Women, it’s time to make a move

This International Women’s Day (March 8), Cancer Council Queensland is calling on women to get active – for the sake of their health.

Research* shows a staggering 59 per cent of Australian adult women don’t exercise enough, resulting in the risk of a range of chronic diseases. By the age of 25, 62.5 per cent of Australian women are overweight and by the age of 45, 80 per cent are overweight.

The figures have prompted the Australian Government to launch a new awareness campaign, Girls Make Your Move, in an effort to encourage young women to put their health first.

Our hope is that women of all ages will benefit from the groundbreaking new campaign, and we’ve prepared five tips to help get you on the move:

1. Start slow and steady: If exercising has been nothing more than a distant thought until now, ease your way into a new routine to avoid excessive strain on your body. Over a number of weeks, slowly introduce new forms of exercise as you build up your fitness. Just 30 minutes of moderate intensity exercise every day can significantly improve your everyday health and wellbeing.

2. Make the right choice: Exercising doesn’t have to mean joining a gym or running a half marathon. Pick an activity that is right for your body and that you enjoy. Whether you choose pilates, yoga, volleyball or even kickboxing – signing up for an activity you are interested in will keep you going back for more.

3. Exercise incidentally: Collecting the mail? Do a few squats at the mail box. Watching your favourite television show? Do lunges or stretches instead of sitting on the couch. Integrating small forms of exercise into your daily routine is easy to do and will help you feel fitter, stronger and healthier.

4. Get support: Exercising with friends, family members or a partner can significantly increase your motivation. Find someone you can trust to help achieve your goals and keep you accountable. Peer support has been proven to improve an individual’s health and wellbeing – and can even increase life expectancy.

5. Fuel your body: Increased physical activity levels may leave you extra peckish. Opt for nutritious snacks that will nourish your mind and body in the right way. Aim for at least two pieces of fruit and five serves of vegetables a day, plenty of fibre, lean meats, low fat dairy products, and stay hydrated. Complementing exercise with a nutritious diet will leave you more energised than ever before.

Although the thought of getting active may seem overwhelming at first, follow these five easy tips to stay healthier and happier, and help reduce your risk of chronic disease later in life.

Make your move girls!

More information about Cancer Council Queensland is available at cancerqld.org.au or call Cancer Council on 13 11 20.