Physical inactivity is something we often read about, but most of us don’t do much more than mentally commit ourselves to “doing something about it someday” and then we move on.
But apparently, we don’t move on enough. Nearly 70% of Australian adults are either sedentary or have low levels of physical activity.
Is this necessarily a bad thing?
Well, here are a few health insights linked to physical inactivity:
- Physical inactivity is the second greatest contributor, behind tobacco smoking, to the cancer burden in Australia.
- Physical inactivity is one of the leading causes of poor heart health and almost 10,000 Australians die of a heart attack every year.
- Globally, physical inactivity is the fourth leading cause of death due to non-communicable disease worldwide (e.g. heart disease, stroke and diabetes)
OK, enough of the doom and gloom. The more important question is: how can Centennial Parklands help you?
Let’s start with what the experts say…
The Heart Foundation recommends that being physically active is an important part of leading a healthy lifestyle. Young or old, physical activity has a range of benefits, and the good news is it doesn’t have to be strenuous – moderate activity such as brisk walking, is great for your health.
They endorse the National Physical Activity Guidelines which outline the minimum levels of physical activity required to gain a health benefit and ways to incorporate incidental physical activity into everyday life.
Now, where do parks fit in?
Within parks, people tend to be more physically active – on tracks, playgrounds and at sports facilities. The many benefits of exercise and physical activity are now well documented. Regularly physical activity can help maintain healthy weight, reduce the risk of heart attack and more. Interested? Read more here or directly download a great report on the evidence.
How Centennial Parklands can help you!
Sydney is becoming increasingly crowded, busier and built-up. Open spaces like those in Centennial Parklands are becoming increasingly critical to the health of our community and liveability of our city.
Tips for keeping kids active and healthy:
- Walk with your child. Just spend time exploring the Parklands and allowing your child to lead the way. Exploration and discovery of nature is a healthy thing.
- Make walks in the Park fun for very young kids by inventing games – for example, see if you can spot five different birds today; see if you can spot five red objects in the Park. They’ll spend so much time walking and searching they won’t realise they’re exercising.
- Take up riding a bike with your child (or we have a popular Children’s Learners Cycleway). If you don’t own a bike, no worries – hire one from Centennial Park Cycles right here in Centennial Park.
- Walk the family dog – 43% of Centennial Parklands is off-leash area!
- Keep a football, frisbee, jump rope, scooters or bat and ball in your car at all times. If in the Parklands, or passing nearby, stop of for an unscheduled play session.
- Book your child on one of our sports or nature play programs during the school holidays (see our What’s On calendar).
Tips for keeping yourself active and healthy:
- Walk or jog around Grand Drive, Centennial Park. It’s a 3.6 km loop. One briskly walked lap for many people will represent most of their daily requirement.
- Play tennis, golf, or ride a bike. Don’t own a bike? No worries – hire one from Centennial Park Cycles right here in Centennial Park..
- Try out our new international standard running track at ES Marks Athletics Field.
- Enter a running or sport-related event in Centennial Parklands.
- Walk the family dog. 43% of Centennial Parklands is off-leash area!
- Join a walking group (such as these).
So there are a few ideas to get you started.
Get outdoors, get active and improve your life. And if you’re lucky enough, do it in the beautiful Centennial Parklands!
– posted by Craig Easdown