Archive for the ‘Coffs Coast Kids Club’ Category

Teaching Your Child Emotional Agility

October 9, 2016

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It’s hard to see a child unhappy. Whether a child is crying over the death of a pet or the popping of a balloon, our instinct is to make it better, fast.

That’s where too many parents get it wrong, says the psychologist Susan David, author of the book “Emotional Agility.” Helping a child feel happy again may offer immediate relief for parent and child, but it doesn’t help a child in the long term.

“How children navigate their emotional world is critical to lifelong success,” she said.

Research shows that when teachers help preschoolers learn to manage their feelings in the classroom, those children become better problem solvers when faced with an emotional situation, and are better able to engage in learning tasks. In teenagers, “emotional intelligence,” or the ability to recognize and manage emotions, is associated with an increased ability to cope with stressful situations and greater self-esteem. Some research suggests that a lack of emotional intelligence can be used to predict symptoms of depression and anxiety.

Emotional skills, said Dr. David, are the bedrock of qualities like grit and resilience. But instead of allowing a child to fully experience a negative emotion, parents often respond with what Dr. David describes as emotional helicoptering.

“We step into the child’s emotional space,” she said, with our platitudes, advice and ideas. Many common parental strategies, like minimizing either the emotion or the underlying problem or rushing to the rescue, fail to help a child learn how to help herself.

Dr. David offers four practical steps for helping a child go through, rather than around, a negative emotion and emerge ready to keep going — feel it, show it, label it, watch it go.

Feel It. While it may seem obvious to feel emotions, many families focus on pushing away negative emotions. “When we’re saying ‘don’t be sad, don’t be angry, don’t be jealous, don’t be selfish,’ we’re not coming to the child in the reality of her emotion,” she said. “Validate and see your child as a sentient person who has her own emotional world.”

Show It. Similarly, many families have what Dr. David calls “display rules” around emotions — there are those it is acceptable to show, and those that must be hidden. “We see expressions like ‘boys don’t cry’ and ‘we don’t do anger here,’ or ‘brush it off,’” she said. “We do it with very good intentions, but we are teaching that emotions are to be feared.”

Label It. Labeling emotions, Dr. David said, is a critical skill set for children.

“We need to learn to recognize stress versus anger or disappointment,” she said. Even very young children can consider whether they’re mad or sad, or angry or anxious or scared. “Labeling emotions is also at the core of our ability to empathize. Ask ‘How do you think so-and-so is feeling? What does their face tell you?’”

As children get older, she adds, we can talk more about emotional complexities. “We can be simultaneously excited and anxious and frustrated, and we also need to learn to recognize that in other people,” she said.

Watch It Go. Even the hardest emotions don’t last forever. Dr. David suggests helping your child to notice that. “Sadness, anger, frustration — these things have value, but they also pass. They’re transient, and we are bigger than they are. Say, ‘This is what sadness feels like. This is what it feels like after it passes. This is what I did that helped it pass.’”

We can also help children to remember that we don’t necessarily feel the same emotion every time we have a similar experience. The high dive is scariest the first time. We might feel a lot of anxiety at one party, or in one science class, but have a different experience the next time.

“We’re very good, as humans, at creating these stories around emotions,” Dr. David said. “‘I’m not good at making friends. I can’t do math.’ Those are feelings and fears, not fixed states. People and things change.”

Finally, she said, help your child plan for experiencing the emotion again. “Ask, ‘Who do you want to be in this situation?’” she said. “What’s important to you about this?” Children feel stronger as they begin to learn that it’s not how they feel, but how they respond to the feeling, that counts.

Article source: http://www.nytimes.com/2016/10/04/well/family/teaching-your-child-emotional-agility.html
Picture source: http://www.spring.org.uk/images/tantrum.jpg

Coffs Coast Health Club eNews – December 2014

December 2, 2014

Coffs Coast Health Club Logo“Empowering the Coffs Coast to be the happiest & healthiest community in Australia”
#strongertogether   #fitnessnfun   #coffscoasthealthclub


Join Now & Pay Nothing til 2015!

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If you or anyone you know joins Coffs Coast Health Club before the end of December they will PAY NOTHING UNTIL 2015! That means no joining fee & also no membership payments until 1st January SAVING OVER $200! 
 
We know it can be hard to motivate yourself to exercise during party season but it’s a hell of a lot easier if you’re doing it with someone. Training buddies can help keep you accountable, motivate you, keep you on track & provide a social relief when working out. If there is ever a time to keep up your training, burn those excess party calories or start on a new workout regime its NOW! 
 
