How can movement nourish you?

The body is made to move, and a sedentary lifestyle is known to have detrimental effects such as increasing the risk of premature death from preventable health problems.[1] According to the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare, 55% of adults did not meet government recommendations[2] for physical exercise in 2017-2018.

While injury, illness, or simply the pressures of daily life may make it difficult for us to get the movement we need, it is possible to gradually and gently take on a program of exercise that can improve our fitness. Regular movement can be as simple as going for a brisk walk every day; although 10,000 steps is often upheld as the target to aim for, it’s not necessarily the minimum[3] to obtain significant benefits.

Popular varieties of movement

Benefits of movement

There is abundant evidence indicating that cardiorespiratory fitness decreases the risk of death from cardiovascular disease, as well as helping prevent cancer, diabetes, stroke[4] and other chronic health problems. Research suggests that physical fitness is also beneficial for cognitive ability,[5] and it is reported that working with a personal trainer may be an effective way of increasing the amount of physical activity[6] a person undertakes.

Pilates is a popular form of low-impact exercise, and research suggests an eight-week Pilates training program may lead to a significant reduction in body fat[7] as well as other improvements in physical fitness. Tai Chi is another form of gentle exercise reported to improve fitness as well as quality of life,[8] notably among elderly people suffering from chronic heart failure.

What to expect from a session

Before commencing most exercise programs, regardless of whether you are working one-on-one with a personal trainer[9] or joining a pilates group, you should receive an initial fitness assessment.[10] Your trainer or instructor will also ask you about any health conditions which might affect your ability to participate, and discuss your goals for the fitness program.

Choose a reputable fitness practitioner registered with a peak body such as Fitness Australia.[11] They will be qualified to teach you how to perform various exercises correctly, show you how to use fitness equipment, and tailor a personalised program[12] to help you achieve your fitness goals. 

As with any exercise or wellness program, please consult your medical professional before commencing fitness training, especially if you haven’t exercised regularly in a long time. If you have an injury or other health issue, or any concerns at all, also speak to your fitness instructor, who will be happy to address these and customise the session to your individual requirements. 


  1. Health benefits of physical activity: a systematic review | Current Opinion in Cardiology
  2. Physical activity | Australian Institute of Health and Welfare
  3. Health Check: do we really need to take 10,000 steps a day? |
  4. The health benefits of physical activity and cardiorespiratory fitness | BC Medical Journal
  5. Benefits of Physical Activity and Fitness for Lifelong Cognitive and Motor Development | Sport and Exercise Psychology Research
  6. The Effectiveness of Personal Training on Changing Attitudes Towards Physical Activity | Journal of Sports Science & Medicine
  7. Eight-Week Traditional Mat Pilates Training-Program Effects | Research Quarterly for Exercise and Sport
  8. Benefits of Tai Chi Exercise Among Adults With Chronic Heart Failure | Circulation
  9. Personal Training |
  10. What to Expect At Your First Personal Training Session |
  11. Australian Register of Exercise Professionals | Fitness Australia
  12. What to expect when you see a personal trainer |
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