While celebrating a milestone birthday over the weekend - I was 21 again - with an annual 'Birthday Set' of stairs at Merewether, friends and I commented on how much more active we were than when we first met in our 20s.
Back then we played sport and did things like impromptu beach cricket matches or kicking a football at the park, but rarely did we meet up to do fitness sessions or long runs like we regularly do now. Most people we also saw out for early morning activity were around our age or older.
It came as little surprise to me to read recently in a press release that Baby Boomers come out on top as our most active generation.
Baby Boomers, born between 1944 and 1964, reportedly rack up 83 additional hours of exercise each year compared to those under 40 and, according to research, health and confidence were the biggest drivers of exercise among that generation.
The research commissioned by Fitness Australia revealed Baby Boomers were racking up 364 hours of physical activity each year. They beat out their younger counterparts with those under 40 averaging 281 hours.
Fitness Australia chief executive Barrie Elvish said that while the majority of Baby Boomers are getting physically active to improve their health, confidence was also a huge driver.
"Our research found that for half of older Australians a key benefit of being active is proving to themselves that they can still do it," he said.
"As a Baby Boomer myself, it is extremely gratifying to see this generation embracing physical activity, challenging themselves and enjoying the physical, mental and social benefits.
"Sometimes getting started is the hardest part, whether it's pulling on your runners and stepping out your front door to go for a walk or joining a group fitness class with a friend. But when you overcome that first step, you build up confidence and start enjoying yourself."
No matter your age, being active has so many benefits, including feeling physically and mentally stronger.
As we approach Christmas, the New Year and holiday time, find ways to be active that include the whole family. Put down the devices and go for a family bike ride or walk.
One way to ensure you stay active is to find something you love to do, according to Fitness Australia spokesperson and personal trainer Chantal Brodrick. Her tips to get moving include uncovering what motivates you. That means if you like being outdoors, consider activities such as bushwalking or an outdoor bootcamp. She also advises finding activities you love, buddying up and incorporating fitness into your daily routine, such as gardening, taking the stairs instead of the lift and taking the dog for a longer walk..
Personally, I have a renewed love of group classes at the gym. Having other people to challenge me is motivating and makes me definitely go harder which means I get more out of a workout.
With summer arriving this week, it is a great time to find your motivation and get moving.
Upcoming Fitness Events
Variety Santa Fun Run, The Station, December 8: The event has 5km and 10km courses and is fully inclusive and family friendly. And what more incentive is there than that every participant gets a Santa suit included in their entry fee.
Across the Harbour Swim, Newcastle harbour, January 26: Choose between the 700-metre single crossing or 1.4km double crossing of the harbour.
Coastal Ascent, Dixon Park, February 16: With 11km and 25km options, this trail running event is through Glenrock State Conservation Area with the longer course going to Dudley. There is also a kids event.
Summer Sessions Week #1
Hit summer flying with this cardio and strength session. Make it two shorter workouts by splitting the strength and cardio up on two different days. Add a warm-up and cool-down.
Set 1: 10 minutes x [20 mountain climbers, 100 metre run, 5 burpees, 100m run]
Set 2: 10min x [10 squats with alternating single-arm shoulder press, 10 push-ups, 20 lunges, 10 pull-ups/rows]
Set 3: 10min x [20 seconds run: 20sec walk; 40sec run: 40sec walk; 60sec run: 60sec walk]
Set 4: 10min x [20 ab rotation with weight, 10 glute bridge, 20 ab crunch, 30sec hover]
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Renee Valentine is a writer, qualified personal trainer and mother of three.