The offer is only valid to the first 50 people that join on any 12 month pay as you go membership, so move fast…
 
Call 6658 6222, email info@coffscoasthc.com.au or just drop in & join up. The sooner you start, the more you save!
 

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Coffs Coast Kids Club Christmas Party!

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The Coffs Coast Kids Club Christmas Party is on again this year! Book your children in to join their friends and our fabulous child minders for the morning while you enjoy our SUPER SATURDAY of new release LES MILLS classes.
 
When:   Saturday 13th December
Time:    7.15am until 10.45am
Where:  Kids Club
Cost:    $5 per child
 
The party includes;
• Access to Spring Loaded from 7:15am – 8:00am
• Healthy fruit snacks
• Presents 
• Arts and crafts 
• A Visit from our SMURF!
 
Bookings and payment are essential at reception before the 11th December. Call 6658 6222, email info@coffscoasthc.com.au or just pop your kids details on the list when you are next in the club.
 
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Baby Boomers Christmas Lunch!

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An annual highlight on our calendar, is Christmas lunch with our most experienced members. Like a fine wine, they just keep getting better year after year. Park Beach surf clubs view should match their outlook on life & be a beautiful experience. The more the merrier! See you there…
 
When:     Thursday 11th December
Time:      11.45am
Where:    Park Beach Surf Club
Cost:       $25
 
Bookings and payment are essential at reception before the 9th December. Call 6658 6222, email info@coffscoasthc.com.au or just pop your details on the list when you are next in the club.
 
We have also arranged a Secret Santa so please bring a small wrapped $5 gift for our Santa Bag.
Further inquiries to Jacqui on 0421 971 155.

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Let’s Make It A Merry Christmas For Everyone!

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Parry’s Jewellers and Coffs Coast Health Club are looking for donations for their annual Christmas charity drive. 
 
Your kind support will help Warina Womens Refuge, Wesley Youth Accommodation Service and Uniting Church Soup Kitchen
 
We hope each week that our donation boxes will overflow so we need to empty them and start again. It has happened in Week 1 so lets do the same every week in December. Last donation day will be Friday December 19th. Donations can made at Coffs Coast Health Club at reception or Parry’s Jewellers opposite Coffs Central. 
 
Be a part of a great cause – with your help we can make Christmas a merry time for everyone. 
 

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Its Time To Launch New Classes!

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Get your jollys this festive season & come along for some fitness, fun, new moves & new music!
 Be the first to launch & experience the latest releases from Les Mills for PUMP, BALANCE, RPM & ATTACK.
 
PUMP            Saturday 13th Dec    7.30am
ATTACK        Saturday 13th Dec    8.30am
RPM              Saturday 13th Dec    8.30am
BALANCE      Saturday 13th Dec    9.30am
 
Come dressed in your best Christmas theme & you may just win a prize…
 
Bring a buddy for FREE to all class launches but please book early as places are limited. Call 6658 6222, email info@coffscoasthc.com.au or book at reception on your next visit.
 
REMEMBER – Saturday the 13th Dec is also the Kids Club Christmas Party, so why not leave the kids to celebrate in Kids Club and spend the morning experiencing the new releases… that way everyone wins!
 

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All I Want For Christmas Is A Massage With Ange!

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Give Someone a Touching Gift This Christmas – especially if they’ve been knotty this year! How about giving your loved ones a relaxing, stress-relieving, knot reducing neck, back or total body massage this Christmas? Give your mum something that she will appreciate more than the same old slippers and forget those old socks you give your dad each year. Buy something that shows you care. Who wouldn’t love a relaxing massage that they can use when they want, given from you with love.
 
To organise your special Christmas Massage Gift Certificate, please speak to our Christmas Elves at Reception. You can even phone through your order on 6658 6222 and we will have it ready for you to collect!  Its never too late to be nice!
 

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The 12 Week Body Makeover Challenge Winner Is….

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Jo Edwards! A huge Congratulations to Jo from all the team at Coffs Coast Health Club who have been watching her transformation from the sidelines.
With the help of her Personal Trainer Kylie and Healthy Inspirations Weight Loss Coach Simone; Jo lost a massive 12.6% body fat and 15.2kgs in only 12 weeks. Jo has been described as the perfect Personal Training and Healthy Inspirations client who never wavered from the guidelines that were set for her. This dedication really paid off and Jo is looking and feeling 

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absolutely incredible. 
 
Aside from the obvious rewards she has gained by following the guidelines, Jo also receives a ‘Makeover Pack’ from Miss Minnies Boutique and Skinfit both located on First Avenue Sawtell and also a great new hairstyle from Nat O’Rourke hairdressing.
 
