Exercise & Sports Science Australia (ESSA) is today reminding all Australians that exercise remains as important as ever to help keep our population healthy.
Originally published by ABC
By Alexis Moran
19 Jun 2019, 10:11am
A plus-size female mannequin poses with its arms over its head inside a Nike store Photo: The Nike plus-size mannequin sparked a great debate on social media.
Nike has placed a new mannequin inside its London store that has sparked outrage and debate on social media and the internet.
Why? Because it is plus-size.
What does healthy look like?
The issue sparked fierce debate online, with people's ideas of what it was to look healthy shaping their responses to the mannequin.
And the debate has provided insight into how our media and advertising consumption has warped our views on body image.
Jasmine Fardouly, a researcher from Macquarie University who examines the links between social media use and mental health, as well as weight stigma, said too often, health was linked to a person's physical appearance.
"People can be unhealthy at any body size and exercising is good for everyone," she said.
"Statistically, larger body sizes are normal within our society, so having a plus-size mannequin is perhaps more representative of the general population than the very thin mannequins often used in stores."
Legs of young people walking up stairs Photo: A person's fitness level is often wrongly judged by their physical appearance. (ABC News: Stephanie Anderson)
Overly thin mannequins and models are nothing new.
In fact, The Telegraph journalist pointed out "advertising has always bullied women, but this is something more insidious".
Dr Fardouly said beauty ideals promoted within our society, and through social media, were often very narrow and unattainable for many.
"The female beauty ideal is often thin with some muscle tone and the male ideal is muscular with little body fat," she said.
"People are born in bodies of different shapes and sizes, and having such narrow ideals can lead people to be dissatisfied with their own appearance."
Emily Gill, an accredited practising dietitian and coordinator at the Queensland University of Technology's Nutrition and Dietetics Clinic, agreed.
"We currently see a narrow range of bodies in most social media and we know that photo-based activities like scrolling through social media has been correlated to negative body image," she said.
"When we don't feel great about ourselves we are less likely to engage in healthy behaviours."
Are we normalising larger sizes or healthy sizes?
Fiona Falkiner, who was a contestant on Australia's biggest loser, wrote a piece in response to The Telegraph article saying she supported Nike's use of the mannequin.
She also said the backlash against plus-size bodies frustrated her.
"The point is, we all come in different shapes and sizes and Nike has recognised this," she wrote.
"All Nike has done is encourage the many millions of people who are out there wanting to get active, be active, feel included, and I hope it paves the way for other brands to follow, because it's time to accept that we come in all shapes and sizes and all deserve to be seen and catered for."
Ms Gill said normalising body shapes was likely to have a positive impact on people's mental health and encourage those wanting to get in shape.
"It's hard to know if a body is healthy by looking at it, so seeing a variety of different body types engaged in healthy activities like the Nike mannequin is a great way of normalising that all bodies can be active bodies," she said.
"Many people in larger bodies feel discouraged from being active because of their size and this is not healthy."
Dr Fardouly said promoting healthy lifestyles on social media did more good than harm and there was now a push to broaden beauty ideals.
"I think it is helpful to include more diverse bodies in the media and to promote body acceptance. Eating healthily and exercising is good for everyone regardless of the size of their body," she said.
Dr Fardouly said body dissatisfaction was highly prevalent in society and "associated with a host of negative outcomes, such as poor mental health, unhealthy eating and exercise habits, and poorer academic performance".
So, trying to live up to these ideal bodies on Instagram will not necessarily motivate you to work out. It could even make us do the opposite, Dr Fardouly said.
Picture of Kim Kardashian in white underwear Photo: Trying to live up to ideal Instagram bodies, like Kim Kardashian, won't necessarily motivate you to work out. (Instagram: kimkardashian)
"Being dissatisfied with your body does not necessarily lead to weight loss; it often leads to poorer diet and less exercise," she said.
Ms Gill agreed.
"Body dissatisfaction can lead people to go on restrictive diets which often do not result in long-term weight loss but instead can trigger yo-yo dieting patterns," she said.
"Restrictive diets can lead to a loss of muscle mass which reduces metabolic rate and food or energy requirements and so it is easy to regain weight when people go back to eating normally.
"Eating healthily and exercising is good for everyone regardless of the size of their body."
The stigma around weight
Dr Fardouly said negative attitudes towards weight were widespread, with many people believing a person's appearance was "completely under their control".
