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Movement and being active

Being active every day is really important for leading happy and healthy lives. There are many ways we can incorporate physical activity throughout our day. You can do this on your own or with family and friends.

What is physical activity?

Any bodily movement that requires more energy than if you were resting. Physical activity can mean different things to different people and can be done in many different places.

You can be active

  • at home, school or work
  • in the community
  • as part of travel, active play or sport
  • during leisure time.

Why is it important to stay active?

Being active every day means that you:

  • are more likely to feel happier and have a positive outlook, doing some physical activity can be an instant mood booster
  • are less likely to develop serious health issues such as heart disease, stroke, diabetes or cancer
  • are more likely to maintain a healthy weight
  • are more likely to sleep better
  • can boost your immune system and are more likely to have improved bone health.

How much physical activity should I do?

The Department of Health Physical Activity and Sedentary Behaviour Guidelines and the 24-Hour Movement Guidelines provide recommendations as to how much physical activity we should be doing every day, regardless of how old you are - early years, children and young people (5 to 17 years), adults (18 to 64 years) and older Australians.

What if I find it difficult to be active every day?

There are a number of things that might help motivate you to be physically active every day.

  • Plan for the next day — what you will do and when you will do it, make it part of your routine.
  • Set yourself personal goals that you want to achieve over a certain period of time, for example “I want to be able to do 5 push-ups on my knees within 5 weeks.”
  • Stick with things you enjoy doing so being active is something you look forward to— be creative, a dance party in the lounge room totally counts.
  • Organise with friends or family to do your physical activity together.

Remember:

  • Spread your physical activity out across the day, it doesn’t all have to be done in one big chunk.
  • Any physical activity is better than nothing at all, so do what you can and aim to do more when you are ready.

Listing

  • Movement for little ones

    Find out how much physical activity little ones needs, videos to engage with your little one and guidance on sitting and screentime duration.
  • Physical activity for kids and teens

    Discover how much physical activity kids and teens need to be healthy. Be inspired with some ideas for getting active and some videos for free physical activity.
  • Physical activity for adults

    Discover how much physical activity an adult needs, what exercises strengthen muscles and bones, view some free yoga videos and learn more about healthy amounts of screentime.
  • Physical activity for older Australians

    Discover how much physical activity is recommended for older adults and view free Strength for Life videos
  • Tips for being active

    Doing any physical activity is better than doing none. If you currently do no physical activity, start with a 10 minute walk, and gradually build up to the recommended amount. Discover some tips to get moving.

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