There were some really impressive results during the 12 Week Challenge. Runners up were Karen Aranyi and Karen Stewart both who also had tremendous results with both their body fat percentage and overall weight loss. They will be able to ponder their success while enjoying a 60 minute massage each from us.
 
If you missed this Challenge, the next Healthy Inspirations Challenge starts 1st February 2015 no BUTTS about it!  Look out for details in the January Enews or talk to a Healthy Inspirations Weight Loss Coach today.
 

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Silly Season Sale!

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Are 
you about to over indulge with Christmas cheer during the party season? After work drinks and over eating food comas? Well, your trusty Coffs Coast Health Club team are here to help you! 
 
During the entire month of December all of our Supplements and Merchandise are 20% off RRP!
 
Here are our our most popular products
Nano Greens          was $69.99         Now $56
Nano Protein           was $69.99        Now $56
Nano Lean              was $59.99        Now $48
Nano Fish Oil          was $59.99        Now $48
Complete Core4      was $224.96       Now $190.47
 

Ask our friendly team at reception for further discounts on all of our other products.

Thank You For Such An Amazing Christmas Party!

Perfect location, quality food & amazing people… Our 5th Annual Members Christmas Party was a big hit! Congratulations to Lee Kennedy aka Team Member of the Year & Jo Edwards aka Club Member of the Year! Also a special mention to Brad Lanser for the most days at the club this year with 291 since January 1. Thank you to everyone that supported the event & check out our facebook page here for many more photos…

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Book Of The Month!

book 2‘The Most Interesting Person I Know’ book features 25 local stories which celebrate the skill, tenacity, courage and bloody good yarns of the Coffs Coast community. All profits from the sale of this book go to CanDo Cancer trust which provides assistance to local cancer sufferers and their families. It’s local, colourful and interesting! It’s perfect for the person who has everything and it’s helping a wonderful cause as all profits go to the CanDo Cancer Trust, which supports local cancer sufferers and their families. Make this your annual gift to staff or clients or buy one for yourself so you can enjoy some easy summer reading. Available now for only $25 at reception.

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Farewell, Welcome & Welcome Again!

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Well the time has almost come to say goodbye to our favourite stretch Neil. First a member, then a student through the Australian Institute of Personal Trainers (who smashed the course & became a qualified Personal Trainer), then our Community Manager and as of 10th December he will return to being a member. Its been a great experience for us all to have such a caring individual working with our team & now he will be focusing those caring attributes squarely on his little girl Indi. Thanks again for all your hard work Neil & we look forward to seeing you around the club as a member again mate.

The departure of Neil means that we welcome our new Community Manager Alan to the team. Alan has just been in NZ with his gorgeous girlfriend for a few weeks having some well earned R&R before he started with us. Some of you may know Alan as the Duty Manager out at the cinemas and his focus on getting the local community moving along with his very own story of weight loss, will be great attributes in his new role. Alan was at the Christmas Party on Friday night but if you didn’t get to talk to him there, say hi in the club on your next visit.

We also welcome Linda to the team on a permanent basis at reception. Linda already educates all new students through our Personal Training course but has recently moved in to the club to take on a business traineeship too. She is a very experienced personal trainer herself, so if you ever need any help or advice, just ask. She is also available at reception to answer your questions about becoming a qualified personal trainer for yourself, your friends or your children. Linda has a heart of gold and has taken over from Josh who finished his traineeship and moved to Newcastle last month. 2015 is going to be a big year!

 
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Holiday Period Opening Hours!

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The team at Coffs Coast Health Club wish you & your family a safe, relaxing & fun filled holiday period. We have decided to maintain our holiday period opening hours the same as last year for those of you still around. There will be no classes or childminding from Christmas Eve 24th until New Years Day 1st but everything will be as normal before & after this period.
 
OPEN    Xmas Eve Wed 24th 5.30am – 10.30am 
Closed    Xmas Day Thu 25th, Boxing Day Fri 26th
OPEN    Sat 27th 7.00am – 12.00pm
OPEN    Sun 28th 3.00pm – 6.00pm
OPEN    Mon 29th 5.30am – 10.30am & 4.30pm – 7.30pm
OPEN    Tue 30th 5.30am – 10.30am & 4.30pm – 7.30pm
OPEN    New Year’s Eve Wed 31st 5.30am – 10.30am
Closed    New Year’s Day Thu 1st
 
Don’t forget that all 24/7 members will be able to access the club at anytime to workout when they want. You can upgrade to a 24/7 membership at reception today for only $2 per week.
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CONGRATULATIONS & THANK YOU TO THE ENTIRE TEAM, CLUB MEMBERS 
& COFFS COAST COMMUNITY ON SUCH AN AMAZING WIN!
 
