What does being physically active look like?

Being physically active every day is good for your health, makes you feel good and can be a fun way to spend time with family and friends. See how you can get the most out of life by following some of the tips below:

  • Move more – Doing any physical activity is better than doing none. If you currently do no physical activity, start with small steps and gradually build up
  • Move often – Be active on most, preferably all, days every week
  • Accumulate 150 to 300 minutes of moderate intensity physical activity or 75 to 150 minutes of vigorous intensity physical activity, or an equivalent combination of both each week.
    • Moderate activities make you gently huff and puff and include brisk walking, bike riding, skateboarding, dancing and household chores.
    • Vigorous activities increase the heart rate and make you really huff and puff. They include games with lots of running, swimming, jogging or training for sport
  • Do muscle strengthening activities on at least 2 days each week. This includes body weight exercises like sit ups, squats and push ups.
    • Check out these beginner, intermediate and advanced workouts that are designed to help you get stronger in the comfort of your own home - no special gym equipment required!
  • Minimise the amount of time spent sitting. This includes reducing screen time for children and adults.
  • Break up long periods of sitting as often as possible. Try these mini-workouts to break up long periods of sitting.

Free programs to help you move more, at any age

Free fun and fitness for kids above a healthy weight

Go4Fun is a free program for NSW children aged 7 to 13 who are above a healthy weight and their families. Register your interest in joining here.

Free Health Coaching Service

Get Healthy is a FREE telephone based health coaching service to help provide you with the support and motivation you need to reach your own healthy lifestyle goals. It offers free nutritional and exercise advice. You can also sign up for the free coaching sessions over the course of 10 phone calls over six months to help keep you motivated. The program is available to people over the age of 18 who are NSW residents.

Visit the Get Healthy website to register or to find out more.

Active Ageing

There are a number of free local programs for older people to stay active.

Outdoor places and spaces to help you move more, at any age

Northern NSW has a great range of outdoor facilities, free exercise groups and beautiful natural locations to support you and your family being active.

Parkrun offers free, weekly, 5km timed runs in parks around the world. They are open to everyone, free, and are safe and easy to take part in. You can even walk if you want! Most runs are at 7am on a Saturday morning. Parkrun operates in Yamba, Grafton, Lismore and Kingscliff and over the border at Kirra.

Heart foundation has free walking groups across Australia.  Walking for an average of 30 minutes a day can lower the risk of heart disease, stroke, and diabetes by 30 to 40 per cent.

National Parks NSW: There is no better place to camp, hike, walk, ride or run than one of our beautiful national parks.

A historic walk is a great way to learn about your area whilst getting some exercise. Maps are available to a series of walks in Murwillumbah  and Tweed Heads.

Northern NSW is home to some outstanding mountain bike riding and active mountain bike clubs. Find a trail near you.

Many local councils provide maps of their cycle paths, including:

‘A handbook for bicycle rider’ is a useful guide to riding safely on NSW roads.

Outdoor Gyms

Many councils provide outdoor gym equipment for residents and holiday makers to use, free of charge. You can use these spaces as your own health and fitness centre.

Check out the map below to find an outdoor gym near you.

Philip Street Reserve, Philip Street, Pottsville, New South Wales, Australia

Arkinstall Park, Cunningham Street, Tweed Heads, New South Wales, Australia

Banora Point Community Centre Park, Banora Point, Woodlands Drive, Banora Point, New South Wales, Australia

Recreation Ground, Florence Street, Tweed Heads, New South Wales

Knox Park, Murwillumbah, New South Wales, Australia

Richmond Terrace, Coraki, New South Wales, Australia

Cnr Centre and Light Street, Casino, New South Wales, Australia 2470

Kenguru outdoor gym equipment, near to South Golden Beach Community Centre

Three exercise stations along Marine Parade

Three exercise stations: Sit up bar, leg raises/pull ups bar, leg press, body pulls/push ups bar, chest press, aerobic cycle and pull downs

Stepper, rowing machine, ab-hip swinger, ezy rider, shoulder press/lat pull down, butterfly press and cross trainer

Three sit up boards spread around the vicinity of Beech St, Park St and Ocean Drive

Leg press, pull downs, chest press, sit-up bench, push up bar, step ups, body dips, multi bars (chin ups)

Station 1- Exercise bike, rowing machine - Station 2- warming up spot markers x2 (knee chest, body extension), PS espalier double (senior metal) aka climbing frame, PS Haies (senior) aka hurdles, balance beam (senior and junior), grab bar set (dips/push ups), fixed bar (chin ups)

Lat pull down (for wheelchair and standing), chest press, upper and lower body warm up, arm push, arm swing, arm extension

3 exercise stations spread along Ford Park

Stretch station x 2, body twist x 2, sit up bench, elliptical trainer, aerobic cycle x 2, pull downs, chest press, leg press and body pulls/push ups bar

Five exercise stations along walking track/trail from Captain Cook car park to Wategos beach

Sit up bench and chin up bars

Active Transport

Active transport is using a mix of walking and cycling, along with public transport, instead of using a car. Active transport reduces air pollution and increases physical activity, it improves the health and wellbeing of communities and individuals. The links below will help you opt for active transport in the Northern Rivers:

Going Places is the go-to website for transport information in the Northern Rivers.

If you work at or are visiting one of our hospitals, and want to get there by public transport or bike, we have guides available for both Tweed Hospital and Lismore Base.

The Northern Rivers Rail Trail project plans to convert the disused Casino-Murwillumbah track to a walking and cycling trail. Check out their website for further active travel opportunities.

More Information

Australian exercise and physical activity guidelines provide advice about the benefits of leading an active lifestyle from birth to older age and how to include more physical activity in your life.

Healthy Eating Active Living details small changes you and your family can make today to feel better and improve health including free programs available in NSW.

The NSW Office of Sport aims to increase the levels of physical activity of people living in New South Wales.  This includes providing Active Kids vouchers to families to help cover the cost of sport registration and membership fees for school-enrolled children.

Live Lighter has a range of information and resources to help you make healthy lifestyle changes.

The Heart Foundation provides great information on moving to protect your heart.

The Cancer Council provides information on how you can reduce your cancer risk by eating well, being physically active and maintaining a healthy weight.

Did you know?

People who live in neighbourhoods that that are walkable are on average 3 kg lighter than people who live in ‘unwalkable’ neighbourhoods. What makes a neighbourhood walkable? These include:

  • Quality footpaths with barriers to heavy vehicles and good crossing points.
  • Street connectivity (for example, grid patterns that allow walkers to get to places directly rather than cul de sacs that lead nowhere).
  • Fairly high density housing and a mix of land use so you have shops, community centres and other destinations within walking distance.
  • Aesthetics, shade and seats.

How walkable is your Neighborhood? Walk score rates neighbourhoods all over Australia.

If you’d like to see changes in your community so that it’s easier to walk and be active, check out our information on ‘Planning for better health’.