health

54 per cent of us never exercise. Will you make the change?

‘So it was the 9th January 2009, when I first made a pledge to myself to live the most active life possible.’

By NATALIA HAWK

In 2009, I was diagnosed with Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome. Although it’s incredibly common amongst women (about one in ten have it), it’s associated with some really scary statistics. Your chances of having a baby without IVF are reduced. Your chances of getting diabetes are significantly increased. It’s much easier to put on weight, and much harder to lose it.

While the pill can manage some of the symptoms associated with PCOS, there are only two main treatments: exercise and diet, with exercise being the most important thing you can do to reduce your chances of PCOS affecting you incredibly negatively.

So it was the 9th January 2009, when I first made a pledge to myself to live the most active life possible.

Just as an FYI, you should know that this post is sponsored by Lorna Jane. But all opinions expressed by the author are 100% authentic and written in their own words.

I’ve always been an active person. I played a lot of sports as a kid (not being particularly good at any of them didn’t bother me – it’s the thought that counts, right?) and in high school I used to walk the 4km home from school every day, saving the bus for only the rainiest of days.

But when I got out of high school, my fitness dropped off a little. I had a car and a licence, and it became all-too-easy to drive to places instead of bothering with the walk. I was at uni, spending many hours in lectures and tutorials, and working a desk job. The most exercise I got was walking up and down university campus; I even used to drive to the bus stop, just because I could.

And my inactivity is something that I’m sure a lot of Australians can relate to. In fact, it’s been discovered by Lorna Jane that the majority of us never exercise- formally at least.

While we might do incidental exercise – say, walking around the supermarket while doing the weekly grocery shop, or running after the kids all day – 54% of us don’t go for runs, we don’t join netball or touch footy teams, we don’t lift any weights, we don’t try dancing or swimming or surfing or yoga.

‘When life is so busy, it can be really difficult to find time to exercise – especially if there are various factors involved that make life more difficult.’

In a way, I understand the statistic. When life is so busy, it can be really difficult to find time to exercise – especially if there are various factors involved that make life more difficult – small children, a demanding family, little support network, a lack of money, etc.

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But on the other hand – I don’t understand how so many can never exercise at all. We’re so blessed with a nation that is so geared towards sport and being active. The great majority of kids play something when they’re young – whether it’s footy, soccer, netball, swimming or Little Athletics. Why does that drop off so much by the time we reach adulthood?

There are so many benefits to exercise – both mental and physical – that are so widely known that there’s no need for me to repeat them here. Plus, it’s a great opportunity to get out there and embrace the beauty of the community that surrounds us. The beaches, the parks, the sunsets and sunrises, the fresh air and the sunshine.

And the best thing about exercise? There are so many ways to do it. I do dance classes, Body Pump and other Les Mills gym classes, swimming, surfing, paddle boarding, sailing, touch football and running. There are a thousand other possibilities out there if none of the above sound tempting to you.

In a way, my PCOS diagnosis was a blessing. It was a bit of a kick up the bum for me to really make a conscious effort in changing up my life and get active.

Now it’s time for 54% of you to do the same. And the perfect day to start? This Sunday, the 29th of September, which also happens to be Lorna Jane’s Active Nation Day.

Across Australia, women will be becoming part of a movement by pledging how they’re going to change up their life and make a positive difference. It might be by taking up a weekly yoga class. It might be by pledging to try a different healthy recipe each week. It might be by joining a boot camp with a friend.

You can then track your movement with the Lorna Jane app and join the thousands of other women who are, together, motivating each other to track millions of kilometres of running, walking and cycling.

And on Sunday, you can join other women in boot camps, yoga workouts and group challenges across the nation to celebrate Active Nation Day.

I’m going to kick off early with pledging my change – it’ll be a change for my personal and mental health and wellbeing:

  Are you one of those who never exercise- formally at least? What are you going to change?

Did you know 54% of Australian’s do no formal exercise?

Lorna Jane is on a mission to inspire women to make an active change.  Since launching Active Nation Day in 2012, Founder & Active Living advocate Lorna Jane Clarkson has motivated thousands of women across 155 countries to move towards a more active future!  Together we have tracked 3.3 Million KM, the equivalent of running around the world 82 times, and we’re just getting started.  Be a part of the change and join us on Active Nation Day.  Make a promise to yourself right now that you will get active and live your best, most beautiful life.

Get moving to be part of the Active Nation Day Movement.

1. Download the free Lorna Jane iPhone App and log your activity

2. Get active and post about it on social media using the tags #activenationday, #nowmoveit and @lornajaneactive to inspire others to commit to an Active Life.

To register your involvement in Active Nation Day and find an event near you, visit www.nowmoveit.com.

Statistics sourced from Roy Morgan Research Single Source (Australia)

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