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Click here for more information on membership, personal training, weight loss, massage therapy, rehabilitation, group exercise, childminding, privileges card & fitness careers or call us on 6658 6222 for more help.

Invite your friends for a FREE TRIAL & grab yourself a new training buddy!

 

Sincerely,

Your CCHC Team

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Ways Dads Influence Active Kids

September 7, 2014

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It turns out that Dads have a lot of influence in how active their kids are.
Here are 7 great ways that Dads can make a big impact:

1. Be an active role model

A study titled “Influence of parents’ physical activity levels on activity levels of young children” found that children of active fathers are 3.5 times more likely to be active than children of inactive fathers. This is the perfect reason to try something new and to show your kids how committed you are to your own physical activity.

If you aren’t already active, you’ll soon see the impact on your entire family once you get moving yourself.

2. Encourage, encourage, encourage

If the kids know Dad is interested in what they are doing, they are more likely to keep it up. So dads, pay attention to your child’s activities. Notice when your son jumps rope 20 times in a row. Ask your daughter all about her Rally Cap game and what she liked about it. Watching your child, whether in an organized sport or in the backyard, shows that what they’re doing matters.

3. Play with your child

Playing with Dad not only gets kids active, but it helps them to regulate their emotions and develop their emotional intelligence, according to this Civitas article. If a child throws a tantrum while playing, Dad can address the issue with him. Children get on better with other children and become better suited for team environments – and life in general – if they understand their emotions and how to control them.

4. Roughhouse with your kids

Mom is typically the safe, nourishing parent, which allows Dad to be the unpredictable one. Roughhousing is good for kids for a number of reasons, as this Art of Manliness article points out. It improves your child’s resilience and helps them develop grit, rewires the brain for learning, helps build social intelligence, introduces respect for limits and boundaries, builds the father-child bond, and promotes physical activity. It also gives kids confidence to explore their environments and take risks, especially when Dad is by their side.

Don’t think this is just for boys, either – girls who roughhouse with their dads tend to have higher self-esteem and self-confidence, and are more prone to socialize during physical activity.

5. Get away with your child

The father-child – or family – getaway is a great way for children to get involved in a fresh batch of physical activities. My dad used to take me camping when I was a kid. We’d set up the tent. We’d walk down to the water station, fill up our thermoses and walk back. We’d hike through the bush.

Not only did this allow me to explore my surroundings as well as my physical capabilities, but Dad taught me about respecting the wilderness and all that lived within it. Instead of trying to hide the fact that there might be bears in the woods, he taught me what I’d need to do if I ever came across one.

The kind of life knowledge that fathers can impart during outings is invaluable.

6. Pass on your knowledge

Dads have had a lifetime of learning they can pass on to their children at different times – this is also true when it comes to physical activities. From a young age, my dad was teaching me how to throw a Frisbee, how to paddle the canoe properly (he gave me a kiddie paddle for my fifth birthday), how to fly a kite, and how to cast and reel the fishing rod. These are just a handful of things I learned from my dad when we were outside, playing and being active together, but they’re all things that still keep me active today.

7. Involve yourself

This Family Education article sites a study that followed a group of boys and girls for 26 years and examined the roles of both mothers and fathers in cultivating the child’s emotional health and empathy. The study found that the most influential factor in a child’s emotional health, by far, was how involved the father was in the child’s care. Children who have involved fathers are more likely to be emotionally secure, be confident to explore their physical surroundings, and have better social connections – all of which relate to physical literacy.

This article was sourced from: http://activeforlife.com/7-ways-dads-influence-active-kids/
About the Author: Tyler Laing
Tyler has been coaching and helping coach kids in soccer since he was little more than a kid himself. Now, thanks to Active for Life, he will have a better idea of how to raise a physically literate child when he has children of his own. Tyler provides content for Canadian Sport for Life, and holds a degree in writing with a journalism minor from the University of Victoria.

Start Shaping Up

August 19, 2014

IT’S TIME TO SHAPE UPshapeup

As a nation, our waistlines are growing. Today, over 63% of Australian adults and one in four children are overweight or obese.

Unhealthy eating and not enough physical activity can lead to overweight and obesity, and an increased risk of developing a chronic disease such as some cancers, heart disease and type 2 diabetes.

