Perhaps your GP has recommended you exercise more, or you’ve had a recent health scare. Maybe your family’s been nagging you to get off the couch or you’ve decided yourself that it’s time to lose some weight.
How do you find the motivation, time and resources to get fit, particularly if you haven’t exercised in a while? How do you choose the best type of exercise? And do you need a health check before you start?
Those of us with desk jobs can take heart. According to new research, exercising for just 30 minutes each day can mitigate many of the risks associated with sitting too much.
You have your runners on, your FitBit is charged, but now what?
When you exercise, your heart and breathing rates increase, delivering greater quantities of oxygen from the lungs to the blood, then to exercising muscles.
Determining an optimal heart rate for exercise depends on your exercise goal, age, and current fitness level.
Heart rate and exercise intensity share a direct, linear relationship: the more intense the exercise, the higher the heart rate.
When you exercise at the highest possible intensity, your heart will reach maximal heart rate (HRmax), the fastest rate it is capable of beating.
But exercising at a maximal heart rate (HRmax) for every exercise session will not produce efficient fitness results. These high intensities can rarely be sustained, negating the potential benefit of the exercise.
Have you recently carried heavy shopping bags up a few flights of stairs? Or run the last 100 metres to the station to catch your train? If you have, you may have unknowingly been doing a style of exercise called high-intensity incidental physical activity.
Our paper, published today in the British Journal of Sports Medicine, shows this type of regular, incidental activity that gets you huffing and puffing is likely to produce health benefits, even if you do it in 30-second bursts, spread over the day.
In fact, incorporating more high intensity activity into our daily routines – whether that’s by vacuuming the carpet with vigour or walking uphill to buy your lunch – could be the key to helping all of us get some high quality exercise each day. And that includes people who are overweight and unfit.
If you've been feeling a bit sweatier than usual lately, it's no wonder — Australia just copped its hottest month on record.
But perspiration does more than keep us cool. The watery stuff that oozes out of our skin can give us the lowdown on what's going on inside our body.
Most notably, sweat is used to test for cystic fibrosis, a genetic condition that thickens mucous in the lungs and digestive system.
The cystic fibrosis sweat test turns 60 next month. And the concept behind it has remained largely unchanged since.
So how can sweat diagnose cystic fibrosis — and what else can it be used for?
Corneel Vandelanotte, et al
Regular walking produces many health benefits, including reducing our risk of heart disease, type 2 diabetes and depression.
Best of all, it’s free, we can do it anywhere and, for most of us, it’s relatively easy to fit into our daily routines.
We often hear 10,000 as the golden number of steps to strive for in a day. But do we really need to take 10,000 steps a day?
Not necessarily. This figure was originally popularised as part of a marketing campaign, and has been subject to some criticism. But if it gets you walking more, it might be a good goal to work towards.
Many of us don’t get enough sleep and even fewer do enough exercise. So, do we hit the snooze button to get an extra hour of sleep or drag our sorry selves out of bed to squeeze in a workout before work?
The short answer is: it depends.