"In reality, it is much more complex than that," she said.
A teenager circles an image of a woman's body from a number of options showing different body shapes. Photo: Whether people are confident in their own skin is a separate thing to being healthy. (ABC News)
"Whether people are confident in their own skin is a separate thing to being healthy."
Ms Gill agreed focusing on healthy behaviours should come first and weight second.
"If we find a way to move that we enjoy doing regularly and eat nourishing foods in response to our appetites we will all be more likely to settle into a healthy weight, which will be different for each of us," she said.
Topics: health, diet-and-nutrition, womens-health, mental-health, social-media, internet-culture, exercise-and-fitness, australia
First posted 19 Jun 2019, 7:29am
When on the path to finding a healthier you, there is often a lot of focus on weight loss, but it's important to remember that not all weight loss is created equal. Your primary focus should be on reducing your fat - which doesn't necessarily equal a reduction on the scales. Muscle is denser than fat, so while your fat may be dropping, you could find you're not seeing any movement on the scales - so don't worry about losing weight, let's focus on losing fat.
Here are three tips to losing that fat.
Tip 1: Keep a food diary. - It's amazing how little attention we pay to what we put in our bodies. By keeping a food diary, you'll increase your awareness of the food that you eat every day. Take note of everything, down to the smallest snack. Making yourself aware of what you're eating and being able to take stock of a week's worth of food can provide you with the perspective to make healthier choices.
If you want even more control over what you're eating - try out an app that counts the calories from your foods too. Many of them enable you to enter a target weight and will present you with a daily kilojoule goal. Lifesum and My FitnessPal are popular options to try.
Tip 2: Drink more water. - Have you ever gotten the feeling that you need to have a snack, but end up pouring yourself a glass of water first and feeling the craving fall away? You're not alone. Keeping yourself properly hydrated is a proven way to reduce cravings throughout the day as the signals the body sends to the brain to tell you you're thirsty can often be confused with 'I'm hungry'. Not only that, but it also assists with all sorts of body function - from cell repair to concentration. There's no downside here.
Tip 3: Reduce starchy carbs. - Try to steer away from starchy carbs like bread, rice, potatoes and pasta where possible. They tend to provide your body with more energy than it needs in one hit, and anything that's left over gets converted into body fat to be saved for a rainy (or hungry) day. "You don't have to eliminate starchy carbs completely," days IFBB pro Mike Matarazzo. "But you should really cut back on them when trying to shed body fat".
Does the glycemic index value of a food really matter?
From a performance standpoint, yes. From a body composition standpoint, no.
At the end of the day the caloric value of the food, the amount of energy it gives you, will be the same. So if both macronutrient and calorie values of the food are the same, it doesn’t matter if the food is Low GI or High GI when it comes to fat loss and weight gain.
But where this can make a difference, is the rate at which it releases energy and how full it keeps you for how long. People who can’t resist the urge to eat when they are hungry are better off having a fair amount of Low GI foods as the energy is released slower. And when it comes to performance I believe a mix of low and high GI carbs in a meal about an hour and a half before training is ideal, that way you will have energy at the start of the workout from the quick absorbing carbs, and then throughout the workout the slower absorbing carbs will fuel you.
A meal that I am quite regularly eating currently is yoghurt, banana, ground up Weetbix, banana & honey. I eat this about 1-2 hours before training and my sessions have been great lately.
But in saying all that, everyone feels different on different types of food. Find out what works for you and then stick with that! Happy eating!
Originally published by Darren Chandler here.
Between the kidney beans, kale, egg, and cheese, each serving dishes up a solid 28 grams of protein. Get the recipe here.
Craving pasta? No problem, just add tofu, cashews and broccoli and you don't have to feel bad about indulging. Recipe available here.
Between the black beans, the egg, and mmm... Fontina cheese (7 grams of protein per ounce), this gloriously stuffed sweet potato will leave both your mother and your trainer equally impressed. Recipe available here.
Combine quinoa with peanut butter, tofu, and broccoli for this powerhouse of lunches. Check out the recipe here.
Give yourself hefty portions (or add some jack cheese) to up the protein in this filling salad. Recipe available here.
Vegetarian Shepherd's Pie With Seitan
I know seitan feels like tofu's weirder cousin, but with about 20 grams of protein per serving, it's totally worth trying. Recipe available here.
Every good vegetarian needs a bean chili recipe in their arsenal. Just remember: Do all your eye rubbing before chopping the jalapeños. Recipe available here.