Shape Up Australia is an initiative to help Australians reduce their waist measurements and improve their overall health and wellbeing. There are many everyday changes you can make to help you Shape Up and get on your way to a healthier lifestyle.


GETTING ACTIVE

Life can be busy, and it’s easy to think that there just isn’t enough time to be physically active.  But being physically active doesn’t mean you have to spend hours exercising each day or that you have to push yourself to the point of feeling exhausted.

There are great benefits to getting even a small amount of physical activity each day, both mentally and physically.  Being active gives you more energy, helps you sleep better, reduces the risk of depression and can help to prevent a range of chronic diseases.

You can start with small changes, like increasing the distance you walk by getting off the bus earlier or parking your car further away from the shops.  Gradually increase the amount of physical activity you do – it all adds up.  Aim for 30 minutes (or more) of moderate-intensity activity most days of the week.

If you’re worried you don’t have the time, keep in mind that you don’t have to do your 30 minutes (or more) all at once – combine a few shorter sessions of 10 to 15 minutes each throughout the day.  Those short bursts are just as effective as longer exercise sessions.

To get started, check out these physical activity tips or find activities in your local area using the activity finder.

GETTING PHYSICAL TIPS

Tips for being more physically active every day

  • The saying “no pain, no gain” is a myth.  Some activity is better than none, and more is better than a little.  But you don’t have to exercise to the point of collapse to get a health benefit.  Aim for at least 30 minutes of moderate-intensity activity on most, preferably all, days of the week.
  • Set a date for when you will start. Write the date down and stick to it.
  • Make time to be physically active and schedule it as you would an appointment.  The Shape Up activity planner can help you plan and track your activity.
  • Set short-term and long-term goals.  Make your goals specific, measurable and achievable.  Rather than a vague goal like “I will get fit”, try “I will walk every day for 10 minutes after meals” or “I will get off the bus/train two stops earlier than my usual stop”.
  • Build up gradually.  If you are starting a new activity or have been inactive for some time, start at a level that you can manage easily and gradually build up.
  • Choose activities that are right for you.  Do something that you enjoy or go for something different you’ve always wanted to try, such as walking, jogging, joining a team sport, taking a group fitness class, dancing, cycling or swimming.
  • Mix it up.  Consider changing your activities every so often to avoid becoming bored.
  • Plan physical activity with others.  This can help you stick to your plan and achieve your goals.
  • Do not give up before you start to see the benefits.  Be patient and keep at it.
  • HAVE FUN! Physical activity can make you feel good about yourself and it’s a great opportunity to have fun with other people or enjoy some time to yourself.

FINDING TIME TO GET ACTIVE

It can seem hard to find time for physical activity.  One solution is to look for opportunities to build as much physical activity into everyday activities as you can.  Here are some ideas to get you started:

  • Rather than spend five minutes circling a car park looking for that “perfect space” right near the entrance, park five minutes away and spend that time walking instead.
  • If you arrive at a bus or tram stop early, why not make use of the time to walk to the next stop?
  • Walk rather than rest on escalators… it’s quicker so you’ll actually save time! (Or better still, use the stairs).
  • Work in the garden – get into some energetic gardening activities like digging, shifting soil and mowing the lawn to raise your heart-rate.
  • Clean the house! Activities like vacuuming, cleaning windows and scrubbing floors that raise your heart rate are all good examples of moderate intensity physical activity.
  • Park further away from work (or get off public transport a few stops early).  If you walk for 10 minutes to and from work, you’ll have done 20 minutes without even noticing.  Add a 10 minute brisk walk (or more!) at lunch time and you’ve met the guidelines for the day.

ACTIVITY INTENSITY

What is moderate intensity activity?

Moderate-intensity activity will cause a slight but noticeable increase in your breathing and heart rate.  A good example of moderate-intensity activity is brisk walking; that is, at a pace where you are able to talk comfortably, but not sing.  Moderate-intensity activity should be carried out for at least 10 minutes at a time.

What is vigorous activity?

Vigorous activity is where you “huff and puff”; where talking in full sentences between breaths is difficult.  Vigorous activity can come from such sports as football, squash, netball, basketball and activities such as aerobics, speed walking, jogging and fast cycling.

Note: If you are pregnant, have been previously inactive, or suffer from any medical conditions, it is recommended that you seek medical advice before commencing vigorous physical activity.

WHAT SHOULD I BE EATING

Eating a diet that includes a variety of nutritious foods every day helps us maintain a healthy weight, feel good and fight off chronic disease.

