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Ask an Exercise Physiologist: Missing motivation and social media influencers

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Our weekly Ask an EP column is here to help with all your health and wellness questions and challenges: Lifestyle. Wellness. Pain. Health.

Do you have a burning health and wellness question?

Now is your chance. Every week we will pick a couple of questions, and help you solve your burning query.  If we share our problems, we are more likely to solve them.

Let’s get started:

Since COVID, I’ve been very slack and lacking energy. How do you stay motivated to exercise?

– Rachel, 43

Hi Rachel,

You’re not alone. Here are  a few tips to get you started:

1) Firstly, it’s important to find an exercise program that suits YOUR BODY.

2) Think hard about WHAT YOU WANT out of the program. It has to be an intrinsic motivation (especially when we’re crawling out of a pandemic!)—really meaningful to YOU deep down. WHY do you want to exercise?

3) DO IT for yourself, not anyone else. If your training partner gets sick, you need to stay focused and keep your program alive!

4) It has to fit into your lifestyle. Scheduling is the key. Figure out what’s best for you and your family/work commitments—are you a morning person? A lunchtime warrior? A pre/post-dinner workout—maybe a sneaky circuit after the kids go to bed?

5) Get an Accountability buddy: choose someone with similar values to yours, and someone reliable and fun! Does anyone pop into mind?

Getting started is the first step!

I have high blood pressure and Type 2 diabetes. Do you recommend social media influencers for exercise advice?

– Caitlin, 25

Hi Caitlin,

A recent study by Exercise Right found that 1 in 4 Australians are getting their exercise programs and advice from influencers on social media!

It’s fabulous that our community are being supported by these influencers, however, you just need to double-check their credibility!

Some social media “influencers” are highly qualified and give wonderful, safe, effective advice. However others, not so much.

Here’s a good checklist for you:

1) Check Qualifications

If you have chronic health problems, it’s advised to find someone who is university-qualified and registered with a governing body (like Exercise and Sports Science Australia, Australian Physiotherapy Association).

2) Pre-screening assessment

The exercise professional should ask you some questions about your health and history before prescribing exercise. The program should be individualised to your current chronic conditions, goals and fitness level (especially true if you’re managing a chronic disease).

3) Do they have a plan for you?

A generalised “one-size-fits-all” program doesn’t fit all!  Having a plan is THE most important thing you need to do in order to achieve your health and wellness goals.

As a general guide, the recommended activity guidelines: 150 to 300 minutes of moderate-intensity physical activity or 75 to 150 minutes of vigorous-intensity physical activity every week.  

Hope this information helps you find the right person to help you on your wellness journey.

Great questions everyone. I’ll answer more next week. Submit your question now to have it answered!

Want to ask your own question?

We are all better together! Do you have a burning health and wellness question?

Fill out our Google Form, or email us your health and wellbeing questions, to either: editor@hercanberra.com.au or kirra@capitalhydrotherapy.com.au.

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