As a wealthy, sports-loving nation, we are not making the improvements in personal health that we should be.

Dear Australia. We should be worried, because it’s getting worse.

We need to commit to health.

Do you remember the landmark 2011-13 Australian Health Survey (AHS) conducted by The Australian Bureau of Statistics? It was the largest and most comprehensive survey of health in Australia that the country had ever undertaken.

I was reminded of the AHS findings the other day as I ‘rabbit-holed’ doing some online research and came across an old article in the Sydney Morning Herald that referenced one the AHS’s findings: ‘Australians are smoking and drinking less but they are still putting on weight, with 63 per cent of the population deemed overweight or obese.’

Yes, that’s 63% of our fellow Australians, almost every 2 out of every 3 individuals.

What would the rest of the world think if they knew the sunny-smiling-tan-surfing-Aussies were more overweight than the rest of the globe?

When it comes to our weight, we have to reverse this trend. It is simply unacceptable.

There has been a number of other subsequent reports and surveys since the landmark AHS. We now have a good idea of how the general population is faring when it comes to the four key behaviours that indicate how healthy we are as a commonwealth: eating and drinking habits; the amount of nightly sleep; frequency of exercise; and medical check ups.

For example, AIA’s Australia Healthy Living Index Monitor suggests that:

  • Over 70% of us would like to lose a little or a lot of weight;
  • Only half exercise regularly. Many feel too tired to exercise, admit they are too lazy to exercise regularly or can’t find the time. This makes them feel guilty.
  • A quarter say they feel pressured to lie about how much exercise they do while two-thirds of those feel pressured admit to having done so; and
  • Over half of Australians are trying to eat more vegetables and fruits in their diets everyday.

These points above are worrying simply because of their language: ‘Would like to…‘Are trying to…

What about commitment! There seems to be a chronic lack of it.

Where are these statements? I am committed to losing weight. I am committed to eating more fruit and veggies, and I am committed to exercising because it will make me feel better, look better, and lead a healthier lifestyle!

A healthy meals of grilled fish and veg - perfect if you commit to health

In Australia, we simply need to commit to health. People who commit get it done.

If you’d like some more motivation to change those bad habits and move your life forward towards better health, see here.

Achievers don’t want it, they don’t wish for it, and they don’t wait for it…they take on a challenge, and they commit to it.

One word – commitment. This may sound simple, this may sound easy, but so be it – when the world gets complex, sometimes the answer is an easy one. Commitment is that answer. We need to commit to health.

Think about it – we could all likely quickly answer these questions… ‘What is your commitment to your job…your wife…your kids, your house, your retirement, your dog, and/or your favourite sports team?

But if 63% of the country is overweight, then I wonder how many people could answer ‘What is your commitment to your health?

Too many people are trudging ahead as usual, then relying on doctors for the cure, when all they need to do is commit to a healthier lifestyle, which produces a clearer mind and a healthier body.

Apologies for the rant! But the health of my fellow Australians worries me.

And my main motivation in becoming a fitness professional was to see people do three things:

  • Commit
  • Get inspired
  • Make healthy lifestyle changes

If you are reading this – hopefully you’re already committed to not becoming a statistic.

Now grab your mates, family members, and co-workers, and show them exactly how it’s done.

When one commits, it can influence another, and then another…it’s how we reverse the obesity trend and make this world a happier and healthier place!