Creating an active lifestyle

Physical inactivity is now identified as the fourth leading risk factor for global mortality. Physical inactivity levels are rising in many countries with major implications for the prevalence of noncommunicable diseases and the general health of the population worldwide. It has been shown that participation in regular physical activity reduces the risk of:

  • Coronary heart disease and stroke
  • Diabetes, hypertension
  • Colon cancer, breast cancer
  • Depression

Additionally, physical activity is a key determinant of energy expenditure, and thus is fundamental to energy balance and weight control.

Reference: World Health Organisation

5 essential elements to changing health behaviour are:

  1. Active involvement in problem solving, goal setting and written action plans (especially for conditions where the risk of deterioration is high)
  2. Lifestyle changes, including eating a healthier diet, being physically active and stopping smoking
  3. Informed decision-making
  4. Medication management
  5. Stress management and positive mental health.

Reference: Ministry of Health 2016- Self-Management support for people with long term conditions (2nd edition)

What is available in the community to help me manage my own level of physical activity?
Christchurch has a range of fantastic facilities and groups to get you started. Christchurch’s location allows access to many tramping tracks, bike tracks, beaches and ski fields. There are more than 90 walking groups in Christchurch and many other exercise groups available for any level of fitness and function. Exercise groups include Sit and be Fit, Christchurch city council classes, Green prescription, Arthritis society, Zumba gold, Private gyms, dance classes etc, some of which may be subsided.