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August 21, 2017 | by  | in Mauri Ora | [ssba]

Mauri Ora

One way we can protect and enhance our health is through regular physical activity.

Not only can regular physical activity make you feel better and reduce your stress levels, it will also:

  • Increase your strength, movement, balance, and flexibility
  • Help to your control blood pressure and blood sugar
  • Help to build healthy bones, muscles, and joints
  • Help your heart and lungs work better
  • Improve your self-esteem
  • Boost your energy during the day and help you sleep better at night
  • Help you to manage your body weight

The Ministry of Health recommends that adults move more and break up long periods of sitting or studying with physical activity. At least 30 minutes five times a week or 1.25 hours of vigorous physical activity spread throughout the week will provide positive health benefits. For extra health benefits, aim for five hours of moderate or two and a half hours of vigorous physical activity spread throughout the week.

Four types of activity are recommended. Aerobic exercise improves the oxygen capacity of the lungs and heart. It also improves blood circulation to the brain. The most accessible form of aerobic exercise is walking. Walking also provides an opportunity to connect with nature and the environment and it is free. Balance exercises such poi toa, yoga, and Pilates are also very beneficial for the brain. They are fantastic at calming and reducing stress, improving clarity, and energising the body both physically and mentally. Strength activity such as lifting weights, climbing the stairs, and carrying items like textbooks and groceries increases muscle mass, strengthens muscles, and improves posture and balance. Flexibility activities keep your muscles relaxed and joints mobile such as yoga, or even gardening and cleaning.  

If your activity has reduced over winter, the good news is that the days are getting longer and the weather is getting warmer. Spring is a great time to get more active, which will increase your health, fitness, and sense of wellbeing.

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