The military lifestyle provides structure with exercise, sports and physical training. Continuing to be physically active on your own as a civilian can be difficult. If you feel this way, you are not alone!

Transitioning into civilian life might be a good opportunity to try new exercises and sports. In addition to exercise, it’s important to make changes to your lifestyle to help you become more physically active.

Dr Ben Singh, exercise physiologist and Research Officer at Gallipoli Medical Research Foundation says, “It’s important to choose the activities that you enjoy, and that you can fit into your daily life. A great place to start is aim for at least 30 minutes of moderate intensity physical activity on most, preferably all, days of the week.”

Dr Ben shared some examples, of how you can integrate physical activity into your lifestyle:

  • Mow the grass, rake the leaves, weed the garden
  • Play a round of golf and walk (instead of driving a cart)
  • Walk the dog (your dog, or a friends or neighbours)
  • Wash your car
  • Vacuum often
If you have a packed schedule here are some ways to get moving
  • Use the stairs instead of the lift or escalator
  • Get off the bus one stop earlier and walk the rest of the way
  • Park further away from your destination and walk
If you spend a lot of time sitting down here are a few tips to increase movement
  • Get up to change the channel on the TV instead of using the remote
  • When tidying up, put things away in multiple small trips rather than one big haul
  • Stand up and move during your favourite TV shows
Tips to help continue your physical activity participation
  • Ask your family and friends to support you
  • Find out about easy, fun ways to be active in your area
  • Find out which activities you can do at work or nearby, such as gym or park

We recommend consulting with your healthcare provider before beginning any exercise program if you have any existing injuries, disabilities or medical conditions. Your health care provider may recommend working with an exercise physiologist or physiotherapist to learn more about exercises that are right for you.

Have fun and get moving! Here are some additional resources you might find useful and don’t forget to visit the DVA website to find more information about Veterans’ Health Week.

 Additional resources