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November 21, 2008

Keep It Movin’

A recent survey done by SPARC (Sport & Recreation New Zealand) has found that around half of New Zealand adults exercise for at least half an hour a day five times a week. Their survey shows the level of exercise among adults is about the same as in 2001.

SPARC spends around 70 million dollars a year on their campaign to encourage New Zealanders to Push Play and exercise. They’re calling the survey results encouraging, yet surely that means fifty per cent of NZ adults aren’t exercising?

I heard on the radio this morning that the NZ result is better than in many overseas countries but I couldn’t find an online source to quote.

I’m in the positive fifty per cent who exercise. I find exercise a great stress reliever and feel more alert afterwards. I also use the time while I’m exercising to think about my writing and often work out plot problems. I feel horrid if I don’t exercise. I cycle, walk and run a bit. Oh, and dance when I can get away with it. As I mentioned a few days ago, the dog takes exception to my dancing! Exercise isn’t always fun. Some days I don’t feel like moving from my chair, but I do it anyway. I’m a firm believer in the use it or lose it school of thought, believing keeping mobile helps you later when you’re older. I have to think about these things you know because I don’t have any children to look after me in my old age.

I’m lucky to live in an area with a lot of walking and cycling paths. I was excited this week to see the council is extending the paved area again. The concrete should be dry and the new paths open in a few days so I can explore it to see where they go.

How are you at the exercise thing? Does your country have a similar organization to encourage people to exercise?


  1. Susan Helene Gottfried

    I’m usually better than this, but today I’m considering cancelling the class I signed up for and going back to bed… just one of those weeks.

  2. Leah Braemel

    I’m not an exerciser even though I know I should. I USED to exercise – karate in my younger days, walking 5 km a day with GG. Then it … stopped. I usually blame the Canadian winters, but considering I’ve got a treadmill, I have no real excuse.

    Maybe “70 Days of Sweat with Sven” should include an exercise reporting element.

  3. Jory Strong

    I walk daily with my dogs and have been riding horses three to four times a week. In the winter I’ve got the treadmill for days it rains. I’ve noticed my ability to sit in front of a computer and productively write improves with bouts of physical activity–which helps motivate me to do it.

  4. julia

    ‘The dog takes exception to my dancing’ – LOL! Mine, too! Actually, she thinks it must mean playtime and jumps around with me for awhile. It’s hilarious. But she doesn’t match my groove very well.

    In Canada we used to have something called Participation. Don’t know if that’s still going or not. When I was a kid the commercial showed a 60-year-old Swede out-running a 30-year-old Canadian man, which was a true statistic at the time.

    Here’s a link for YouTube – you can see it yourself!

  5. Wylie Kinson

    Some weeks I’m great – on the treadmill 3 x per week. Other weeks, not so great. Except those weeks stretch to months.
    But doesn’t running after a four year old all day qualify as exercise? And washing floors, and picking up toys (this one never ends) and gluing together art projects?
    Cleaning the cat litter SURELY counts cause there’s bending and scooping and ‘eww yukking’ — that’s a real calorie burner!

  6. Shelley Munro

    Susan – I definitely have days like that. I find if I can drag my butt out the door, I’m a happier person by the time I arrive back home.

    Leah – think of exercise as writing time and do some brainstorming or plotting at the same time. You’ll be done before you know it.

    Jory – I’m the same way. I’m far more productive if I exercise.

  7. Shelley Munro

    Julia – our dog is old and doesn’t jump around much unless there’s food involved these days. When I dance she just stands and stares. It’s very unnerving!

    I watched the Youtube. That’s actually quite a scary statistic.

    Wylie – I definitely think picking up toys counts as exercise!! Running after kids is very tiring. I get tired every time my nephews come over and I’m not even the one in charge of them. :grin:

  8. Colleen Love

    I walk a mile or so every day with my little dog. You know how it is, they have to check their pee-mail too. hehe

    We live in a little country neighborhood that has small farms and giant gardens. All of the animals know us and since we walk at about the same time every day, they know to expect us and wait at the fences.

    This is the best time for story building. So many ideas, brainstorming and plotting and it all comes together while walking. Mother Nature’s effect is truly magic. :)

  9. Paz

    When I had a different schedule, I used to exercise daily. Walking in the park. Loved it. Would do it everyday, despite the weather. Now? Nothing. :sad:


  10. Barbara Martin

    I walk when I can get out. Now that there’s a bit of ice on the walks and roads I have to be ultra careful as I have osteoporosis in my spine. When spring rolls around in April I have considered getting a bicycle to get more exercise.

  11. Shelley Munro

    Colleen – ah, yes. I know about dogs and their pee-mail. Our little dog walks very slow and has to check every tree and pole on the way!

    Paz – ah, but you’re very busy. We do what we can.

    Barbara – I can imagine the ice is very perilous. That was the part about snow in London that I didn’t enjoy. It was great having a job where I just had to walk downstairs to get to work.

  12. Suzanne

    Hi Shelly, finally. heheheeh
    I love to exercise. I walk at least six times a week roughtly 6 klms, and do pilates. I use to do yoga, but for now I love physio pilates.
    Our council is finishing off a walk from the main beach, along the coast line, roughly 20klms of walking track.
    I believe excercise is the best way to keep a healthy mind and body. Oh my parents are in NZ at present, north and south island.
    Suzanne :)

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