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Nutrition

National Nutrition Week – Tryfor5

Run during National Nutrition Week, Tryfor5 is Nutrition Australia’s annual campaign to encourage Australians to increase their vegetable consumption to the recommended 5 serves per day. Packed with vitamins, minerals and antioxidants, we all know veggies are good for us yet only 4% of Australians currently eat enough vegetables each day with the average person eating only half as much as the recommended 5 serves.

So, we know we should be aiming for 5 serves of veggies per day but how much is a serve? According to Australian Healthy Eating Guidelines one serve of vegetables is equivalent to approximately 75g or:

  • ½ cup cooked green or orange vegetables (for example, broccoli, spinach, carrots or pumpkin)
  • ½ cup cooked dried or canned beans, peas or lentils (preferably with no added salt)
  • 1 cup green leafy or raw salad vegetables
  • ½ cup sweet corn
  • ½ medium potato or other starchy vegetables (sweet potato, taro or cassava)
  • 1 medium tomato

Eating a healthy balanced diet can help reduce the risk of many chronic diseases such as heart disease, type 2 diabetes and some cancers as well as assist to lower cholesterol, blood pressure and the risk of stroke.

Some easy ways to increase your intake of veggies include:

  1. Smoothies – adding greens to your favourite fruit smoothie recipe is an easy way to sneak more veggies into your day. Try adding some kale, or spinach or make a veggie only smoothie using, spinach, cucumber, carrot and ginger for an extra kick!
  2. Snacks – chop up some veggie sticks from carrots, celery, capsicum or cucumber and pair them with your favourite dip or hummus!
  3. Savoury Muffins – try dicing up some veggies and adding them to a savoury muffin mix for a healthy snack.

So, get sneaky and get creative and Tryfor5 today!

 

Katie McGrath

Exercise Scientist 

The importance of still getting some fresh air

During the Covid-19 lockdown, it was pretty evident how busy the parks/beaches and walking trails were and it was quite encouraging seeing people riding their bikes and going on Sunday strolls with their peers and families. Gyms are open and it is absolutely great, but we must not forget how important fresh air is!

 Four benefits of fresh air:

  1. Fresh air gives you more energy and a sharper mind: You may have noticed that after spending some time outdoors, you come back indoors feeling fresh, brighter and perhaps ready to get back to work. More oxygen results in greater brain functioning, improvement in concentration skills and a big energy provider.
  2. Fresh air is good for your digestive system: It increases the flow of oxygen helping you digest food more effectively so this will particularly help if you are trying to lose weight.
  3. Fresh air strengthens and boosts your immune system: It supplies your immune system with oxygen which helps our white blood cells function properly by decimating and slaughtering microbes, infections, and germs.
  4. Fresh air makes you happier: The more fresh air you get, the more oxygen you will breathe which will increase the amount of serotonin (the happy hormone) you inhale, consequently making you happier.

Therefore, if you are back at the gym, GREAT, but it is encouraged to combine this with a brisk walk/jog outside to get some fresh air and enjoy all the benefits of the outdoors!

 

Line Malan 

Biokineticist

References:

Whitney Christian, M., 2020. Get Sunshine And Fresh Air While Sheltering In Place.

 

Occatholic.com. 2020. FRESH AIR AND SUNSHINE | OC Catholic.

Exercising Outdoors: A Rehabilitation Perspective

Considering the current situation surrounding COVID-19, it certainly has been a shock to the lifestyles of all individuals in Australia and the World. With the majority of businesses working from home and with all gyms in Australia currently closed, people are seeking advice for home exercise programmes which is great, however, why not complete your exercises outside?

Exercising outdoors has multiple benefits for patients physically and mentally. According to research (Lahart et al., 2019; Bowler et al., 2010) acute bouts of outdoor exercise may favourably influence,

  1. Greater enjoyment and satisfaction.
  2. Reduction in perceived exertion.
  3. Increase in exercise intensity.
  4. Positive engagement with the use of the individual’s surroundings.
  5. Increase energy levels throughout the day.
  6. Improvements in sleeping patterns.
  7. Long-term adherence to exercise and promotion of self-management.

