Community members can use LiveHealthyCanberra to find programs and services that will help them to live a healthier life and reduce their risk of preventable chronic disease. The LiveHealthyCanberra directory focuses on programs and services which address key lifestyle risk factors for developing chronic illness such as Cardiovascular Disease and Type 2 Diabetes, including physical activity, nutrition and social inclusion programs. These programs are sometimes known as lifestyle modification programs.
What is meant by lifestyle modification?
The term 'lifestyle modification' is an approach to health promotion which attempts to help people to make changes to their behaviour in order to reduce or minimise health risks and maintain the new behaviours in the long term.
Examples include: programs that help people to eat nutritious foods, engage in physical activity and participate in their community.
Physical activity can mean different things to different people. All physical activity has an impact on improving your overall health, however to reduce your risk of chronic disease, improve cardiovascular health and maintain a healthy weight, a higher intensity of physical activity is usually needed (usually classified as moderate to vigorous physical activity).
You can tell whether you are exercising at the right intensity by how difficult it is to have a conversation while you are performing the activity.
Moderate intensity aerobic exercise is where you're working hard enough to raise your heart rate and break into a sweat. You're working at a moderate intensity if you're able to talk but unable to sing the words to a song.
Vigorous intensity aerobic exercise is where you're breathing hard and fast and your heart rate has increased significantly. If you're working at this level, you won't be able to say more than a few words without pausing for a breath.
Please remember to consult your General Practitioner (GP) for advice prior to undertaking a new physical activity program.
You can follow this link to view the Department of Health Physical Activity and Sedentary Behaviour Guidelines.
Physical Activity programs and services listed on the LiveHealthyCanberra directory aim to assist you to find ways to meet the physical activity recommendations for maintaining good health and reducing the risk of preventable chronic disease. You might just be starting out and need some extra help in learning how to make physical activity a part of your regular routine, or you may already have some experience with physical activity and just be looking for something new and different.
The LiveHealthyCanberra directory can help you to find:
- walking trails
- local exercise stations
- exercise classes
- exercise professionals who can assist you with developing a program
- specialised exercise classes for people who have a pre-existing condition
Diet and Nutrition
A healthy diet has a large role in reducing the risk of chronic disease. Diets that contain large amounts of foods rich in highly saturated fats, sugars, and salt, typically associated with being 'fast' or 'convenience' foods, and a lower vegetable and fruit intake may lead to an increased risk of developing high cholesterol, high blood pressure, type 2 diabetes and overweight and obesity. The Australian Dietary Guidelines provides a guide to the types and amounts of foods that make up a healthy, balanced diet. Another option is to speak to an accredited practising dietitian or an accredited nutritionist who can help you to have a healthier diet.
Accredited Practicing Dietitans (APD Dietitan) and Accredited Nutritionists are health professionals who can help you to:
- improve your diet
- reduce your risk of developing a chronic disease
- assist with the management of a pre-existing health condition
You can find more information about the difference between a Dietitan and a Nutritionist by clicking here.
The LiveHealthyCanberra directory can help you to find a dietitian, nutritionist or programs that might assist with improving you food knowledge and cooking skills.
Participation in community based programs provides opportunities for building social networks, being physically active, being a part of your community and improving mental health. When it comes to the prevention of lifestyle related conditions, those people who remain active participants in their community - especially as they age - benefit from ongoing participation in social programs and activities.
The LiveHealthyCanberra directory aims to provide links to community organisations that can:
- help you to get out and be a part of the Canberra community
- find a new activity or sport to help you be more active
- connect with others who are at a similar point in their life