Best of all, healthy eating doesn’t have to be hard if you follow these seven golden rules:

  1. Drink plenty of water
  2. Eat more vegetables and fruit
  3. Watch how much you eat – even foods that are good for us, when eaten in large portions, can lead to weight gain
  4. Eat less processed food
  5. Eat regular meals – don’t skip meals – and always start the day with a healthy breakfast (e.g. a bowl of hi fibre cereal with sliced banana and low fat milk)
  6. Restrict your alcohol intake
  7. Remember that some foods are high in added fat, salt and sugar and so are best eaten only sometimes or in small amounts.  Examples include lollies, chocolate, biscuits, cakes, pastries, soft drinks, chips, pies, sausage rolls and other takeaways.

To help you eat well every day, check out these healthy recipes and snack suggestions, tips for staying on track when eating out, our guide to healthy eating on a budget, and tips for drinking to health.

Snack suggestions

  • Add fruit and yoghurt to low fat milk and blend them together to make a great tasting smoothie.
  • A slice of wholegrain bread or raisin toast with a healthy spread such as avocado or low-fat cream cheese, makes a filling, healthy snack.
  • A piece of fruit – like a banana or apple – can make a great “on the run” snack.
  • Instead of reaching for a chocolate bar or packet of chips, try vegetable sticks with low-fat hummus.
  • An occasional handful of unsalted nuts or dried fruit makes a nutritious snack.
  • Grab a tub of natural low-fat yoghurt and add your own fruit.
  • Air-popped popcorn with a sprinkling of salt makes a great afternoon snack.
  • When the weather is hot, fruits such as oranges and grapes make delicious frozen snacks.

Other useful links:

Australian Dietary Guidelines www.eatforhealth.gov.au

Stay On Track When Eating Out Fact Sheet

Your Guide To Buying Fruit And Veg In Season Fact Sheet

Information sourced from this Government Website: http://www.shapeup.gov.au/start-shaping-up

Healthy Inspirations Recipe of the Week – Oven Roasted Garlic Cabbage

August 14, 2014

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Sweet Poison – sugar, it never fully satisfies our cravings.

August 12, 2014

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In the last 24 hours, I’ve drunk several cups of coffee, each one sweetened with a sugar cube. I’ve eaten a bowl of porridge sprinkled liberally with brown sugar and I’ve enjoyed on three separate occasions, a piece of my date and apple birthday cake, to which the chef tells me he added one cup of castor sugar.

This is pretty standard fare for me (birthday celebrations notwithstanding) and although occasionally I fret that my sugar intake is perhaps a little high and that I should reign it in or else risk all manner of health problems down the track, I continue to indulge my sweet tooth. Although after listening to David Gillespie present at Happiness & Its Causes 2011, I’m seriously thinking I really do need to wean myself off the white stuff.

Gillespie, a former lawyer, is the author of Sweet Poison: why sugar makes us fat, whose thesis is that sugar, or more specifically fructose (of which folk are consuming, on average, about one kilo a week), actually does much more that pack on the kilos. It also makes us physically ill and exacts a significant toll on our mental health.

What we’ve come to identify as sugar is actually a combination of two molecules: fructose and glucose, the latter an indispensable element to the body’s healthy functioning. As Gillespie explains, “The glucose half is fine. It’s more than just fine; it’s vitally necessary for us. We are machines that run on the fuel of glucose.” Indeed, all the carbohydrates we consume – and which for most of us constitute about 60 per cent of our diet (everything else is proteins and fats) – are converted to glucose.

Fructose, on the other hand, is not metabolised by us for fuel but rather converted directly to fat. As Gillespie says, “By the time we finish a glass of apple juice, the first mouthful is already circulating in our arteries as fat.” But even worse than that, fructose messes with those hormonal signals which tell us we’re full so that we keep on eating sugary, fatty foods.

Two hormones in particular are affected, the first one being insulin “which responds immediately to the presence of all carbs except fructose,” says Gillespie. “When insulin goes up, appetite goes down. So insulin tells us, ‘all right, you’ve had a meal, stop eating’. Fructose does not provoke a response from insulin and in fact, over time, it makes us resistant to the signals we do get from everything else we eat.”

Leptin is produced by our fat cells and works as our “on board fuel gauge” in that the more fat cells we have, the more leptin we produce and the less hungry we are. The problem with fructose is it “makes us resistant to that signal,” says Gillespie.

And yes, this leads to all manner of health problems including Type 2 Diabetes and its associated symptoms including lethargy, blurred vision and skin infections, and what Gillespie says is “significant damage through something called glycation”, the destruction through the excessive production of so-called AGEs (advanced glycation end products) of our skin’s elasticity which causes hardening of our arteries and brittle skin, both unmistakable signs of ageing. Gillespie also cites some biochemistry studies that have found fructose accelerates the growth of pancreatic cancer tumours.

