Farming is still a physically demanding way of life, but it is not as active as it was in the past. Machinery and vehicles have taken over a lot of the physical work and farmers spend a lot more time sitting down than walking.
Like the rest of the population, farmers are not as fit as they could be and many are becoming overweight. Being overweight and inactive increases your risk of many serious health conditions like diabetes, heart disease, some cancers, mental health problems and musculoskeletal aches and pains.
It is important to be fit in three areas – cardiovascular fitness, strength and suppleness.
Looking after yourself is part of looking after your farm
Farmers need to be healthy and fit because it’s hard to ‘take a sickie’ when there’s no one to take your place. Looking after your health is an important part of your business risk management to ensure you can continue to look after your farm!
Make physical activity enjoyable, there are lots of ways to build
activity into your daily routine:
- Walk down to check the stock and leave the quad bike in the shed.
- Do some stretches before you start work and throughout the day, wherever you happen to be, the shed, the house, or out in the paddock.
- Do some gardening – why not dig over the vegie plot?
- Do structured recreational activity like playing golf, water skiing, strength work outs, bushwalking
- 10,000 steps is the recommended daily step goal for a healthy adult
- Medical checks - if you are over 35, have a pre-existing illness or haven’t done much physical activity for a while, have a medical check up first.
- Exercise with care – be mindful of traffic and farm equipment when you are exercising.
- Sun – wear hats, sunscreen and clothing that best protects you from the sun.
Check out our Farmfit video series and see how easy it is build some exercise into your daily life on the farm.