World Health Day is celebrated on 7 April each year and marks the anniversary of the founding of the World Health Organisation (WHO). The day raises awareness of health issues and concerns around the world and provides an opportunity for people to get involved in activities that can lead to better health.
According to WHO, one in three adults is not doing enough physical activity to maintain good health and it's estimated that 3 million people die every year because they're not active enough. With the knowledge we have today, we know that regular physical activity helps to reduce the risk of heart disease, diabetes, depression, breast and colon cancers. What we might not know is that adults need to do at least 150 minutes per week of physical activity of moderate intensity such as walking, cycling, household chores or doing sport.
I'm sure many readers will easily achieve 150 minutes per week doing household chores but why not get out of the house and find some fun activities that don't require a broom or feather duster and will give you not only a hygienic home but, more importantly, a happy heart.
Here are ten top "get physical" ideas to help reach that golden goal and have some fun while doing it.
1. Run for your Life. Running is a great activity and you don't need to be Usain Bolt or Forrest Gump to do it. Far from being a lonely activity, running can be very sociable. Find some inspiration in this article.
2. Walk the walk. A desk worker walks an average of 1,000 to 3,000 steps a day whereas guidelines suggest that we should be walking at least 10,000. It only takes a few changes to achieve this goal. Use the stairs instead of the elevator. Walk to the store. Get up from the sofa to change channels. Plan a walking meeting. When you have the chance, get out and enjoy the beautiful walks we have on our doorstep.
3. Bend and stretch. If you're bent over backwards and stretched for time, Yoga can be an efficient way to get those activity (and energy) levels up. This review will give you an idea of what's available where.
4. In a spin. Cycling is a great activity to build into your day, whether for leisure or commuting. Not only is it good for you, it's good for the environment. Sydney is spoilt with some great bike tracks, some of which are reviewed here.
5. Don't miss the boat. Kayaking and rowing are fun and energetic activities and what better place to enjoy them than the wonderful waterways of Sydney. There are a number of kayak hire centres and rowing clubs around Sydney Harbour, a popular spot being The Spit from where you can access Sydney Harbour, Manly and Middle Harbour. Take a look at kayaking options and rowing activities here.
6. Climbing the walls. If you're not getting out and about, chances are you'll be suffering from boredom and lethargy. Instead of climbing the walls, use those climbing skills at Peak Pursuits Indoor Recreational Sports Centre and view the world from dizzying heights.
7. Dance to a different tune. Do you watch Dancing with the Stars, lust over the lycra and sequinned dresses and find yourself shimmying during the commercial breaks? Dancing is a fantastic form of exercise with aerobic, core strength and other physical and mental health benefits. Why not try some dance classes and release the inner Flashdance that's hiding under those flash pants.
8. Lap it up. There's no excuse really. We live on an island and we know that Sydney has some of the best pools for swimming your weighty worries away.
9. Teaming with people. If you're looking for something that combines activity and exercise with socialising, think about participating in team sports. There's plenty to choose from – netball, soccer, tennis, touch football, hockey, volleyball, water polo... and the list goes on. If you're stuck for ideas, get some inspiration here.
10. The weighting room. You can't have a top ten "get physical" list without the gym. The beauty of a gym is that it provides easy access to equipment, exercise classes and personal trainers which enables a broader range of exercises and training. Training at a gym also offers benefits such as scheduled exercise classes and instructors in close proximity which can help establish a routine. Also, exercising alongside other people is a real motivator in meeting fitness goals. Take a look at some of the best gyms in the Sydney area.
Physical activity is something we need to find time for each day. Not only will it build your body and harvest good health, it will motivate your mind.
Get started now and enjoy a happy World Health Day!