just changing minor things in your day can make a big difference. For example instead of driving to work you could walk or ride a bike. If you live too far away to walk or ride and catch public transport, try getting off a stop earlier to increase the distance you need to walk or if you drive park in a different car park further away. There are many ways to incorporate some exercise into your day without disrupting your current routine. 

If you work at an office job and spend most of the day sitting, it is even more important to incorporate a little bit extra. Desk jobs are only increase in this current day due to the increasing demand of modern technology. Sitting down 5 days a week for the better part of a year, year after year can affect you in a number of ways. Sitting for long periods of time affects posture, mental health, stress levels and can lead to health issues such as obesity, type 2 diabetes, cardiovascular disease and much more.

By decreasing the amount of time you sit it can increase the health benefits, helping you to combat these health issues, maintain a better posture and stay focused for longer helping to improve your productivity levels while working. Standing desks are a great way to get you up out of the chair and have shown to lower the risk of weight gain and as a result other related chronic diseases, reduce back pain, improve energy levels and improve productivity.

If a standing desk is not an option for you right now then schedule yourself a few minutes every hour to stand up and do a movement whether it’s a walk to the bathroom a quick stretch or just a subtle quick exercise to get the joints moving and increase blood flow. Increasing blood flow periodically throughout the day keeps you feeling energized and can help clear the mind, useful when you have been staring at a computer screen for hours and feel like your brain has given up on you.

At Desk Exercises

Next time your at work try fitting in these exercises while your sat at your desk.

Tricep Dips

 

Lunges

 

 

Desk Squats

Side Lunge

Calf Raises

Push Ups

At Desk Stretches

Stretching is important to help prevent muscles from becoming tight and can also stimulate blood flow which will help improve concentration.

Neck rolls

 Chest – hands being your back, pull back and down while looking up 

Triceps stretch

Shoulders – reach up high

Touch your toes – hamstrings

Shoulder Stretch
Upper back – hands together and reach forward
 

Wrist and fingers – front and back

Gluteal Stretch

 

    Vigorous exercise can be a bit harder to work into a daily routine, however finding something you enjoy is a great way to start. When you find something you enjoy it doesn't feel like a chore and sometime it doesn't even feel like exercise. Finding something to suit your lifestyle which you enjoy is also important for maintain the behaviour. To often hard exercise is associated with the pain and being sore for days, and yes this will happen at the beginning and it takes perseverance and consistency to get past this point, but it does get better once your body adapts.

    Doing physical activity in a social setting can help keep people motivated and wanting to continue. Joining a sports team to play a game once a week or go to the gym with a friend or seeing a personal trainer or attending a bootcamp once a week are all great ways to incorporate vigorous exercise in a social setting. When there are other people involved it creates a sense of accountability. Accountability is a great way to keep a person committed and help them to develop a habit. 

    What ever they way you choose to incorporate different types of exercises into your routine, remember that something is better than nothing. Find something that you can enjoy and committing to it will be easier and wanting to improve and grow will natural occur as a result. 

    - Alyssa Michel - 

    Leave a comment

    Please note, comments must be approved before they are published