Health Blog

The importance of health for women

The importance of health for women

I was asked yesterday by SBS news to comment on a press release by Health and Sports Minister Sussan Ley which was encouraging working Australian women to exercise more.

Currently, only four in ten women in Australia exercise for at least the recommended 150 minutes a week, be that by walking or some other mode of moderate vigorous activity. As we age, our level of activity decreases from one half of women aged 18-25 meeting those goals, to only one in four aged in their mid-70s.

The benefits of exercise for women include: reduced dementia risk, reduced osteoporosis, optimised muscle mass which aids sugar metabolism thus avoiding diabetes and also keeping lean. There is also positive data on exercise reducing certain forms of cancer (lung, colon and breast cancer – the latter in particular), reducing stroke severity and improving digestion. Exercise is fantastic at reducing stress, depression and anxiety and boosting mental performance and work productivity. Finally there is some data stating that it can also improve libido hence help in relationships – if applicable.

Women above the age of 50 among other risk factors have an increased risk of stroke and hypertension compared to men. It is important for women to hit that age bracket with fantastic blood pressure, weight, lipids and blood sugar level – all addressed with exercise.

At the end of the day, it’s important to remember that biologically we are mammals and that to optimise our physical functioning we do need to move a lot, and eat a diet that is replete with plant foods, in the right amount and the right combination.

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#health #fitness #stressmanagement #exercise

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Flexibility – The Importance of Stretching

The Importance of Stretching

Are you primarily sedentary, middle-aged or elderly?

If so, you could be affected by the range of motion of your joints. Simple tasks such as bending down or reaching overhead may be difficult for you, and little do you know that your risk of injury is increased.

Now, most individuals know the importance of stretching and its role in an overall exercise program, yet do not implement it themselves. The last thing you want to be worrying about as you age is how you are going to perform your activities of daily living effectively.

  • If you cannot bend your knees or even raise your arm above your head, how are you going to live?
  • Would you rather be independent or have some of the simple tasks in life done for you?

As with most things, flexibility declines with age.

It appears that flexibility declines 20% to 30% between the ages of 30 and 70 years. If you find that you are having trouble touching your toes now, or find it impossible to look over your shoulder, imagine how these concerns will develop over time unless they are addressed.

In essence, flexibility can determine an individual’s quality of life.

Flexibility can help a person meet the functional demands of life as well as enhance their participation in leisure activities or sports such as golf. Not only can stretching help you achieve full range of motion in your thoracic region and shoulders, but studies have shown that muscular strength and power can be increased. This would enable you to drive that ball longer and get that handicap down to a level which you are satisfied with.

Excuses…

A number of excuses are made to explain why stretching is not performed throughout the week.

Time is the main barrier.

To put it into perspective, emerging evidence shows that a daily stretching dose of 180 seconds each day is all that is required to improve a specific joint range of motion. 180 seconds or 3 minutes – however you want to interpret it, that’s all it takes.

I’m sure everyone can find a spare 3 minutes in their day to incorporate a few stretches. Stretching is easy to perform and can be completed whilst performing other tasks such as reading or talking on the phone with a client.

After all, would you rather spend 3 minutes each day stretching in order to maintain/improve your overall flexibility OR spend the rest of your life struggling with simple tasks?

Blog post written by

Nicholas Rodionoff
Exercise Physiologist, Executive Medicine

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150 minutes of exercise is all it takes

Exercise ought to be an essential part of your routine.

Performing an accumulated 150 minutes of exercise throughout the week can improve;

  • Blood sugar levels
  • Body composition
  • Cardiorespiratory fitness
  • Muscular strength and function
  • Stress levels

Travel and Exercise

During my time at Executive Medicine I have had many successful individuals outline their exercise routines with me.

When it comes to exercise and travel, many of those individuals expressed similar views on how to balance the two:

  1. You have to make the time for exercise, whether that be fitting it in before or after meetings and/or other work commitments.
  2. Exercise gear does not take up a lot of space in your luggage. Simply pack a pair of runners and a theraband. This way you can easily perform exercise without the need for a gym. They will also serve as a reminder.
    • Therabands are an inexpensive exercise training tool, which allow an individual to perform a variety of exercises with resistance. They come in varying intensities and can be purchased at most gym and sporting retail outlets (example: Rebel Sport).
  3. If you prefer a gym style workout, organise accommodation requirements in advance to ensure the hotel includes a gym facility suitable to your preferences such as a weight room, pool or access to aerobic equipment.

If you still find that you do not have enough time to perform a workout, the New York Times has compiled a very easy whole body workout that can be performed anywhere and completed in 7 minutes.

Exercise Workout in 7 minutes

So the next time you travel, consider these suggestions to give yourself the best possible chance of maintaining a successful exercise routine.

New York Times 7-Minute Workout

Blog post written by

Nicholas Rodionoff
Exercise Physiologist, Executive Medicine

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