by Katie Liddiard, Nutrition and Physical Activity Project Officer

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What if I told you there was something you could do that would have an immediate positive effect on your mood, energy, and stress level? Would you want to know what it was? I am talking about the power of moving our bodies.

Being physically active can improve our sleep, reduce stress, and improve energy levels which will help improve mood and overall well-being.

After being active, there’s an immediate ‘feel good’ feeling caused by the rush of endorphins that bind to receptors in the brain.

There are also many other mechanisms that contribute to better mental well-being when we’re active.

clip art feel better

Feel Better 

Exercise immediately releases some powerful mood boosting neurotransmitters (like serotonin, dopamine, and norepinephrine) that together stimulate the brain. This increases concentration and focus, while reducing stress and brain fog.  

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Sleep better

Sleep Better

Participating in moderate-to-vigorous intensity physical activity has been shown to help improve sleep quality by:

  • Helping us to fall asleep more quickly
  • Increase the time spent in deep sleep. This can alleviate daytime sleepiness, making us feel more energised throughout the day.

 

Empowered

Feel Empowered 

How we feel about ourselves and how we perceive our self-worth can affect our mood and confidence. Participating in physical activity can make us feel better, stronger, and more energised. We can gain a sense of achievement, increase our emotional stamina, start seeing changes in our mood, and notice physical changes, which all help improve our confidence in ourselves and our abilities.

more energy

More Energy 

As a result of being physically active, blood and oxygen circulates more efficiently within the body, which supports energy production in our cells. When our bodies function better and use energy more efficiently it boosts our energy levels and allows us to be even more active!

connect more

Connect More

Participating in physical activity can open new opportunities for you to try new things, speak to new people and become a part of a community. A sense of belonging is one of the most important components of improving our mental well-being. When we develop meaningful relationships with others, we feel valued and supported and less lonely.


How much do we need to do? 

The Physical activity and exercise guidelines for all Australians for adults (18 – 64 years) recommend that each week we do:

  • 2.5 to 5 hours of moderate intensity physical activity – such as a brisk walk, golf, mowing the lawn or swimming or
  • 1.25 to 2.5 hours of vigorous intensity physical activity – such as jogging, aerobics, fast cycling, playing a team sport
  • Muscle strengthening activity on at least 2 of those days

In other words, try to be active for at least 30 minutes a day, and make time for 2 sessions a week of strength training.

How can you move more in your day?   

Daily activity is a great opportunity for you to make it your own! Move in any way that feels good for you. Some of our favourites are:  

If you're looking for some inspiration or to find ways to move more, we've got loads of ideas over here. 

The key is to find what you enjoy, stick with it, and reap the ongoing rewards of a regular workout routine! 


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