‘Physically active’ is good, ‘physically fitter’ is better!

Wednesday, 5 June 2019

There is evidence to support the theory that being ‘generally active’ such as going for regular easy walks is good for your health. BUT…the truth is spending time getting FITTER will enable you to get the most out of life for as long as possible (i.e. it can help you live longer).

Have a think about your day.

Are you?

  • Generally active; or
  • Engaging in activities that are helping you get physically FITTER?

The table below can help you understand if you are more doing more general activity or activities that are getting you physically FITTER.

Do you?  This means you are
Take the stairs instead of the lift Generally active
Cycling Getting physically FITTER
Lifting weights or using resistance bands Getting physically FITTER
Hanging out the washing Generally active
Dancing Getting physically FITTER
Vacuuming Generally active
Looking after grandkids Generally active
Doing an aqua class Getting physically FITTER
Walking for 30 minutes Getting physically FITTER
Mowing the lawn Generally active
Going shopping Generally active

Why is becoming physically FITTER this so important?

There is significant evidence that activities which improve aerobic fitness: like walking, cycling and swimming help to increase our lifespan and reduce the number of deaths in a population.  This is true for both men and women.

If the thought of getting more physically FIT feels a little out of reach for you start slowly by following these tips. They might take you from being generally active to being physically FITTER.

Start by getting your Steps Up

You might have heard that 10,000 steps a day is the target to reach for healthy physical activity? If this feels too much for you at this point in time, we have some good news! A recent study has found that a longer life can be gained if you achieve 4,400 steps a day.

Why not go for it – and reset your goals to achieve this. Remember every journey has to start somewhere!

There are a range of free mobile apps to help you get started!

To get physically FITTER – build up gradually

If you’re not sure on how to increase your fitness and go from being generally active to physically FITTER try this progressive walking plan to help you get get started and into the physically active zone.


Number of days per week Walk Out Walk Back

Total time per day


3 5 mins 5 mins 10 mins


4 6 mins 6 mins

12 mins


4 7.5 mins 7.5 mins

15 mins


5 8.5 mins 8.5 mins

17 mins


5 10 mins 10 mins

20 mins


5 11 mins 11 mins

22 mins


5 13 mins 13 mins

26 mins

8 5 15 mins 25 mins

30 mins

If you are concerned about increasing the intensity of your exercise due to health issues or risk of injury– ask an expert, we recommend you talk to an Accredited Exercise Physiologist (AEP).

*This article was updated on 25 June 2021

You don’t need to be an athlete, you just need to move a little more than you did yesterday.

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