The Australian Good Life
The ever-prominent importance of sports, health and fitness within the Australian lifestyle has always been infamous to people across the world. Fashion retailer Boohoo.com has conducted research to determine whether Australia really is the healthiest place in the world. Revolution Personal Training have been asked to help them with this quest.
Boohoo are always looking for ways to promote good health – Cassie Griffiths, Company Model Booker, recently was asked about what she looks for when booking a model and the importance of a clean model lifestyle;
“As a fashion brand we have a responsibility to promote a healthy body image for the men and women who shop with us, as the model booker for boohoo I always make sure the models we use take their health and fitness seriously.
Whether the models used on our TV shoots, Billboards or Gallery it’s really important that they have a healthy diet as well as an active lifestyle. We encourage all our models to eat well. As well as a good hearty breakfast I always like to make sure there are plenty of healthy snacks on our shoots for the models to help themselves to throughout the day.”
Australia is renowned as one of the greatest health and sporting competitors on the globe. This is made more apparent every four years in the Olympic Games; where to date Australia have won 120 gold medals in both summer and winter sports.
50 of those 117 Summer Olympics gold medals came from the sport of swimming, 18 gold medals from track and field and 13 gold models from cycling. 2 of the 3 Winter Olympics gold medals came from freestyle skiing and the other from short-track speed skating.
The country’s enthusiasm for sporting success has been noted and later rewarded by hosting the Olympic Games twice since its birth in 1894, the first time in Melbourne in 1956 and a second in Sydney in the year 2000. Here the country got to expose their nation’s talent, leading to further sporting motivation from their Olympic heroes.
Sport is not the only health and fitness drive that entices the modern Australian. Queensland’s Government recently released an article that stated they had noted a growth in consumer demand for healthy foods, organics, wholefoods and biodegradable packaging. Concluding that customers are becoming more inclined to pay more for a better and balanced diet, resultant in;
- Safer food with a longer lasting shelf life
- Food that is certified organic or bio-dynamic
- Increased nutritional value
- More appealing food with improved texture, taste or freshness.
The clean Australian lifestyle is well documented in all corners of the world. The big question that Boohoo was therefore wanting answered is why a healthy diet and fitness regime is so important in Oz? Furthermore, why is it publicised more in Australia in comparison to the rest of the world?
Can Australia really be the healthiest place in the world – are they the heart of the good life?
To investigate further Boohoo asked the professionals about why sports, health and fitness play such a key part in their personal and professional lives, and why they think it is an immense factor in a modern citizen’s daily regime;
Sam Obst – Professional Rugby League Player
Favourite sporting quote: “Winning isn’t everything, it’s the only thing” – Vince Lombardi
Sam Obst is a professional Rugby League player who has had a triumphant sporting career, currently playing in Northern Queensland for Northern Pride.
Sam has played for some of the most prestigious clubs in the world, centred in Australia and the UK; these rugby clubs have included Redcliffe Dolphins, Sydney Roosters, West Tigers, Whitehaven, Wakefield Trinity Wildcats, Hull FC and Keighley Cougars.
His dedicated attitude to sports and fitness has enabled him to have a sterling career; starting at the young age of 20 where he made his first NRL debut for the Sydney Roosters. It was ever apparent sports were a huge part of his day-to-day life when growing up;
“As a kid I was quite sporty and enjoyed all kinds of sports, but I never really thought about playing it professional. I just enjoyed being active – being able to play sport outside in the backyard, whether rugby/cricket and swimming in the pool on daily basis”
With any professional sport it is vital to uphold a healthy and balanced diet alongside durable fitness levels, Sam comments this is not only for sporting professionals but for all backgrounds, ages and authorities in Australia;
“I believe health and fitness is extremely important in day to day life. It’s important for everyone to eat well and exercise for your own health and general wellbeing. As adults it’s important to set good examples for the younger generation and become good role models.
Exercise is not the only quality that Sam needs – a balanced diet also is prominent in his day-to-day lifestyle;
I am pretty strict with my diet especially during the pre-season and playing season. I like to relax my diet a little in the off season. The night before a game I like to have a big carbohydrate meal and a few days out before a game I make sure I’m drinking plenty of water. Generally after a game I will have my cheat meal and eat what I want.”
When asked if he thought sports are encouraged in Australia from a young age he mentioned how the climate enables them to be more outdoor active;
“Australia is blessed with a climate that encourages people to participate in outdoor activities. There are plenty of facilities in Australia which make it more accessible for people to engage in some type of sport and live an active lifestyle”.
There are many young children who aspire to lead a career as successful as Sam’s. When we asked if he could give one piece of advice to sporting hopefuls, his response was simple;
“The harder you work and the more commitment you are willing to show will determine the outcome. At the same time I feel it’s important to have another career path which you are able to fall back on after your professional playing career has finished. Another side to sport is the unexpected injuries which can occur. Having some sort of qualification under your belt if an injury was to suddenly end your sporting career is important”.
There is not one specific influencer that has played a key part throughout his career, excluding that of his family, however Sam has huge ‘admiration for a lot of professional athletes for their hard work and dedication’.
Lauren Portman – Dance Teacher (UK born and currently living in the Cairns, AU)
Her personal quote: “Dance is a great, fun way to exercise and enjoy being physically active” – Lauren Portman
Physical activity can range from all kinds of exercise and sporting genres. Dance is a fantastic way to keep fit whilst having fun.
