Monday, December 19, 2011

Keeping trim over the holiday season

Yes you can enjoy great food over the holidays.
Travel, dinner parties, picnics and holiday feasts are all opportunities to try new foods, savour your favourites and indulge a little.
Fill your plate a third full of meats, nuts and cheeses; a third with bread, pasta and rice and; a third of fruit and vegetables. Choose a variety of colours as you're building up your festive plate, enjoy the visual display, the aromas, the tastes and textures of the food you've chosen. One plate will be more than enough so you don't need to have seconds!
If you're having a special drink, whether it's alcohol or a soft drink, have just one or two and sip slowly to make them last - fill a glass with ice then pour your favourite soft drink over it; indulge in a boutique beer; sip on a fancy umbrella cocktail; buy the best bottle of wine. When you get thirsty, have a glass of water.
Get outdoors and active with friends and family - backyard cricket, frisbees, go for a walk, kick a ball around, play tag or stuck in the mud or leapfrog.
Get a good night's sleep to let those fat burning hormones kick in and to recharge your body so you can do it all again the next day.
The holidays are a great time to enjoy a variety of food, be active and get plenty of rest.

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Coconut Water - the new health drink?

Word has reached Cocos that coconut water is the new health drink fad.
Here on Cocos we have 5 distinct varieties of coconut, kelapa puyu being the most popular coconut for drinking (it's the orangy-yellow one). I personally like the low growing green ones because you can pick them when they're very green and the water has a fizz to it. Pictured are kelapa gading and kelapa puyu.
I drink water from one coconut a day, well most days, mostly from the palms that drop the coconuts into my front yard. It's wonderfully sweet and best of all it's free!

Another health fad we've heard about is the noni fruit. Good to help get rid of colds and flu. Great if you can cope with the texture and taste and all the seeds in them.

Probably the best foods to eat and drink for health are the ones that are grown locally and naturally - at least you know they're fresh.

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Health Expo at Home Island Wednesday 30 November

There will be a Health Expo at Home Island this Wednesday 30 November from 8.30am to 2pm.

This is a community event with the Health Clinic staff, Home Island Sport and Rec, Home Island Seniors group, the Shire, Australian Federal Police, Water Corp and Category 3 Design providing information, activities and of course plenty of healthy food choices for the day.

I'll be doing Heartmoves demonstrations and be available for a chat about personal training -I have heaps of Safety in Sport and other brochures to hand out and will also have resistance bands with instructions packs for sale.

Pick up your Passport to Health at the cyclone shelter and travel the wonderful and diverse world of healthy living!

Saturday, October 1, 2011

October is Health Awareness Month

For Health Awareness month Category 3 Design will be looking at breakfast for school kids at West Island Cocos (Keeling) Islands school campus. At the recent Loud Shirt and Jeans for Genes day I baked 3 dozen delicious coconut orange jam muffins (made with West Island coconut) for the students to enjoy along with fresh coconut, fruit, muesli and yoghurt.

For Health Awareness month why not make sure that you start your day right with a good breakfast. A good breakfast can be small or big - it depends on your eating preferences - make sure it has some good quality cereal like wholemeal bread or rolled oats, some fruit or vegies (juice, a piece of fruit or grilled vegies) and dairy or lean meat or nuts.

A quick on-the-go breakfast I take for an early morning commute across the lagoon is peanut butter on a thick piece of home-baked wholemeal bread and a guava.

Eating breakfast will help stop you overeating later in the day.

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Spring into action!

Spring is here so why not renew and revive your health and fitness goals?

Remember to be SMART setting goals.

Depending on what your overall goal is you could set milestones like:
Bench press a tonne in one session - sure you can do it, lots of reps and lots of sets!
Walk 10km in a week - that's only a bit more than 1km a day.
Skip (with a skipping rope) for 5 minutes without stopping.

My goals for September? Every week I plan to run 10km, cycle 30 km and swim 1km to increase my cardio-vascular fitness :)

Sunday, July 31, 2011

Training and Ramadan

Ramadan starts Monday 1 August and I have heard that here on Cocos all exercise stops. Although I haven't developed an exercise program around Ramadan this year (I am working on something for next year: pre, during and post Ramadan), it is possible to exercise.