These are just some of the physical effects. The addictive quality of fructose means it’s also a bit of a downer and that’s because of how it interferes with the balance of two feel-good hormones in the brain, dopamine and serotonin. Gillespie explains, “It significantly ramps up our dopamine (released when we anticipate pleasure) at the expense of our serotonin (released when that pleasure is delivered).” In other words, it never fully satisfies our cravings, and as anyone who’s battled an addiction knows, unfulfilled cravings are never much fun.

Article sourced from: http://www.thinkandbehappy.com.au/eating-way-health-happiness/

Humour Really is the Best Medicine

August 10, 2014

A good sense of humour is one of the most important tools in your self-care kit. In fact, studies show that laughter affects both your body and your mind.laugh

Laughter is also readily available, free, has no side effects, and you don’t have to worry about overdosing. Moreover, it’s good for everyone around you too. And laughter can relieve stress, boost your immune system and even change your perspective on things.

Stress relief. Laughter lowers your blood pressure and pulse rate and helps your muscles to relax. It counteracts your body’s stress response by lowering the stress hormones cortisol, epinephrine, adrenaline and dopamine. In addition, it releases “happy chemicals” in your brain, leaving you with a sense of well-being or even euphoria.

Increased immunity. Laughter increases the number of antibody-producing cells and enhances the effectiveness of killer T-cells. This means a stronger immune system, as well as fewer physical effects and immune suppression caused by stress.

Pain relief. Laughter increases the production of natural painkillers, thereby improving our tolerance to pain.

Muscle relaxation. Laughter exercises the diaphragm, contracts the abs and even works out the shoulders, leaving muscles more relaxed afterwards. It even provides a good workout for the heart. According to the late Dr Laurence Peter, author of The Peter Principle, the bigger the laugh, the lower the tension and the more long-lasting the relief.

Perspective. Humour gives us an entirely different perspective on our problems. By viewing a problem a little more light-heartedly, it becomes a challenge instead of a threat, and your body won’t react with a stress response. This gives us a sense of mastery and control over our environment, which helps us cope with adversity.

Distraction. Laughter diverts our attention away from our negative feelings like guilt, anger, and stress.

Improved social interaction. Laughter is contagious. If you laugh, people laugh with you, even if they don’t always know what you’re laughing about.  It connects us to those around us, and can even be used to ease interpersonal tension – crack a joke during your next heated argument and see the tension melt away.

How to lighten up

Raise your laughter level with the following strategies:

Surround yourself with humour. Watch a funny movie, read a humorous book or a comic, or listen to your favourite stand-up comedian. When you’re stressed at work, take ten minutes to read jokes on the Internet or listen to something silly on your iPod.

Laugh with a friend or colleague. People tend to laugh more in social situations, so share the funnies with a friend. It will strengthen your relationship and the contagious effects of laughter may mean you’ll laugh more than you otherwise would have.

Look for humour in everyday life. Why wait to “look back on it and laugh”? Find the humour in every situation, even the stressful and unpleasant ones, and enjoy a good giggle now.

Laugh at yourself. Poke fun at your own behaviour and idiosyncrasies. As the saying goes, “Laugh at yourself and the world laughs with you.”

Comedian Bill Cosby once said, “If you can laugh at it, you can survive it”. With the improved immune system, reduce stressed, better coping ability and positive attitude that comes with laughter, you can survive almost anything too.


The latest episode of the podcast “WTF With Marc Maron” features humor researcher (and friend of Science of Us) Peter McGraw, who was on with writer Joel Warner to discuss the book they wrote together called The Humor Code: A Global Search for What Makes Things Funny. Among the things they talked about in the interview is the cliché “laughter is the best medicine” — which is at least partially true, as clichés often are. Because a good sense of humor gives us a coping mechanism, which can help us withstand both mental and physical ills. McGraw explained more:

Humor’s this positive emotional experience, and there’s a good deal of evidence that positive emotions help buffer us from stresses and strains in life.

Another thing is that if you have a good sense of humor, it helps rally support. So when you’re in times of trouble, people won’t abandon you. If you’re funny … they wanna be around you. You’re not a downer, you’re not bumming them out all the time.

And then the last one, which I think is the most important one … is that the act of creating comedy from pain can fundamentally change the way you think about your pain. And so it can rob stress of its teeth.

Medicine, obviously, remains the best actual medicine. 

