Smart moves to step safely into Spring
Staying active as we get older is a key ingredient for a long and healthy life, with walking and strength activities recommended to keep us steady and strong.
Spring is here, and now is the perfect time to venture outside and try one of the seven outdoor gyms the City of Salisbury has installed.
While it can seem intimidating to start a new exercise program at an older age, the outdoor gym equipment has been designed to help improve balance, coordination and strength. They are designed for people of all ages and fitness levels, and did we mention free to use?
Here are 4 reasons to give the outdoor gym a go:
1. It’s easy
Outdoor fitness equipment looks just like what you’d find in a regular gym, but requires no adjusting of settings, and comes with easy to follow instructions.
2. It’s social
Outdoor gyms are a great hive for socialising and exercising with friends, which helps you stay motivated to reach your daily activity goals.
3. It’s healthy
Research shows regular bouts of moderate-intensity exercise and resistance activities help reduce falls, help keep your blood pressure and sugar levels in check, plus cut your cancer risk.
One in two adults will be diagnosed with cancer in their lifetime, so it’s also important to know exercise can help you during and after treatment as well. To learn more, you can call 13 11 20 to speak with an experienced cancer nurse, or visit: Cancer SA.
4. It’s energising
A few minutes of sunshine a day is great for supporting your bone health and mood, through the action of vitamin D. But remember, sun safety is always important.
Ultraviolet (UV) radiation from the sun may be the best source of vitamin D, but it’s also the biggest contributor to skin cancer.
The best way to protect your eyes and skin from the damaging effects of UV is covering up with long-sleeved collared tops and longer style pants or shorts, wearing a broad brimmed hat (or one that covers your head, face, neck and ears) and putting on some close-fitting sunglasses.
Choose a broad spectrum, water resistant SPF 30 or higher sunscreen to any remaining exposed skin. Apply liberally 20 minutes before heading outdoors and remember to reapply every two hours or more frequently if you perspire a lot.
Ready to get started safely?
Here’s how. Experts advise you should always seek the guidance of your doctor before starting a new exercise program. Concerned about your balance, injuries or other health problems? Speak with an Accredited Exercise Physiologist, who can give advice and prescribe specific exercises for you.
When the UV Index reaches 3 and above (August–May in South Australia), it’s at a level high enough to damage your skin. Being aware of the UV Index can help you know when sun protection is recommended and when to avoid being outdoors, such as midday when the UV is at its strongest. Check the Index and the daily sun protection times online at Sun Smart or download the free SunSmart app to your mobile phone.
Outdoor gyms (and walking tracks) can be found at the following City of Salisbury locations:
- AGH Cox Reserve (Pine Lakes, Parafield Gardens)
- Amsterdam Crescent reserve (Salisbury Downs)
- Bridgestone reserve (Salisbury South)
- Fairbanks Drive Reserve (Paralowie)
- Happy Home Reserve (Salisbury North—Little Para River Trail)
- Kiekebusch Road Reserve (Gulfview Heights)
- Kingswood Crescent Reserve (Paralowie)
- Mawson Lakes (Dry Creek Trail)
- Moyes Reserve (Salisbury East)
- Springbank Boulevard Reserve (Burton)
- Tregoning Green (Salisbury Park)
- Unity Park (Pooraka)
For more information on skin cancer prevention and how to check your skin for early signs of skin damage, visit Sun Smart.
Article source: written by the Cancer Council SA Community Education & Information Team
Note: You can find the Council’s latest updates regarding the management of COVID-19, including those related to outdoor gyms here.