Some points:

  • Retain muscle mass and avoid putting on fat

  • Exercise late in the day, about an hour or two before sunset, so that you can replenish your body

  • Work on maintaining strength and flexibility

  • Work on any remedial exercises to correct imbalances

  • Work at a lower level than you would normally (reduce number of sets, or number of reps, or the weight you would normally lift)

  • Eat well, keep a healthy balance in your night-time and pre-dawn meals

  • Eat calorie (energy) rich food to make sure you eat enough

  • Nap during the day to alleviate fatigue

Sunday, July 3, 2011

Do you want to be Fighting Fit?

Of course you do! Cardio-vascular fitness, agility, endurance, power, strength, coordination and flexibility are all components of boxing fitness (these will sound familiar to CrossFit enthusiasts). The great news is that you don't need to train to be a fighter to get the fitness benefits!
There are a number of boxing fitness group exercise classes and trainers on the mainland and many commercial gyms offer group exercise classes.
Here on Cocos I'm looking for at least 10 people to participate in Fighting Fit exercise program in Term 3 (11 weeks from 21 July).
Let me know if you'd like to get Fighting Fit - I'll be doing a flyer drop around the island in the next couple of weeks.

Heartmoves on Home Island

I'm very excited about starting The National Heart Foundation's Heartmoves exercise program on Home Island this Friday 8 July at 8.15am.
This will be a free information session about Heartmoves and subsequent weeks it will only be $2 per person.

Heart Foundation Heartmoves adalah rancangan activitas physical yang lembut.

Mengikut selalu akan membantu untuk:

· Penjagahan bagus pada berat badan, darah manis,darah tinggi dan darah gemuk

· Memajukan latihan, menimbang, keurusan dan kelemasan

· Menambah kualiti kehidupan anda dan bertemuh orang lain

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Go Red for Women challenge starts 1 June 2011

Go Red for Women is a National Heart Foundation campaign focussing on improving women's cardio-vascular health.
There's lots of informationa and great tools - including goal setting on their website
I've already registered, it takes a little time and is free so why not? There are a range of goals to choose from including nutrition and physical activity, so you can choose goals specific to you.

Sunday, April 3, 2011

Cocos vs Christmas Islands Sports Long Weekend

The Christmas Island Cricket and Sporting Club are organising

Christmas Island v Cocos (Keeling) Islands Sports weekend Sat 23/4 – Tues 26/4 2011

Following the success of the Cocos (Keeling) Islands long weekend of sports in 2010 the rivalry between the two Islands will continue over the 2011 ANZAC / Easter long weekend this year.

The program which is being developed including social functions and sports:

Saturday 23/4 arrive and Touch Football game on West Island (then to the Club for a BBQ dinner)

Sunday 24/4 Soccer challenge, cultural day and lunch on Home Island – or those who stay behind West Island Scroungers Golf – Fishing – Surfing

Monday 25/4 following the Dawn Service, Lunch at the Club may be some Two Up with the Cricket game to follow on West Island

Plus you could play a game of golf and enjoy the beaches do some fishing, surfing or just take a day off!

This is a great opportunity to join in and have fun - I was disappointed to hear that there's no mixed or women's Cocos (Keeling) Islands soccer teams because the men's teams are too good :( Where's the fun in that? Anyway, if I'm not on the pitch (playing for the Christmas Island Golden Old Bosuns) I'll definitely be leading warm ups and cool downs and helping out with sports massage for all the athletes.

The opportunities to be fit and active are everywhere!

Friday, March 25, 2011


Do- and Try-Athlons have been running regularly around the high tide - ask me when the next one's on!

These Do-Athlons and Try-Athlons are suitable for all fitness levels - you just need a bicycle and a helmet and swim goggles and allow an hour to an hour and a half. And they're fun!

We ride 5km, swim for as long as you like, then there's the option of a 2km run before riding back to make it a Try-Athlon. Or if you have a running buddy one of you can ride the 5km in and then swap to run the 5km back.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Losing weight

Losing weight is a common goal for many of my PT clients. Of course what clients mean is that they want to lose excess body fat, fit into last year's clothes and look better.

