What if I told you I had a pill that, if taken consistently every day, could greatly reduce your risk of contracting highly prevalent chronic illnesses and diseases that otherwise kill millions of people each year?
Additionally, this pill can cost you absolutely nothing and it WILL improve your physical health and wellbeing as much as it does mental health too. What if this pill was something you could easily carry with you wherever you go and can be whipped out in trying times to boost your mood and energy levels? To top it off, taken with friends and family this pill is often more beneficial and can lead to lifelong satisfaction of living.
It has been available for centuries, and until recently, had only ever trickled through on prescriptions from well-versed GPs and specialists. But today it is gathering heavy momentum, and huge numbers of people are opting for this treatment over others.
Heavily researched and backed by science
Okay, what is this wonder-medicine?
Movement! Simple as that; whether structured physical activity or incidental activity accrued in your daily living.
Can movement really have that much of an effect?
Short answer; YES! Physical inactivity can be deadly. According to the latest AIHW report, impact of physical inactivity as a risk factor for chronic disease: 2.6% of the total disease burden in Australia was due to physical inactivity. It is the second greatest contributor to the cancer burden in Australia, causing an estimated 21–25% of breast and colon cancers. Inactivity is also responsible for approximately 27% of diabetes and 30% of ischaemic heart disease burden.
The good news?
A small change can make a big difference! If we all did an extra 30 minutes of brisk walking 5 days a week, it could cut Australia’s disease burden due to insufficient physical activity by about 26%. Exercise assists with the prevention of risk factors for chronic disease, with 32% of Australia’s total disease burden attributed to modifiable risk factors. Physical activity also increases general well-being and can prevent or reduce the impact of mental health conditions.
So how can you start using this wonder-treatment to improve your health and wellbeing?
Here’s a checklist for moving more:
Accrue 150-300 minutes PER WEEK of moderately intense movement. Examples may include; a daily brisk walk, swimming, lawn mowing/gardening, cycling, playing with the kids/grandkids in a park.
Find the activity that you like to do – if you hate it, you won’t stick to it. Try different things until you find the movement that sticks!
Mix it up – as well as being consistent it can be exciting to try different styles of movement; try a social exercise class, ride instead of walk, take a dancing lesson.
Buddy up – being active with a friend or family member increases the likelihood that you’ll stick to it.
Above all else - make a PLAN, and just START SMALL. It is easier to take little steps forward than it is to take large striding jumps.
Yours may look different in certain aspects but the bottom line is, movement should be FUN and EGNAGING for you as an individual, and consistency is key.
The message is simple. Exercise is the best, cheapest, and most accessible medicine available. To improve chronic disease mortality rates, we all need to move more.
What are you waiting for? With this magic pill you too can enjoy a life of good health and wellbeing. Hop to it and do it!
Movement, that is.