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Save power, save petrol – save your life

New Zealand Society of Physiotherapists

Save power, save petrol – save your life

Look on the bright side, physiotherapists say. While you are saving power and petrol, you may save your life.

Physiotherapists advise that you can achieve “functional fitness” as you find ways to save power and fuel. Functional fitness means converting everyday tasks into your fitness programme. “Just taking little opportunities to be active builds up your fitness,” says Jonathan Warren, President of the New Zealand Society of Physiotherapists.

“Now we all have the incentive of saving power and petrol added to the very clear scientific evidence that being active can help prevent heart and lung problems, cancer, type 2 diabetes, obesity and a heap of other problems. If you already have any of those illnesses, or a psychiatric illness, becoming fitter can improve your condition. At the very least, you will feel much better.”

Physiotherapists make a few suggestions for people to improve functional fitness while saving on power and petrol:

• Where possible, walk or cycle to work.

• If you catch a train, walk from the station to work instead of catching a bus.

• If you catch a bus, get off a couple of stops early and walk the rest of the way.

• Take the stairs instead of the lift.

• Sitting round in the cold? Feeling depressed by the weather? A walk in coat and hat and gloves will warm and cheer you up. Or a swim – public swimming pools are lovely warm places on a cold day.

• Walk instead of driving to the shop for your newspaper or bottle of milk. You can carry home quite a lot of groceries from the supermarket without straining yourself if you use a trundler or back pack.

• Turn the TV off and exercise your mind in the evening with games (strengthening your family life at the same time), or a book.

• Turn all your appliances off and go to bed earlier. Research shows most people need eight hours’ sleep a night for good health.

“Our hydro lakes may fill up and the price of petrol may drop – but you will enjoy your increased fitness so much that you won’t want to quit the active habits you have formed,” Mr Warren says.


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