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Monday, October 21, 2013

Q&A with Fitness First Australia





I recently partnered with Fitness First Australia to answer some questions about how I maintain a healthy lifestyle. Health and fitness are something I believe are truly important to an overall state of wellbeing and I have some pretty solid opinions on the matter. Keep reading to see what I mean...


1. How would you describe your philosophy towards health and fitness?
I feel that health and fitness should not be something we go out of our way to do -- it should be a natural way of living that involves listening to your body and having an overall awareness of what makes us feel good and full of life! Once you are conscious of that, you can make choices that support that awareness on a consistent basis. And most of all it should be fun and natural so that you will want to stick with it.

2. What are your favourite things to do to keep fit? How often do you exercise each week?
It's tricky at times but I always try to do something physical every single day. Surfing is my biggest passion and as long as there's a wave, I'm in the water. Being able to paddle out and leave all my cares on shore is healthy practice for the mind and body. Not to mention its a great overall  workout and heaps of fun :) I also love Ashtanga and Barkan Method Hot Yoga which is great practice in stillness, breath and strength building. When those aren't an option I love to run. Running barefoot on the beach is my favorite, with no sense of time or distance..not even a conscious thought of exercise or fitness or body image, but as an opportunity to stop thinking and just GO! It's all about finding what works for you, and doing it as often as you can. If it's fun and empowering it shouldn't be a burden it should be something you look forward to doing. 





3. When did you decide to become vegetarian? What is your favourite go-to snack?
I was pescetarian until about 6 months ago when I started my travels. I just got to the point where, as a surfer, supporting the commercial fishing industry felt really hypocritical with the damage it inflicts on ocean ecosystems. I have also found that surprisingly, I don't miss fish at all. There are so many more fruits and veggies that I love the taste of that also improve the way I feel, so its a pretty easy trade off.  My favorite go-to snack is a tall, ice cold coconut water and some combination of fruits/nuts/greens. A piece of fruit (banana, apple, passionfruit), raw nuts (almonds, cashews, walnuts), and either kale chips, seaweed, or spinach salad make for the perfectly balanced snack. The cool thing about eating raw is that not only are you getting significantly more nutrients by NOT cooking your food, but you're spending less time preparing it as well. Eating raw is the healthiest way to eat on the go and helps support immunity, energy levels, and mental health.
   


4. What tips do you have for maintaining a healthy lifestyle?
Drink tons and tons of water and get lots of sleep! Portion control with meals is the easiest way to still eat what you like but consume less, and each small healthy choice adds up - like going for a side salad option in place of french fries. Make time to do the things you love and have gratitude for your health. Its something so easy to take for granted, and often times its not until we fall ill that we realize what a blessing it is for the ability to be active. Thank your body for all it does by being conscious of what you put in it for fuel and by pushing your physical  limitations. Spend as much time with nature as possible and always make time to rest...and when I say "rest", I don't mean lay on the couch and watch TV for 5 hours. I mean get 8-10 hours of sleep a night and spend an hour a day sitting quietly meditating or listening to nature. You would not believe the difference it makes in overall heathy lifestyle. 

5. Often healthy food options and fitness can be limited when on the road how do you cope with this? What tips do you have?
Always travel with your own snacks. Be prepared. Make your own trail mixes, bring fruit and fresh foods whenever possible, and always have a water bottle you can refill regularly to stay hydrated. As far as exercise, its usually pretty easy to find somewhere to go for a run but if thats not available, have a stretching routine you can execute anywhere -- including airplanes! Keeping your body in proper alignment is the least we can do when breaking a sweat isn't exactly a viable option.

6. What is one thing (about health and fitness) you have learned from experience and would like to share with others?
Listen to your body and take it day by day. What are your energy and stress levels like? How is your work week going? Are you getting enough rest? Are the foods your eating making you feel light and energy-filled or heavy and tired. If I have learned anything its that we are all created differently in all different sizes, shapes and colors. What works for one person does not work for another and even what works for me one week may not work the next. Sometimes I get in a really disciplined fitness routine that sticks for a while, then I shift to more organic recreational activities. Don't judge yourself or force yourself to  conform to one method only. Listen to your body and wake up every morning with a commitment to honor and take care of yourself. This means making a conscious decision to be active, eat life-giving foods, and have fun and laugh to maintain a healthy body, mind, and spirit!




photos: Rope PhotographyNiko Soikkeli, Shaun Devine and Lex Weinstein 

For education, experience, and expertise on all things health and fitness visit  http://www.fitnessfirst.com.au 



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