Thursday, 2 January 2014

Prevention Is The Cure

Chances are you're already leading a healthy, active life if you're following this blog. But perhaps you know someone who isn't, and you need some ideas to encourage them. Perhaps there's some things you've overlooked and maybe you're feeling anxious over the time or expense of your health and fitness measures and you need some reassurance.

Walking into a gym and doing stuff for an hour is good. Do you know WHY you're doing the activities that you are and do you vary what you do every 6 - 8 weeks with measurable improvements? If not, see a personal trainer. Sure, they're not cheap, but once you have mastered some basic technique skills and the ability to put together a program, you can check in every month or two months to ensure you're making progress. Think about it this way, seeing a trainer now is cheaper than ongoing physiotherapy and time off work due to injuries, back pain and a gym membership that doesn't see to be paying off.

Walk more - you'll get some much-needed vitamin D, vary your environment and get the challenge of walking uphill, downhill, through wind, rain and shine. Plus, using the car less means using less (very expensive) petrol!

Buy workout gear that withstands a workout and makes you feel confident. Enjoy getting ready for the gym because if you're wearing your coffee-splattered trackpants and the same t-shirt you slept in, chances are you're not going to put much more effort into getting a great workout. You don't need to buy big brand names. Go to Big W, Kmart or Target and buy a pair of gym tights and ankle socks. Pictured is an outfit from Target's T30 activewear line.

Get fitted for sneakers. Why? Because sneakers that are too big, too small, or designed for over-pronation or under-pronation (rolling outwards/rolling inwards) can dramatically affect your gait and your posture. Since I got fitted for orthotics, I no longer get stress fractures through my feet or a strain in my knees and hip. If you are getting recurrent pain through your knee or hip, it may be worth seeing a physio or a podiatrist for assessment. You can walk into a Complete Feet or Active Feet store for an on-the-spot assessment. I go to Complete Feet in Kew.

Don't use harsh products on your face in an effort to "cleanse" it. Your facial skin is sensitive and taking care of your skin today means looking and feeling young into your 30s and 40s. I use Neutrogena, Garnier and Rimmel products which are all easily available at the supermarket or chemist. But I ALSO consider it an investment to use luxe products that have proven benefits. Dior One Essential Serum to freeze time (hey, a girl can hope). I'm hoping it prevents any desire for injectables and lasers later on!
I don't push "detox" except for protecting your skin and building up its resilience against environmental aggressors (pollution, dust, chemicals) - I'm counting on

Take a multivitamin and fish oil. It is not INSTEAD of eating well. It is
to make sure that your healthy diet isn't falling short on any nutrients. Get a low-maintenance hair style that won't require constant bleaching/dyeing and straightening. Brittle hair with the structure of straw doesn't look good no matter what you do with it.

If you can, invest in private health insurance. I know that I'm going to need intervention due to a hip condition in the next few years and I don't want to be waiting for months or years. I want to be able to choose the doctor, or surgeon, who will be treating me and I want the security of knowing I can claim on physio and massage to manage the aches when I get them. Look into all your options - it may be more affordable than you'd thought.

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