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Balancing Your Swings and Roundabouts

By Cathy McGillivray

It’s the start of another uncertain December, and here I am staring at a blank “piece of paper” on my computer screen trying to envisage a new way to help someone realise why 2022 is their year to start exercising.

Honestly, I come up with this motivational stuff every month, but there really are only so many ways you can tell someone that by exercising they will improve not only their fitness, but also improve their happiness, increase their independence, make them more confident, improve their sleep patterns, stabilise their balance, strengthen their strength, reduce their dangerously-wide waistline, and improve their bone density.

I want to help them discover how exercise reduces their stress and blood pressure, their need for some medications, their risk of dementia, heart disease, liver disease, reduces their cholesterol levels, and of course make their clothes more comfortable.

Then, as I tried to decide which of all of the above would be the most important to concentrate on, I sadly realised that many people have ALL of the above issues, right now, every day, and they are also are about to start behaving in a way which will make all of those health issues even worse. Unfortunately if you already have health issues, then Christmas over-indulgence is almost guaranteed to make those health issues worse.

Okay, so I sound like a Grinch, and yes, it was only the other day when I was encouraging you to be social as part of a healthy life, but there is a big difference between a “once a year” social gathering and eating to excess every day, or every weekend. It’s about balance – swings and roundabouts.

Of course we ourselves are looking forward to Christmas gatherings and we do end up eating random “not recommended by fitness professionals” food, because, for us, this time of year means weekends full of charity motorcycle rides, toy runs, and bike shows, doing what we can for those in our community who are struggling for so many reasons.

I totally believe celebrations such as Christmas should be enjoyed! I also believe that those of us that don’t eat cakes every day, or drink alcohol every night, look forward even more to these celebrations and concentrate more on spending time with friends and family and not about how much food we can inhale on one day!

Holidays and celebrations shouldn’t be a war against being healthy, it should be a balance of both, where you can not only eat what you want, but also enjoy being healthy and strong enough to partake in all of the fun and activities!

I honestly have no idea when exercising and eating well became a thing to be seen as boring, uncomfortable and anti-social. Healthy food isn’t boring or bland; a healthy, balanced nutrition plan is full of a huge variety of foods with spices and herbs included. Just because it’s green doesn’t mean it’s tasteless!

Exercising is fun, energising, invigorating and by now you know it’s also scientifically proven to make you happier! Being able to exercise is a privilege denied to many due to illness; it should never be seen as a chore. If you discovered tomorrow that you couldn’t walk, would you still see walking as boring and unnecessary?

So, this Christmas, please be kind to your body by including exercise in your day. Even if you have a house full of guests, you may be surprised at who will jump at a chance to go for a walk with you after dinner, or a swim before breakfast. How impressed would your grandkids be if you beat them in a race to the surf!

Eat balanced meals between your social occasions, and be honest with yourself about how much you are really drinking at parties. Take a plate filled with beautiful fresh fruit and vegie sticks. Again, you may be surprised at who grabs for those rather than the bowls of lollies and chips.

And for those who are interested in a preview of what 2022 holds for us….

By the time you read this, Heartbeats classes will have finished for this year. A huge “Thank You” to the Churches of Christ for allowing me to use their clubhouse for these classes for the past 10 years!

The Heartbeats Classes will restart on January 10th on Mondays at 10.30am and Thursdays at 2.00pm. Contact me to find out more details. Classes are $5 per class, with your first class FREE.

And yes!, to those already asking – we are holding our next 12-week Challenge in January. Our “DON’T LOOK BACK 12-WEEK CHALLENGE” will commence on Monday 17TH January and run up to April 10th,, which is the week before Easter. Details will be on our web page and Facebook page soon and in the January issue of the LOCAL Island and Surrounds. If you would like details now on how to grab your spot before the New Year rush, you can call me on 0408 803 037.

Fit Beyond 50 will be closed from Friday 24th December (it’s our 20th wedding anniversary!) but will be open on Wednesday 29th, Thursday 30th & Friday 31st December. We re-open for 2022 on Monday 3rd January.


to all our clients over the past year for all their support and we both wish you all a


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