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As part of our drive and commitment to helping people realise their health potential, we are celebrating Exercise Right Week.

Exercise Right Week – The Importance of Exercise

At Altius Group, our Accredited Exercise Physiologists see how exercise can be the driving force behind people’s recovery journeys.

As part of our drive and commitment to helping people realise their health potential, we are celebrating Exercise Right Week from the 24-30 May.

Exercise improves lives for all people and at every stage of life. If being active has not been a big part of your life, or if it disappeared from your life because of family commitments, ill health or an abundance of life reasons, now is your chance to look for your pathway back to exercise and the start of a healthier lifestyle.

No matter your age, physical capabilities, or your current level of fitness there is an exercise pathway for you.

The why and how of starting your exercise journey

Why exercise?

  • Exercising gives the heart and mind a workout – While exercising, your heart rate rises to allow your body to get the oxygen and nutrients your body needs. Increasing the blood flow through the heart’s system on a regular basis helps to build endurance and keeps the pathways clear and efficient.
  • Weight control– Carrying too much extra weight is not good for our heart or our health and in the long term can lead to diabetes type 2. Regular movement helps us use up those extra calories and keeps our weight to healthy limits.
  • Strengthen the bones and muscles– As you get older you lose muscle strength and bone density, exercise builds up these areas keeping you stronger for longer.
  • Exercise acts as mood booster - While the above are physical benefits for the body, exercise has been shown to have a profound effect on our mental health too. It improves our sleep and gives us a sense of wellbeing – all from moving our bodies.

The Australian Government department of health guidelines suggests a total of 30 minutes or more of exercise daily and encourages you to try and be active on most days of the week.

  • 20 minutes should be at moderate intensity:  You are putting in some effort but it’s not strenuous. Your rate of breathing will increase but you could easily sustain a conversation.
  • 10 minutes should be at vigorous intensity: You are putting in high levels of effort. You should be out of breath and wouldn’t be able to have a conversation.

How to get started

If you are new to exercise, the hours you are meant to put into exercise can be daunting. Make sure that you:

  • Build up your time and effort levels slowly and safely.
  • Give yourself time to warm, wind down and stretch.
  • Break things up – stop or slow down if you are getting out of breath. These are new activities and your body will learnt to adapt to them in time.

‘Through consistent physical activity, many clients have highlighted improvements in strength, endurance and postural awareness.’ -- Robbie Ong – Altius Accredited Exercise Physiologist

Start with walking

Walking is a great access point into fitness since:

  • It’s free– It costs you nothing, but it gets you out and about in the fresh air and in the local community. You can grade your speed and distance at a pace that suits you and your fitness.
  • All you need to start is a good pair of sports shoes- The cushioning that trainers provide makes walking softer on the joints and lessen any impact related injuries.
  • It’s simple to find clothing appropriately for the weather – You will likely warm up during your walk so wear clothes to prevent you from overheating.
  • It’s easy to map your walk– If you are feeling nervous about starting out, map out your walk. This way you can ensure there are places to sit and rest or nearby accessible facilities to use if you need them.

Did you know?

Walking can help reduce stress levels since it helps to release endorphins, which are powerful brain chemicals that help reduce pain and stimulate relaxation. The higher your endorphin levels, the calmer and more relaxed you will feel. This is one of the reasons why walking can make you feel so good.

‘I frequently exercise to maintain my health and wellbeing but also to alleviate mental stress. This allows me to be more focused during my working day!’ --  Robbie Ong – Altius’ Accredited Exercise Physiologist

Walking is not an option for me – what can I do for regular exercise?

Limited mobility does not discount you from exercise – it just means you need a more personalised exercise plan.

  • Swimming - Many people who have limited mobility are still able to enjoy exercise in water. The water’s natural support can be used as part of your routine.
  • Upper body focused– If your exercise needs to be upper body focused there are plenty of ways to exercise so the heart gets a good workout:
    • Arm cycler – An upper body cycle machine which will give the arms and back a good workout and get the blood pumping.
    • Chair dancing – Get some good music on and get your arms swinging, jiving, robot dancing and rock out.
    • Hula hands – Grab a hula hoop in both hands, full sized or miniature, and get a super spinning workout.

What are some other exercise ideas?


Take a visit to your local pool, beach or lake. You can swim, jog or even do an aqua-aerobics class. The water can support your weight and provide resistance for an all-body workout that is gentle on the joints.

Sports clubs

Join a club to get moving, bowls for a gentle stretch, soccer for a run around or dragon boating to get on the water. This non-exhaustive list is just the tip of the iceberg as far as the diversity of sporting clubs out there. 


Some love it, some hate it, but it is a great place to gain muscle strength. Take a tour of your local gym to see if it feels good for you. Most gyms offer a free personal training session where you can get a routine based on your fitness level. 


If you want to be guided through your exercise session, find some local classes. Classes cover a variety of styles including aerobic, weight focused, high intensity interval, yoga, Pilates, spin (static cycling), boxing (non-contact) and dancercise. Before you join the class talk to the providers to get a sense of how active you are expected to be and whether anything is modified for those just starting on their fitness journey. 

Variety is your friend

It can be hard to maintain walking the same route on a daily basis. However, if you vary your activities such as swimming one day and walking the next, it is easier to keep yourself interested in your fitness activities. 

If you are living with or at risk from chronic and complex medical conditions and injuries our Accredited Exercise Physiologists (AEPs) can help you with clinical exercise interventions. We provide physical activity education, advice and support on lifestyle modification to assist the restoration of our client’s optimal physical function, health and wellbeing.

Contact us at OccHealth by Altius on 1800 258 487.

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Exercise Right Week