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PREMIUM Pilates and Fitness director Christopher Boult wants Australian business leaders to help overcome the rise of cardiovascular disease – the nation’s biggest killer – by simply encouraging staff to ‘get moving’.
“Throughout the corporate landscape, sedentary lifestyle has become quite prevalent, particularly with rapid technological advances,” Mr Boult said.
“Greater education and awareness regarding recommended movement and health patterns, set out by the Department of Health, can help in preventing Australia’s leading killer.”
Mr Boult said physical activity was “a great way to increase energy levels, release feel good hormones, build healthy bones and prevent osteoporosis in later life”.
“A minimum of 30-minutes of moderate intensity cardiovascular exercise a day is recommended for healthy populations to maintain current health status as well as two resistance training days per week,” he said.
Cardiovascular disease was the leading cause of death in Australia in 2011 according to the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) 2013 health survey.
“Negating any genetic predisposition, cardiovascular disease is entirely preventable,” Mr Boult said.
“However, an increased sedentary lifestyle has become a greater social norm resulting in decreased exercise, poor dietary habits and an upsurge of mental illness.
“Examples of moderate intensity cardiovascular exercise include walking, jogging, cycling, swimming, running. Examples of resistance training include free weights, circuit training or Reformer Pilates.
“In the same ABS survey, only 43 percent of Australians were reported to be reaching this exercise goal.”
Mr Boult said healthy physical practices should coincide with healthy nutritional practices.
“Fad diets are not the way to maintain a healthy lifestyle or eating practices,” he said. “All macronutrients – carbohydrates, proteins, and fats – are necessary for the body to function optimally.
“Cutting out carbohydrates will not make you a healthier person even if you have lost a few kilos doing so. It all comes down to how much energy you are putting into your body and how much you are expending.
“Part of a sedentary lifestyle is the overconsumption of nutrient poor, energy dense food. So instead of reaching for that Snickers bar while you’re at your desk, try a piece of fruit. Sugar is not your enemy; the glucose that results from the broken-down starches provided by carbohydrates help your brain to function.”
FIVE EASY STEPS TO A HEALTHIER WORKING LIFESTYLE
Mr Boult has developed an easy routine to assist workplace movement:
- Get up from your chair every 25 minutes and do 10 squats. By the end of your work day, you would have done 190 squats.
- Snack on fruit, vegetables, nuts and legumes rather than chips, lollies, chocolate and biscuits.
- If you feel hungry, try drinking water. Thirst responses are more delayed than hunger so you could be drastically dehydrated by the time you start to get dry mouth and lips.
- Lower your portion sizes. Overconsumption is a major cause of energy excess for individuals. The recommended serving size for a piece of steak, for example, is 65g.
- Prepare your own meals. This way you know what goes into it and you know how much you are eating.