The weather is getting warmer, the days are getting longer. Spring is here and summer is just around the corner. Now is the time to get serious about moving more and getting some sweat on.

Take control of your health and commit to fit

In the last few years , there have been studies released that reveal that up to 3.6 million of Australian’s don’t do any exercise at all. This is truly alarming.

In fact, we are in the top 20 of the world’s laziest countries and, the future doesn’t look overly promising either: sales of children’s bikes have dipped sharply in the past 10 years.

All in all, it’s painting a dismal picture of the impact on our health in years to come.

There are many contributing factors to our collective laziness – ranging from our fixation with devices at the expense of sport and outdoor pursuits, and other factors including long commutes, traffic congestion and prioritising work over exercise.

And then along came Covid and the numerous (and in Melbourne’s case, torturous and seemingly endless) lockdowns. Work from home, school from home, gym from home; the couch has become very intimate with our backsides.

Get your 10,000 steps in daily

As spring ushers in longer hours of daylight to enjoy the great outdoors, experts are boosting their efforts to encourage us to get up from the couch and get moving – and urge our kids to do the same.

The Cerebral Palsy Alliance’s Steptember initiative is urging us to put a spring in our step and achieve the World Health Organisation’s recommended 10,000 steps a day during this month.

Currently, we have a long way to go with Aussies averaging just half that amount, making us the nineteenth most sedentary nation in the world.

Steptember’s focus is on energising the workplace where 47% of those surveyed said they’d be much more likely to participate in workplace activities if bosses and colleagues were more supportive.

All funds raised go to help support the 34,000 Australians living with cerebral palsy. Find out more at www.steptember.org.au.

Tips for a healthier you

We asked Steptember and Droptober for their advice on getting motivated:

The key is to just start by putting one foot in front of the other and then to keep going.

Be honest with yourself

Be honest with yourself about why you want to change who you are before you embark on a new exercise regime.

  • Do you want to look good?
  • Do you want to feel better?
  • Do you want to wear a bikini again?

Have a long think about why you are setting out on this challenge, and once you have that use it to motivate yourself.

Droptober started with the slogan “Just drop 2kgs” but honesty is also about recognising an achievable goal.

Talk to your doctor, your trainer your partner, and work out what is an honest goal for Droptober. It may be inches off your waist, it might be 2kgs, or it could be to get up to a 5km walk.

Alcohol and other drinks

One of the easiest changes to make that will yield results is to cut down your intake of alcohol, fizzy drinks, juice drinks, and anything with excess sugar and calories.

If you keep lemonade and the like in the fridge – throw it out!

The same with juice, as the sugar content is appalling. Keep glass bottles of chilled water in the fridge add some lemon, lime, or cucumber and enjoy.

Alcohol is pretty prevalent in society and it can be difficult to socialise if you are not drinking, we get that. But try not drinking at all during the week, just on weekends. Enjoy celebratory drinks while you keep the weight off.

You are what you eat

The old sayings are normally the truest, and this one is a beauty.

It’s a pretty simple equation, what you put in your mouth will create your look, your body, and how you feel.

Yes we could all eat whatever we wanted when we were teenagers, but as our body stops growing it no longer needs the continual kilojoule stuffing.

What to eat when is not that difficult but sifting through all the information is. The first thing to remember is do not believe any of the claims of products on supermarket shelves.

Did you know?
  • ‘Fat free’ or ‘low fat’ generally means they have stuffed it with sugar
  • ‘All natural’ does not always mean it is good for you
  • Serving sizes are not a real indicator of kilojoule intake (who eats 100g of something?)
  • Package claims can be simply untrue (remember the Ribena juice scandal?)

Do not believe what is said in advertising or on the packets.

Do believe your common sense and your eyes.

Fruit, Veg and other stuff

You are pretty sure that fruit and vegetables are good for you right?

Pretty simple stuff, but do you eat enough of them? You are also pretty sure that fast food is bad for you, do you eat too much of them?

Close up partial view of a delicious, healthy, open-sandwich. Great as part of a new exercise regime

Spend two days writing down everything you eat and then have a good hard look at the list. What does it tell you?

If you’re interested in learning about the glycemic index (GI) and why it matters to you, see here.

Exercise more

  • This is probably the most difficult of the lot, but it doesn’t have to be. You don’t have to be breathlessly gasping for air but you do need to use your common sense:
  • How many steps a week do you walk? Don’t know? Get a pedometer or something similar and count them.
  • Set a goal: walk to work, get off the bus a stop earlier, shop locally and walk to the supermarket – incidental exercise works!
  • Find a hill and make it your own. Set yourself a goal.
  • Take the stairs. When was the last time you took the stairs instead of the elevator?
  • Buy a bike – it’s an awesome way to get around and fun with the kids.
  • You don’t need to spend time and dollars going to a gym. You can easily workout from home and incorporate more movement into your daily life.
  • Once you look better and feel better a gym may well be your next step.

Just keep putting one foot in front of the other.

8 steps that will bring results

Phase #1:

Changing Habits Commit to healthy habits while saying goodbye to unhealthy ones that are holding you back.

Phase #2:

Cleanse & Detox Spend five days cleansing your body with real food, water, and portion control – no pills or powders are necessary.

Phase #3:

Food Guide Research and commit to a shopping list and daily eating guide to provide you with a week of healthy and tasty weight loss meals.

Phase #4:

Exercise Move your body so that you feel better, look better, have more energy, and lose more weight.

Phase #5:

Fasting Intermittent fasting works. A small change into your eating habits will stimulate further weight loss.

Phase #6:

Food Guide #2 Variety is the spice of life, so research and prepare another week of healthy and tasty weight loss meals.

Phase #7:

Become the CEO of Your Body This mental approach is ‘harsh with a hug’ that will keep you in control of your health.

Phase #8:

Lifestyle / Maintenance Your Spring Offensive might finish, but you will start a new phase of your healthy life. You can maintain this and continue on.

You’ve got this.

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