A healthy level of exercise provides a variety of benefits for the human body. The right kind of physical activity can help to strengthen muscles and support better bone health, while improving cardiorespiratory fitness and helping to manage weight.
It's important for everyone to engage in the right level of physical activity for their fitness level and age, but motivation levels can be hard to keep up. The Australian government is hoping to keep Australians engaged through an initiative called Exercise Right Week.
In 2014, this event will be held from May 26-30 around the country. With recent figures showing an alarming dip in the average level of physical activity enjoyed by most Australians, there's no better time to remind the nation of the importance of keeping fit and healthy.
According to statistics cited by Exercise & Sports Science Australia (ESSA) Executive Officer Anita Hobson-Powell, over 9.5 million Australian adults are either inactive or have low levels of physical activity.
Even more concerning was the fact that this trend appeared to be influencing the younger generations as well.
"It's one thing to see that more than half our adult population is not engaging in appropriate levels of physical activity, but it's even more worrying that Australian youths are following suit, with nine in ten 13-17-year-olds found to be not active enough," Ms Hobson-Powell said in a May 15 statement.
"Physical activity plays an instrumental role in healthy growth and development and it's crucial that Australians start heeding the warnings and tacking action."
The Department of Health recommends Australians aged 13-17 years should have at least 60 minutes of moderate to vigorous physical activity every day. For adults in the 18-64 year old age group, the department recommends being active on most (if not all) days of the week.
Physical activity is essential for keeping your body in the best condition. It can even help to reduce the risk of some types of cancer, heart disease, type 2 diabetes and depression.
It is also a great opportunity to socialise and get involved in your local community, whether it's taking a fitness class or doing a fun run for a good cause.
If you're looking to ensure your family's health is covered, encouraging exercise is a good start. Family health insurance can also be essential when it comes to meeting the costs of medical services.
It can be difficult finding the right policy to fit your needs, so you may want to the help of an experienced broker to aid you in comparing health insurance plans.