Everyone has that friend. The one that gets up at first light, goes for a beach run, follows it up with a meditation and wheat-grass smoothie before getting to work early to get a head start on their day. All whilst the rest of us are wrapped up in our bedspread coccoons, hiding from the alarm and contemplating with some fear whether to start going to the gym again before summer gets here.
So what's their secret? Well, it tends to be a winning combination of routine and making it as easy as possible.
1. Don't go too hard too soon
Many people make the mistake of trying to do too much too soon and getting overwhelmed. So, whilst the notion of a tremendous overnight life overhaul may be tempting, it's far more effective to focus on a single small goal at a time. The benefit of working on single goals to change your behaviour is that these new behaviour can become what are known as 'keystone' habits, triggering a whole torrent of positive lifestyle changes.
For example, if you commit to becoming more active, you're more likely to drink more water and to make healthy food choices. Choosing just one thing to focus on at the beginning means you're more capable of sticking to it and reaping the associated rewards.
2. Get into a rhythm
The reality is, that we are creatures of habit and a significant portion of what we do during our days comes from habits. That is, you're not making a conscious decision to do those things, your brain is effectively running on autopilot - this may be your morning routine or post-work wind-down for example. The key to instilling new habits is to link them with your existing routine. Something as simple as putting your workout gear next to your bd the night before so you don't have to seek for it in the morning can jumpstart the automation of these new healthy habits.
3. Don't exhaust your willpower reserves
Willpower is a finite resource. Every day, you wake up with your 'tank' of willpower filled all the way. Throughout the day, as you make decisions, you use up this willpower until it's exhausted. Each time you resist a temptation, your burning that willpower. It's why it's so much easier to stick to a healthy diet if you remove all temptations from your home, because otherwise, they're laying there in wait for when your willpower is exhausted. Stocking your fridge with healthy snack options will ensure that when your 'snack habit' kicks in, you don't have to use that limited resource of willpower to make a healthy decision, it'll be made for you already.
The key to successfully developing a healthy lifestyle isn't relying completely on self-discipline, but simply by understanding and influencing behaviour that has become so automatic you don't even have to think about it. Start small, automate it and remove temptation to deviate and success will be yours.
When we start a fitness journey, we usually start with a goal. It may be to lose some weight, gain muscle tone, or to get more mobile. Whatever your goal, it's important to have a strategy to achieve it. Here are 7 tips to help you achieve your goals.
1. Make a plan
Whether it’s a healthy meal plan, or a fitness program, if you don't make a plan, you plan to fail. You’ll know exactly what you need to do each day in order to achieve your goals, which will keep you on track.
Talk to a Fitness Results Personal Trainer to get a personalised plan made just for you.
2. Set realistic goals
Setting realistic, achievable goals is not given enough emphasis when it comes to keeping you committed to your fitness journey. If your goals are unachievable, it can leave you feeling like you've failed when you fall short of achieving them. Which can end up with you abandoning your fitness journey. Make sure you set short-term and long-term achievable goals that can be maintained.
3. Keep up the H2O
Dehydration will accelerate muscle fatigue, so don't let it hold you back from hitting your goals. Keep hydrated throughout the day by always having a water bottle handy. When working out, you should aim to drink approximately 200ml of water for every 15 minutes of intense exercise.
4. Workout first thing in the morning
You may think that working hard in the morning will leave you fatigued for the rest of the day, but you may be surprised to find the opposite can happen. Getting into your workout first thing in the morning ensures you’ll never let a big day get in the way of achieving your goals. Plus the post-workout endorphin rush will leave you feeling pumped for the day ahead.
5. Make it quick
If you’re short on time, there’s no need to skip your workout! Why not try a shorter workout such as boxing or high intensity interval training (HIIT). You’ll still get a great workout in and save on time, after all, it's doing a bit every day that makes the difference.
6. Keep track
There are a plethora of apps available for tracking your workouts and calorie intakes. They can be a great way to quantify the work you've been putting in. My Fitness Pal is a popular choice, and Lifesum is another option with beautiful design.
7. Moderate, but don’t eliminate
Remember to Treat. Yo. Self. If you’re trying to make a healthy lifestyle change, try sticking to the 80:20 method: 80% of the food you eat should be clean and nutritious, and use the other 20% to treat yourself. It's not always necessary to go cold turkey and cut out the foods you love entirely.
