Exercise

As health professionals, nurses, midwives and students understand the importance of patients paying attention to their level of physical activity. It is just as important for you to look after your own physical health and commit to regular exercise. Here are some of the benefits of exercise and how to get moving.

If you would like to chat to someone you can call our confidential support line 24/7 on 1800 667 877.
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The importance of exercise
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Exercise and physical activity are important for all ages and stages in life. In a physically intensive profession like nursing and midwifery, it is important to look after your physical health. Keeping active also directly influences your ability to maintain and improve your psychological and emotional health.

It is recommended that you aim to exercise 30 minutes a day, five times per week. The good news is that exercise does not have to be expensive and there are many options available to help you meet your goals.

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Choose an activity
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Look for a physical activity that you enjoy and are motivated to keep doing. You could try:

  • walking
  • running
  • swimming
  • yoga or pilates
  • dancing
  • tennis
  • bike riding, or
  • team sports such as netball, basketball or football.

Start slowly to build up your resilience. If you haven't exercised much recently speak to a doctor about how to get started. 

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    Increasing your fitness
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    As your physical health improves it's a good idea to vary the type of activities that you do.

    • Strength and resistance training — improves muscle and bone strength.
    • Flexibility exercise — improves joint and muscle range of motion.
    • Cardiovascular exercise/aerobics training — improves physical endurance and personal stamina.
    • Balance/core workouts — improves balance and co-ordination and increases abdominal strength.
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    Feeling good
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    No matter the exercise, you will benefit from it triggering the release of 'feel good' chemicals from your brain.

    • Serotonin — reduces depression and hostility, and improves agreeable social behaviour.
    • Dopamine — improves mood and long-term memory.
    • Endorphins — produce a 'euphoric' or 'natural high' response. They also act as an analgesic, diminishing the perception of pain, and also act as a sedative.
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    Other benefits of exercise
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    • reduces the risk of depression and/or anxiety
    • assists in improving mental health
    • improves mood and concentration
    • reduces stress
    • reduces the risk of dementia and Alzheimer’s disease
    • reduces the risk of osteoporosis and improves bone density
    • improves immunity
    • improves sleep quality
    • improves maintenance of weight/weight control
    • reduces the risk of cardiovascular disease, stroke and type 2 diabetes
    • lowers the risk of some cancers, and
    • assists with pain management.
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    What can I do next?
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    Why not read some of our other articles on staying healthy:

    Our service provides free and confidential support 24/7, to nurses, midwives and students Australia wide. If you would like to speak to someone call 1800 667 877, or you can request support via email.

    If you would like to know a bit more about the service before getting in contact — take a look through accessing support.

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