Move Smart

An active life is acheiveable regardless of your age, income or lifestyle. Follow our tips for ideas on how you can be more active throughout the day.

Why be active?

Being active is important for overall health and wellbeing.  Regular exercise reduces the risk of some cancers, heart disease, high blood pressure, type 2 diabetes and weight gain.  It also strengthens bones and muscles and protects against osteoporosis and osteoarthritis.  Activity promotes balance, flexibility, coordination and greater levels of energy.  Added to this, physical activity helps to relieve stress, anxiety and depression.

Physical Activity Guidelines

The new National Physical Activity Guidelines were released in early 2014 and provide easy to acheive goals for physical activity as well as sitting less.  

The National Physical Activity and Sedentary Behaviour Guidelines recommend that adults (aged 18 to 64):

  • Doing any physical activity is better than doing none. If you currently do no physical activity, start by doing some, and gradually build up to the recommended amount.
  • Be active on most, preferably all, days every week.
  • Accumulate 150 to 300 minutes (2 ½ to 5 hours) of moderate intensity physical activity or 75 to 150 minutes (1 ¼ to 2 ½ hours) of vigorous intensity physical activity, or an equivalent combination of both moderate and vigorous activities, each week.
  • Do muscle strengthening activities on at least 2 days each week.
  • Minimise the amount of time spent in prolonged sitting.
  • Break up long periods of sitting as often as possible.

Children and young people need more activity than adults. The National Physical Activity Guidelines for Children (5-12) and The National Physical Activity Guidelines for Children (13-17) recommend that children and young people should:

  • Do at least 60 minutes (and up to several hours) of moderate to vigorous physical activity every day, and
  • Be encouraged to engage in activities that strengthen muscle and bone at least three days a week. 
  • Spend no more than two hours a day using electronic media for entertainment (such as TV, computer games, internet), particularly during daylight hours.
  • Break up long periods of sitting as often as possible.

The new guidelines also include recommendations for infants and children who haven't started school yet. The National Physical Activity Guidelines for Children (0-5) encourage young children to move and play every day. In addition to having as much age approriate activity as possible, screen time should be limited:

  • Children aged 0-2 years should not spend any time watching TV or using other electronic devices (computer, DVD, mobile phones, tablets, electronic games.
  • From 2 - 5 years, children should be limited to less than one hour a day o TV or other electornic media.
  • From 1 -5 years, children should be physically active for at least three hours, spread throughout the day.

Older adults (aged 65 years and older) are encouraged to do some form of physical activity no matter their age weight, health problems or abilities.The National Physical Activity Guidelines for Older Australians recommend:

  • Being active in as many different ways as possible
  • 30 minutes of activity on most, preferably all days - this can be split up into 10-15 minute sessions.
  • If you already acheive  30 minutes or more, continue to do so for as long is safe.
  • If you are just starting out, start at an acheivable intensity and duration and build up slowly.

How to be more Active

Regardless of your current fitness level, there are many ways you can add in more physical activity to your day - without spending money. For most activities you will need comfortable clothing and a pair of sneakers. The correct shoes will provide support which can help prevent injury. Footwear and clothing do not have to be expensive brands. If you will be active outdoors when the UV is above 3, you will also need long sleeves, a hat, sunscreen and sunglasses.

I am just getting started

Not everyone enjoys being physically active. If you struggle to get the minimum of 30 minutes of phsycial activity each day, check out these suggestions for making the most of your time and facilities around you.

Meet a friend for a walk instead of coffee/lunch. Save money from food/drinks and get some exercise too.
When shopping, park in the furthest bay from the shopping centre entrance.
If you commute to work, get off a few stops earlier and walk, this might save you money too if the cost is based on zones.
Make time each day to walk the dog – he will enjoy the benefits too. Slowly increase the distance you go.
Try the outdoor fitness equipment in parks across Perth (listed below), they are easy to use and add interest to a simple walk

Walk with your children to the local park and play on the equipment with them.

  • If there isn’t one close, or it is unsafe to walk – drive, but make sure you get moving once you’re there.
  • Use the park finder tool, which will help you find parks close to you and find out about their facilities such as lighting, BBQs, play equipment and fences.

On weekends, or when you have a bit more time, try one of Perth’s many walking trails. Remember water and sun protection.

I am already active

Are you are already active, but are looking for cheaper ways to keep it interesting? There are plenty of ways for you to keep fit without without extra expenses.

Borrow exercise DVDs from your local library
Learn to run using the Couch to 5km program
Meet a friend at a local park to walk, jog, or do boot camp style exercises
Print exercises from websites and do circuits in the backyard, lounge room or park
Jog or walk up and down stairs at local parks/spaces

Join a local sporting team – registration fees will apply

Instead of hand weights, use empty milk or juice cartons. You can simply add more water or sand to make them heavier. Start with 400g cans (tomatoes, baked beans).
  • 1L of water = 1kg
  • 1L of sand = 1.8kg
Attend group fitness classes, free to HBF members in Perth, Albany, Bunbury and Geraldton

Attend free yoga classes hosted by Lululemon stores in Applecross, Cottesloe, Karrinyup or Perth

Use the outdoor fitness equipmentin many parks across Perth:
  • Beatty Park Reserve, North Perth
  • Banks Reserve, Joel Terrace, East Perth
  • Celebration Drive, Clarkson
  • Claisebrook Cove, East Perth
  • Fancote Park, Kelmscott
  • Forrest Park, Mt Lawley
  • Hyde Park, Perth
  • John Connell Reserve, Leeming
  • Memorial Park, Armadale
  • Morris Buzacott Reserve, Kardinya
  • Mount Henry Bridge Reserve, Mount Pleasant
  • Tompkins Park, Applecross
  • McCallum Park, Victoria Park
  • Mounts Bay Road, Perth
  • Riverside gardens, Bayswater
  • Robertson Park, North Perth
  • Tomato Lake,  Belmont
  • Tranby Reserve, Maylands
If you know of other outdoor fitness equipment, please contact us.

Do I need to see my doctor before starting an exercise program?

  • If you are well and do not have any medical concerns or questions and plan to be physically active at moderate-intensity for 30 minutes you do not need to consult with your doctor prior to beginning.
  • If you have any cardiovascular symptoms (eg chest pain) or a history of cardiovascular disease, respiratory disease, diabetes, other active chronic disease, any medical concern or you are pregnant, you should consult your doctor prior to increasing the intensity or duration of your activity.
  • If you have any doubts or concerns at all about starting or increasing your activity levels you should consult your doctor.

The FOODcents program is no longer active in WA

A new interactive, cooking and nutrition program Food Sensations® for Adults is now available. Individuals and groups can book into the new program.

Click to find out more