We interviewed Lauren Portman, a secondary school dance teacher to see what her thoughts are on health and fitness in Australia. Lauren is originally from the UK, where she completed a Bachelor of Arts with Honours in Performing Arts (Dance) and a Professional Graduate Certificate in Education (Teaching in the Lifelong Learning Sector). She has been living and working in Australia for over 12 months.
“After taking up a few dance lessons here and there when I was younger, it wasn’t until I reached secondary school that I really started to enjoy and get into dancing.
Throughout secondary school, dance and sport was a big part of my life. I attended every after school dance class and participated in every possible sporting activity. I knew I wanted my career to go down the path of either dance or sport. I think the achievements I’d made through dance and the support I gained from my dance teachers at school inspired me to want to do what they were doing for me.”
Lauren is currently working as a dance teacher in a credited high school in Northern Queensland, her personal support throughout her education has inspired her to be the teacher that she is today, and Lauren is fortunate enough to be working within an environment where an active lifestyle is encouraged on a daily basis.
“I am very lucky to be working in a secondary school which has a great Performing Arts department and students have to audition to be part of certain courses which are available. The majority of the students I teach already are very active and participate in a number of after school and outer school activities, which is how they have been brought up living in Australia”.
When asked if she thinks dance is a good way to exercise, Lauren replied with no hesitation;
“Dance is a great, fun way to exercise and enjoy being physically active. If people want to get fit and healthy, I feel there is no better way than spending hours in the gym than taking a few dance classes a week. Dance is a full body workout for all muscles in the body, and great cardio.
Our bodies all move in different ways and that’s the same when dancing. Some styles of dance we can do and other we physically can’t. When I am teaching my students a certain style, some pick it up straightaway and others struggle. It was the same when I was studying; ballet was always a major let down for me and something which my body didn’t allow me to do. It always makes it easier if you start with some dance styles, such as ballet, from a younger age.”
When asked if she thinks leading a healthy lifestyle is important Lauren replied;
“I think it’s very important for everyone no matter what age to exercise and lead a healthy lifestyle. I would encourage young children as much as possible to participate in some kind of physical activity, not only for the physical health benefits but for their mental well-being. It’s a proven fact that exercise releases endorphins which can overall boost your mood and brain activity, not only that but the social benefits of people taking part in these activities, meeting new people and being socially interactive, are invaluable”.
As Lauren is not a native Australian we asked if she could draw any obvious comparisons between lifestyles in Australia and the UK;
“Yes, the overall lifestyle of living in Australia is different to living in the UK. The weather has a major impact on keeping healthy and active. I find there seems to be a lot more opportunities to participate in physical activities, some of which are free of charge, and there are more facilities to do this. Also I have found from working in a Queensland school the competitiveness is also much higher in both sports and dance.”
Luke Scott –Managing Director / Personal Trainer at Revolution Personal Training
(South Melbourne, Victoria, AU)
His Personal Tip: “Do something every day” – Luke Scott
Personal trainers experience many challenges from day to day but when we asked personal trainer Luke Scott from Revolution what his biggest challenges were, he mentioned his busy schedule;
“My schedule is an on-going juggling act! Early mornings, late nights and fitting in my own training is tough, but definitely worth it. As a personal trainer we are generally working around everyone else’s work schedule.”
This fitness enthusiast is proud of his fellow Australian citizens and he praises how being health and fitness conscious is just part of the lifestyle;
“I do think Australians are health and fitness conscious. A chat with a visiting Manchester local recently really brought this home. He mentioned that he couldn’t believe how many people were running or exercising outdoors in the parks and gardens or along the beach, every day, regardless of the weather. This is just life here for most Australians and something as much a part of our routines as brushing our teeth”.
We asked what made Luke decide to peruse a career in fitness, he replied;
“I love the industry and keeping active. I originally wanted to be a school physical education teacher… But I thought adults might listen to my advice a little more intently. I was right.”
If there is one piece of advice that Luke would give, it’s this;
“Do something every day. It doesn’t have to be much, a walk or even a light stretching session just at home in front of the TV on those days when it’s hard to get moving will suffice a lot of the time. Don’t let a day go by when your health and fitness is not a priority because one day can turn into two, two to three and so on. Just get moving and your fitness and love of being active will snowball into a habit.”
Training is obviously Luke’s passion but he is also a sporting enthusiast;
“Sport is also a big part of my day to day life. Sport has always played a big part in my life. Initially Australia Rules football and cricket and now moving more towards running, Triathlon, Brazilian Juijitsu and anything else that I can find along the way. I’m also a big armchair sports fan and a huge Liverpool fan in the EPL. I’m hoping to get along to the game here in Melbourne soon with Liverpool playing our local team the Melbourne Victory. I have even managed to see a game live from Anfield sitting in The Kop, a dream come true! Unfortunately a game they lost but the experience was something I will never forget.”
The above influencers have confirmed that the Australian existence is based on a clean and healthy lifestyle. Sports and fitness is encouraged from a young age and the Australian climate allows sporting activities to be relished outside on a common basis. Sam Obst mentioned just why it is important to get the younger generations interested in a healthy lifestyle; “As adults it’s important to set good examples for the younger generation and become good role models”.
There is no doubting that the counties legacy is that of its sports and active men and women. Whether this is an active personal trainer from Melbourne or a professional football player; the inheritance of such a lifestyle is encouraged on to the future generations and will furthermore inspire a much cleaner and well preserved diet.
So is Australia the heart of the good life? We can’t see any other country in the world that even remotely compares.
The above article was created by Boohoo Australia: http://www.boohoo.com/aus/page/home