Articles sourced from:
http://www.nib.com.au/home/onlineservices/wellbeing/pages/laughter.aspx
http://nymag.com/scienceofus/2014/08/funny-people-have-more-friends-in-tough-times.html?mid=facebook_nymag

Reflexology … what’s it all about?

August 5, 2014

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Reflexology is massage of the feet or hands that aims to promote healing in other areas of the body. Modern reflexology is based on the principle that the foot has ‘reflex’ points that correspond to the various structures and organs throughout the body. For example, on the left foot, the tip of the big toe corresponds to the brain’s left hemisphere.

Many ancient cultures, including the Egyptians and Chinese, practised foot therapy as a form of healing. In the early 20th century, the Americans Dr William Fitzgerald and physiotherapist Eunice Ingham rediscovered and refined the techniques.

Reflex points

According to the philosophy of reflexology, all the organs, glands and parts of the body have representing reflexes on the feet. Any health problem in the body can usually be detected in the corresponding area of the foot. The left foot generally relates to any organs, glands etc on the left side of the body while the right foot relates to any organs, glands etc on the right side

Practitioners believe that by massaging or stimulating the reflexes using specific techniques there will be a direct effect on the corresponding organ.

A reflexologist may interpret foot marks or problems such as corns and calluses as an indication of a possible health imbalance in the corresponding area of the body.

A range of disorders

Supporters of reflexology believe that it can effectively treat a wide range of disorders including:

  • Stress
  • Circulation problems
  • Impaired immunity
  • Digestive disorders
  • Hormonal imbalances
  • Reproductive problems
  • Sleep problems
  • Lack of energy
  • Oedema (swelling)
  • Common childhood complaints such as colic, teething pain and bed-wetting
  • Emotional problems.

The procedure

A typical session lasts approximately one hour. The practitioner first asks detailed questions about lifestyle and prior and current medical problems. The patient sits or reclines on a couch with their feet bare, while the practitioner examines the feet before working on all the areas of the feet.

Generally speaking, the greater the degree of tenderness felt by the patient, the more likelihood there will be a possible imbalance in the corresponding area of the body. The practitioner relaxes the feet with gentle massage, and then works on the reflex points using specific techniques. Practitioners are well used to handling feet and apply sufficient pressure so that ticklishness should not be a problem! Reflexology is not meant to hurt, but should be felt. Strong pressure does not necessarily have a greater effect on the reflexes.

Medical evidence is still limited

Foot massage, including reflexology, encourages relaxation and improves circulation in the feet. However, clinical trials on the efficacy of reflexology as treatment for other health problems have produced mixed results. For example:

  • Premenstrual symptoms – in one study to assess reflexology as treatment for premenstrual symptoms, participants who received weekly therapy reported, on average, a reduction of symptoms by 62 per cent.
  • In another study, the benefits of reflexology were no different to the benefits of regular foot massage performed by people with no training in reflexology.

For further information regarding clinical trials and the efficiency of reflexology go to www.reflexology–research.com

General cautions

Treatment for foot problems such as corns, calluses, bunions and ingrown toenails are not in the scope of practise of a Reflexologist and should be treated by a podiatrist. In particular, people with diabetes are prone to serious foot problems and should be guided by their doctor about appropriate treatment. Reflexology can be an excellent therapy for people with diabetes, however if in doubt about your medical condition it is always recommended that you consult with your doctor before seeing a reflexologist.

Reflexologists do not diagnose, prescribe or treat specific conditions. If an imbalance was detected in a particular reflex during a treatment, the practitioner is likely to refer you to a doctor to get checked. Do not stop any medical treatments on the advice of your reflexologist.

Choosing a reflexologist

To find a reputable and qualified reflexologist in your area, contact the Reflexology Association of Australia. All professional practitioners have undergone extensive training, hold a current Level 2 first aid certificate, have professional indemnity insurance and can provide you with a professional receipt that you can use to claim back part of the treatment from participating private health insurance companies.

Where to get help

  • Your doctor
  • Reflexologist
  • Podiatrist
  • Reflexology Association of Australia Tel. 0500 502 250
  • Australian Podiatry Association (Vic) Tel. (03) 9866 5906

Things to remember

  • Reflexology is massage of the feet that aims to promote healing in other areas of the body.
  • Modern reflexology is based on the principle that the foot has ‘reflex’ points that correspond to the various structures and organs throughout the body.
  • Always consult your doctor if you have a medical condition.

Article sourced from: http://www.betterhealth.vic.gov.au/bhcv2/bhcarticles.nsf/pages/Reflexology