There is also evidence to suggest that people who tend to engage in physical activity in an outdoor environment will be active for longer and the exposure to scenes of nature can elicit positive physiological states (Lahart et al., 2019). Natural light exposure during physical activity has shown to promote sleep quality, especially with the rise in sleep disturbance rates which are experienced by older adults (Murray et al., 2017).

With current regulations, exercise can still be conducted in a local park with another individual, maintaining social distancing of 1.5m and sanitising all equipment used before and after the exercise session conducted. If patients are concerned about infection, we have the use of Telehealth to continue treatment regardless.

Personally, I have seen this pandemic as an opportunity to explore local parks that you may have driven past previously on your way to work or to your local shops. It is great to provide the opportunity to patients to exercise outside in their local park, providing fresh air and empowering the patient to self-manage their injury without the use of gym facilities.

At Absolute Balance, we believe that exercise is the answer to all health conditions. As we are all adjusting to the current circumstances, now is the time to allow yourself a break. If you’re reading this, go for a walk and get some fresh air. Get out of the house and your working environment and allow some time for yourself. For any additional information on exercise prescription and programming you can email us on info@absolutebalance.com.au

 

Joel Skinner (B.Sc Exercise Science and Rehabilitation)

Accredited Exercise Physiologist (AEP) (AES) (ESSAM)

References

Bowler, D.E., Buyung-Ali, L.M., Knight, T.M., & Pullin, A.S. (2010). A systematic review of evidence for the added benefits to health of exposure to natural environments. Public Health, 10, 456.

Lahart, I., Darcy, P., Gidlow, C., & Calogiuri, G. (2019). The Effects of Green Exercise on Physical and Mental Wellbeing: A Systematic Review. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, 16, 1352: doi:10.3390/ijerph16081352

Murray, K., Godbole, S., Natarajan, L., Full, K., Hipp, A., Glanz, K., Mitchell, J., Laden, F., James, P., Quante, M., & Ken, J. (2017). The relations between sleep, time of physical activity, and time outdoors among adult women. PLoS ONE 12(9): e0182013. https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.

pone.0182013

Your questions answered about telehealth!

What is telehealth?

The International Organisation for Standardisation defines Telehealth as the ‘use of telecommunication techniques for the purpose of providing telemedicine, medical education, and health education over a distance’. In simple terms, telehealth is providing health care treatment and services through devises such as computers, laptops, phones and iPad.

 

Am I a candidate for telehealth?

Currently with the situation of COVID-19 restrictions are changing daily. We are still able to complete safe face to face services, however if you are high risk (elderly, have other comorbidities, are unwell, have recently been overseas or have been in contact with a confirmed case of Corona virus) or there are other factors (you live rurally, you have children off school and cannot find time to leave the house etc) you are certainly a candidate for telehealth. During your initial assessment with your treating AEP, let them know your circumstances and we can tailor a treatment plan to suit your injury and current life situation. In the circumstance we go into lockdown, all patients will be a candidate for Telehealth.

 

How does it work?

From our end, all we need is your email address. Once we have established a suitable appointment time, we will send you an email with link. All you require is internet access and a device that can access your emails. From here, all you need to do is click the link and follow a few easy prompts. Our consultants can either show this to you at the end of a supervised exercise consult or if you are a new patient we can call you prior to your appointment to talk you through the prompts if you are unsure. And Voila! We are live and ready to complete your consult.

 

What should I expect from a Telehealth exercise service?

The exact same thing as a normal gym-based session! During a telehealth conference, your friendly AEP will be able to get your prescribed stretches and exercises up on the screen and talk you through technique as well as demonstrate each exercise as we usually would face to face. You will go through and complete all of the exercises on your programme as usual, with self-managing equipment your AEP has sourced for you or other creative household items we have created to suit your job role and injury.

 

For more information regarding exercise rehabilitation or telehealth services, please contact us on info@absolutebalance.com.au or 9244 5580.

Tayla O’Halloran (B.Sc. – Exercise Physiology)

Workers Compensation Specialist