Australian guidelines (1) recommend at least 30 minutes of moderate activity (e.g. brisk walking) on 5 or more days per week for health benefits. Each session should be 10 minutes or more.
Weight control requires extra effort. To prevent weight gain, 60 minutes of moderate to vigorous exercise is needed on most days. To maintain your weight after previously losing weight, you need at least 60-90 minutes of moderate activity every day.
Walking is ideal for most people
Walking is free, enjoyable, healthy and carbon-neutral. Start slowly and reward yourself when you reach your goals. Finding a partner or pet to walk with can help.
Using a pedometer, gradually increase your number of steps by about 10% weekly until you reach your target. 10,000 steps is the usual daily goal for a healthy adult.
Visit 10,000 Steps (2), a helpful website funded by Queensland Health that supports and motivates you to walk. You can record and monitor your activity online using the ‘Step Log’.
Another way to keep motivated and to make new friends is to join a walking group, such as Heart Foundation
Walking, which operates across Australia Tel: 1300 36 27 87 (3 below).
If you have been inactive, are over 40 (men) or 50 (women) or have a health problem, consult your GP before you begin.
1. National Physical Activity Guidelines
2. 10,000 Steps website
3. National Heart Foundation walking groups.