education,  Exercise,  Lifestyle

Exercise: do I really have to?

We’ve all heard that exercise is important but many of us don’t really understand how important it is & therefore don’t make time for it. If this is you, then stick around because I’m about to explain not only the ‘why’ but also provide you a link to better help you decide ‘what’.


What exactly is it?

Many people think that moving throughout their everyday lives counts as exercise & it does. The term for this is “incidental” & it includes house cleaning, walking from your car to the shop, taking the stairs & running after your kids.


Now, while incidental exercise is amazing & everyone should make a conscious effort to include more wherever they can. Most people are used to this sort of exercise & it won’t get their heart racing. This means they miss out on the many benefits of including moderate &/or vigorous intensity exercise.


The talk test

Low intensity = You can still easily hold a conversation. No sweating or puffing.

Moderate intensity = You can still hold a conversation but it’s not easy & may be in short sentences or one word only. You will also likely be sweating & puffing a bit.

Vigorous intensity = You can’t hold a conversation & will be sweating & puffing quite a bit.


How can exercise help me stay healthy?

There are a myriad of benefits that come with exercising regularly.


Weight control

Exercising is great for not only weight loss but weight maintenance as well.

Cardiovascular exercise is a great way of burning extra kJ/cal at a fast rate. Any cardio that lasts longer than about a minute starts to burn fat. It also increases your metabolism for a while once you stop as well making it great for weight loss.


I often get asked how to increase metabolism & my answer is pretty much the same every time. Exercise. Muscle is metabolically active. This means that muscle uses energy just existing. So when you increase you muscle mass your body uses more energy just existing, thereby increasing your metabolism. Voila! An increased metabolism not only makes it easier to lose body fat, but it also helps prevent putting it on.


Health Condition Prevention & Management

Exercise has also been found to help prevent & manage the following conditions

Stroke – Arthritis


Metabolic Disorder


Heart & Lung Disease

Type 2 Diabetes





Some cancers


Cardiovascular & Heart Disease

Hypertension (high blood pressure)


What else?

Regular exercise improves mental clarity, sleep & mood while reducing stress. It also increase the size of your hippocampus (your memory centre) which quite literally boosts your memory!

It also increases the number of connections in your brain which makes your brain less vulnerable to injury & disease.

Exercise: why is it good for you

Add to this the fact that it increases your energy levels, your endurance & strength, why wouldn’t you want to partake!!?


How much should you do?

According to the Australian Government Guidelines, adults should aim for at least 30 minutes of moderate exercise (remember the talk test) most days. This can be broken into 10-15min bouts throughout the day so if a full half an hour isn’t manageable, aim for 3 short bursts instead. Most people can find a few 10 minute breaks throughout their day so there’s no excuse!

In total, this equates to just 1.5-2.5 hours of moderate exercise, or 1.25 – 3 hours vigorous exercise per week. It really doesn’t sound like much when you add it together like that.

It is also recommended that people try to include at least 2 days of some sort of strength/resistance training through the week as well. This help increase your muscle mass, improves balance & keeps your bones healthy & strong.


But I hate going to the gym!

Exercise just means anything to get your heart going. There are so many options if the gym isn’t for you.

Gardening, dance, running, walking, doing DVDs or Youtube videos, yoga, challenges or apps are all great ways to incorporate exercise into your day. The important thing is to pick something you enjoy doing. If you don’t enjoy it, you won’t keep it up so don’t force yourself to do something you don’t like. Find something you do & go for it.


Exercise can be social too, find yourself a friend & do it together. It helps keep you accountable (because you don’t want to let them down), & it makes it more fun!


Struggling to think of something, follow this link for some great ideas.


So what do you think?

Did you find this post helpful?

Is there anything you’d like to ask or add?

Leave me a comment or send me an email, I’d love to hear from you.

If you’d be interested in a course talking more about exercise you can express your interest using the contact form below.

I’d also love to know what you’d like to see in future posts. If you’d like me to write about something in particular leave a comment below.

Thanks so much for joining me here at Flexibly Nourished.

Happy reading!

Kathryn Carter

I’m Kath, qualified nutritionist & personal trainer. I believe a personalised, flexibile approach to gaining physical & mental well-being is necessary for achieving sustainable lifestyle changes that support both these aspects of health. In the near future I will be offering a range of nutrition & lifestyle education services designed to gain the life my clients want in a way that works for them.

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