Women’s Health and Fitness Day aims to promote physical fitness and health awareness among women of all ages.
As a company dedicated to promoting fitness and living a healthy lifestyle, Valour spoke to sports icons Catherine Cox AM (ex. Australian Diamond) and Sophie Dwyer (GIANTS netball) along with Athletics NSW runner Amy O'HALLORAN to get their tips on how women can achieve a healthier lifestyle.
Start Healthy Habits
The key to achieving a healthier lifestyle is to implement achievable strategies that can be followed day to day. By creating healthy habits that you are going to follow, you are setting yourself up to enjoy a healthier, fitter lifestyle. Amy believes that it is important to have a holistic view on what is healthy to you – "we should love our bodies the way they are, move them for enjoyment and be kind to ourselves."
When asked how they keep healthy on a daily basis, all three women work to stay active each day, with specific times set aside each week to focus on workouts, visiting the gym and staying activity. Finding ways to add movement into your daily life is a great way to add fitness to your week. Walking with friends or the dog is an ideal everyday activity or going to a group fitness class or the gym 2-3 times a week is an opportunity to socialise while being able to tailor the intensity of your workout to your abilities and your goals.
Catherine’s tip to get active: Try to do your favourite fitness activity straight away in the morning, otherwise it will often not get done as the day takes over. If you are not able to get to the gym, try to include as much incidental exercise as possible throughout the day. For example, walk to school pick up and take the stairs instead of the elevator.
Sophie’s suggestion to stay active: Look at signing up to a suitable sport, where the regular commitment and team aspect will drive you to continue going. Another option would be to set up regular zoom fitness sessions with friends which can double as a social catchup.
Amy’s advice on finding the time: There are days when finding the time to exercise is difficult. Try to establish clear exercise goals throughout the week, then block out time in your calendar to achieve your goals.
Amy’s pro running tip: We must walk before we can run. Walking is a great start as it uses the same muscles groups as running and can elevate your heart rate. If you wish to progress into running, start by doing a 1-minute walk then 1-minute slow jog and slowly building from there, increasing the run time and minimising the walk time. While working towards your goal to run it is important to support your body through weight training. This can be as simple as body weight exercises, core exercises and incorporating weights.
Follow a Healthy Diet
The food you eat impacts your overall health and well-being. Following a balanced diet will provide you with the fuel you need to take on the day. Sophie’s nutritional tip is to, “Have a colourful plate. A wide range of colours within your meal means you are eating a variety of fruits and vegetables, giving you the nutrients needed.” Amy recommends prioritising meals that will provide your daily nutrients, to ensure you are functioning at your best at work and at home.
To follow a healthy and balanced diet, it is recommended that you drink plenty of water and eat a variety of foods. Aiming for 5 portions of different fruit and vegetables every day, eating foods high in fibre, calcium and proteins, while consuming oils, fats, and sugars in moderation.
When asked about their favourite meals; Catherine loves eggs and her ‘go to’ meal is an omelette packed full of spinach, ham, tomato, mushrooms, capsicum, red onion, and cheese. Made with a few whole eggs and some extra egg whites. She also enjoys smoothies in summer, making hers with frozen berries, frozen banana, coconut water, protein powder, LSA (linseed, sunflower seed, and almond meal) and heaps of spinach.
Sophie enjoys salmon sushi and loves the nutritional benefits gained from a rice bowl with tuna and vegetables to give her energy for training and matches. When she has time in the morning, she enjoys a breakfast of scrambled eggs on toast with avocado, spinach, and tomato.
To give her energy to run and look after her young children, Amy loves making her own healthy bowls. She includes cooked tofu, kale, brown rice, edamame, avocado and some cheese for a delicious, nutritious, and fulfilling meal.
Valour is proud to have Catherine Cox AM, Sophie Dwyer, and Amy O’Halloran as Valour Sport Brand Ambassadors to draw on for advice and working together to promote healthy lifestyles.