How do you shed excess body fat? It should be as easy as Eat Less, Exercise More but we are bombarded with all sorts of diets and exercise tips which confuse the matter.

1. Eat Less
Have less, or cut out altogether these high energy foods: alcohol, soft drinks (even the sugar-free ones - ask me why!), cakes, biscuits, chocolate, icecream, deep fried food; and use less salt, sugar and animal fats in your food preparation.
Have a look at The Dietary Guidelines for all Australians for how to eat well. These guidelines have been developed from research done by the National Health and Medical Research Council to give you an idea about how much of what types of food to eat for good nutrtion. Both West Island and Home Island Health Clinics have easy to follow brochures.
The National Heart Foundation's campaign Draw the Line has some great resources about eating less too.

2. Exercise More
Basically, cardio-vascular (aerobic) exercise will burn fat and resistance (weight) training will build lean muscle which will help keep the fat off, so you should do both regularly. And try and do something active every day, even household chores like cleaning and gardening count.
If you drive everywhere get a bicycle or walk instead. If you already walk or ride, either go further or longer or faster or add another walk or ride in to the week.
Start a weight training regime. You don't need any equipment other than yourself and the ground. Push ups and squats (you don't need to use extra weights) are two great basic exercises to start with. If you have a bar then you can also try chin ups. All these exercises use your own body weight so you don't need to add extra weights. Get a PT session with me if you're not sure about technique or for modifications on these exercises.
For more ideas have a look at The National Heart Foundation's campaign Find Thirty

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Healthy Lifestyles

Being fit and healthy is a lifestyle choice. It means eating good food, being active, drinking lots of water, having fun with friends and family every day and getting a good night's sleep every night.

There's lots of ways to improve your fitness level and your general well-being.

The first thing to do is to figure out if you have a good balance:

One day is 24 hours; 8 hours for sleeping; 8 hours for working and; 8 hours for playing and relaxing. Is that how you spend every day?

The second thing to do is to get that balance. This is where you work out your priorities, do some goal setting and find some time management skills.

Another thing to do is to write down, or at least think about, everything you eat for one week. At the end of the week review your food choices. Did you drink lots of water, eat plenty of cereals like brown rice, eat lots of vegetables, some fruit, a little bit of dairy or nuts, fish and a little bit of meat, a little vegetable oil and no soft drinks, cakes, biscuits, lollies (or maybe just one in the week)?

A balance in how you spend your day and eating a variety of nutritious food are foundations of a fit and healthy lifestyle.

Friday, February 4, 2011

Keeping Fit in the Year of the Rabbit

Today was the last day of Morning Fitness - it ran for 6 weeks and we had almost 20 individuals come to at least one session :)

Now I'm starting Do-Athlons (bike-swim-bike) and Try-Athlons (bike-swim-bike-run) when I can find the time and when it's high tide. I invite anyone who wants to have a go to come and join me - go at your own pace, push yourself if you want.

Check the chalkboard for dates and times - we'll meet at House 24. Bring water and a high energy snack.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Do it yourself duathlon and triathlon - high tide only

I've found two great swim training spots on West Island - Yacht Club and Scout Park.

As both these spots in the lagoon are shallow, high tide is the only good swim time. Allow an hour either side of high tide, keep in mind the rule of 12ths, and always swim with someone - I'll be up for a swim most times if you're ever looking for a swim buddy!

The channel between West Island and Pulu Maraya has a constant rip so you can swim in place for as long as you like and when you get tired it's shallow enough to stand up and walk the couple of metres to shore. I had trouble keeping ground last time so I did a series of 45-60 second efforts with walk back to the start for recovery.

Yacht Club has 2 bouys just out front which look to be about 75m apart. Swim northwards to warm up and then swim back to get a bit of resistance with the current.

Scout Park is about 5km from the settlement and Yacht Club another 500m or so after that.

THE DUATHLON is a warm up bicycle ride to your chosen swim spot, swim for as long as you like, ride home as fast as you can. At the moment I have one of the infamous tip bikes on loan.

THE TRIATHLON adds a run after your fast ride home.

Or after your swim, run to Kite Beach and back and have a nice long relaxed cool down bike ride home.

The Lagoon swim is only 10 months away so start working on your base fitness!