Activity all adds up
Now that WA is basking in glorious summer weather, there are plenty of ways to get out and enjoy the sunshine, clocking up valuable exercise mileage in the process.
HBF physiologist Shannon Kelly said that with some thought, you could make fun recreational activities pay dividends in the exercise stakes.
“We call it incidental exercise, when you are so busy completing day-to-day tasks or having fun, that you don’t even realise you are being physically active, ” she said.
“The great news is there are lots of ways to get incidental exercise during summer.”
Watch the sun set
WA’s spectacular sprawling coastline plays host to some of the world’s most stunning sunsets.
Mrs Kelly said thousands of people took advantage of the great walking trails along the Perth coast, taking their time to get from point A to B and watching the sun set over the ocean.
“This activity is already a favourite ritual for so many West Australians, and with good reason, ” Mrs Kelly said.
“You can indulge your senses and get some exercise in at the same time, so it is a win-win situation.”
Suitable for: Any age, any fitness level
Shop til you drop
Most West Australians will find themselves spending time at the shops during Christmas and the post-Christmas sales.
Mrs Kelly said while the credit card might take a bruising, walking from store to store was a good form of incidental exercise.
‘This is definitely a time when people often don’t realise just how much ground they have covered, ” she said.
“The beauty of shopping in summer is that most suburban shopping centres are very large these days so there’s lots of opportunity to move around in air-conditioned comfort.”
Visit your local park
You have probably noticed exercise stations popping up at intervals in your local park.
Mrs Kelly said many parks now had built-in exercise equipment which provided the opportunity for a fun, free and carefully planned circuit-training routine.
“Some of the pieces of equipment are almost like having a ride on playground equipment and they are designed to work different parts of your body that you may not ordinarily exercise, ” she said.
“They come with detailed information about how to use them, what they help achieve and the recommended amount of reps required.”
The free machines are usually carefully spaced around the parks so that people can run, jog or walk between the different stations, providing a well-balanced workout.
Suitable for: Any age, any fitness level. Just adjust the reps and speed of the circuit to suit your personal level.
Geocaching is an outdoor treasure hunting game where participants use GPS-enabled devices to navigate to a set of co-ordinates and search for hidden treasure.
There is a worldwide geocaching community and anyone who wants to get involved can simply go online, register and search for geocaches in their local area or any area they plan to visit.
The game can be as simple or as complex as people like and there are different types of caches that participants can search for.
Once the cache has been found, the participant signs the logbook, returns the geocache to its original location and there’s an opportunity to share the story online.
Some cache boxes contain actual treasure and the idea is to take what you find in the box and leave something of equal value.
Sometimes they also contain trackable game pieces that are moved around from cache to cache.
Mrs Kelly said Geocaching provided people with the perfect motivation to walk with family and friends with the excitement of being involved in a real-life treasure hunt.
“This is a fantastic source of incidental exercise and one which will probably become more popular as time goes on, ” she said.
In the 1970s, people were keen on the mini version of golf, putt-putt.
Now golf has been up-sized to create Supa Golf.
This is a modified form of the sport where the clubs, balls and putting cups are oversized, making it easier to play than traditional golf and a great activity for people of all ages.
“This great activity gives people the perfect chance to get out and about with family or friends in a fun environment, ” Mrs Kelly said.
“It is exercise with a focus on fun and that’s obviously the reason it is so popular with people of all ages and abilities.”
There are Supa Golf facilities in the Swan Valley and Melville.
- City sightseeing
- Local swimming pools
- Bush walks
- Kings Park
© The West Australian
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