Jumping the hurdles to exercise and activity

So, you want to be more physically active to achieve a healthier lifestyle, but have trouble getting motivated? Don’t worry, you’re not alone.

Above image: Senator Richard Colbeck and Professor John McCallum at the launch of the report: Just doing it!? Older Australians’ Physical Activity 

A new report by National Seniors and the Confederation of Australian Sport on older Australians and physical activity shows 60 per cent of respondents are not active enough and the biggest barrier is a lack of motivation.

If you’re a carer, motivation is major factor stopping you from being more active, but there are solutions.

Exercising together

Respondents told us how they overcome a lack of motivation to exercise more and it’s as simple as joining a walking group or gathering friends for a trip to the gym. 

The commitment and socialising act as incentives to get out of the house and get active.

Besides motivation, barriers included:

  • health issues
  • pain
  • mobility
  • heart and/or circulation issues
  • disability.

Parliament House launch

The report was launched this week at Parliament House in Canberra by Minister for Sport and Minister for Aged Care, Senator Richard Colbeck.

Joining him were Rob Bradley AM, CEO and President of the Confederation of Australian Sport, leading sports scientist Professor Dick Telford AM and National Seniors Australia CEO, Professor John McCallum.

Left to right: Professor Dick Telford AM; National Seniors Australia CEO, Professor John McCallum; Senator Richard Colbeck; CEO and President of the Confederation of Australian Sport, Rob Bradley AM

Professor McCallum told the assembled media that the report does reveal positives.

“Older Australians are becoming increasingly active. This is so important for a healthy later life.”

“Those who feel they aren’t being active enough can at least name the barriers and express a desire to overcome them.”

The survey achieved almost 4,000 respondents. Thirty two per cent said they exercised or carried out ‘moderate’ activity five times a week or more.

The largest age groups achieving this rate are 60 – 69 (33 per cent) and 70 – 79 (32.7 per cent).

Moderate activity is defined as activity which brings the breathing rate up to a point where talking is possible, but singing is not.

Read report