If there was a way to double your success in the gym, would you do it? For those who are struggling with motivation, a training buddy will keep you accountable, motivated, on track with your goals and provide you with some healthy competition. Here are our top five benefits of working out with a friend:
Now the big question, how do you find the right training buddy?
Already got a buddy? Try out our group PT sessions and get a plan crafted specifically for you:
Still need a buddy? Try one of our group classes (Your first one is free!):
We’ve all heard that we should drink more water but it’s not always clear why. The main reason for drinking water every day is to replace fluid loss from everyday activities. Especially if you’re working out, our bodies lose a lot of fluid through sweat, which is great! But this water needs to be replaced.
Here is a list of six extra benefits that result from staying hydrated.
1. Prevents headaches
If you don't replenish the water you lose during the day you'll end up dehydrates, which opens a whole new can of work... It causes normal body function to decrease and results in headaches. Drinking more water will keep you hydrated and assist with keeping those headaches at bay.
2. Prevents memory loss
A natural part of getting older is memory loss but one way to fight it is by drinking more H2O. Water boosts the energy needed to keep your brain active and an active brain remembers better for longer!
3. Lessens addictive urges
Do you actually need that Coke or are you just thirsty? Try quenching your thirst with water and you may find that some of those cravings will start to subside. This can also apply to hunger, sometimes your body is craving fluid but your mind interprets it as hunger, so remember, down a glass of H2O before you go.
4. Cleanses toxins
Not just referring to toxic waste chemicals, your body produces waste throughout the day that needs to be flushed out. Water encourages the toxins to break down and pass through your body much easier. You may need to check out the bowl before you flush, but it's a great way of keeping track of how hydrated you are.
5. Increases muscle function
If food is the fuel of the body, then water is the octane, it makes everything work better. Water increases the efficiency of the red blood cells that carry oxygen to our muscles, so get ready to feel a little more spritely and to get better results in the gym too!
6. Boosts metabolism
Drinking water keeps your metabolism busy and flowing smoothly. If combined with a number of other factors including your diet and exercise, it can assist in losing weight.
We've all said it at some point. When that friend asks you to go the the gym with them or your partner asks if you did any exercise today... we say: 'I don't have time'. Well, we are here to help, below are ten tips for fitting exercise into your life.
We're here to help. Below you will find our top 10 tips for fitting exercise into your life;
1. Do something you enjoy!
Everyone enjoys some form of physical activity, and by choosing something you love, you're way more likely to stick to it. This could include walking the dog, team sports, running, weight training, yoga.
2. Make a plan
If it’s scheduled into your week, it will happen. Trying to fit a workout in without planning it into your week often leads to no workout at all.
3. TV time
Who doesn’t sit down a watch a little bit of TV at night? Why not bust out some moves during the add breaks! Squats, push-ups, crunches, star jumps are just a few great exercises that don't need equipment.
4. Be accountable
Working with a personal trainer and having sessions booked in advance mean you have automatically designated that time to improve your health. You can check out our PT options here.
5. Work-out buddies
There's nothing quite like a bit of social pressure to keep you on track so why not train with a friend? Having someone that also wants to improve their health and fitness goals are a great motivator and a great way to catch up during the week!
6. Family time
We're always looking to get more time with out families, try to include something active. It can be anything from going for a walk, bike ride, playing a game of soccer, or going somewhere like Bounce Inc. (Room of trampolines? I'm yet to hear a kid turn that down.)
7. It's all about timing
Are you a night owl? If so, you probably won't stick to the 6am group classes... Swap it out for something you'll stick too, like a 6pm or 7pm class. Decide what time of day exercise works best for you.
Try switching out things you already do to get in a bit more activity. Be it cycling or walking to work... or the shops. Or even subbing out the elevator for the stairs. Little things add up, getting public transport to work could mean you're walking an extra 20 minutes per day compared to if you just got in your car.
9. Work out at work
Want to improve your posture and core strength? Well, if you sit at a desk all day, consider swapping out your chair for a swiss ball. Or, if you're particularly committed... Keep some dumbbells or foam roller under your desk so you can get some exercises in on your lunch break
10. Make allowances for missed sessions and set backs
Sometimes everything doesn’t go according to plan... don’t stress, have a plan B! If you are unable to make the gym or exercise that day, plan to exercise on a day you generally wouldn’t to make up for lost time.
Looking to get a start? Check out our group class and PT options: