Miners are the most overweight workers in Australia - and there's no excuse for it!

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A recent study conducted by the Australian Bureau of Statistics has revealed the mining industry has the greatest number of overweight or obese employees, with almost 80 per cent of workers tipping the scales past what is considered healthy.

Take a moment to think about that.

Four out of five of you reading this, or four out of five of your husbands, wives or partners are overweight or obese! That’s shocking, and quite frankly, unnecessary considering that we all know better than that. We know what we should be eating to lose weight and improve our health, and we know that we should be exercising to improve our body composition, strength, and fitness.

So what is stopping you from doing it?

Is it time? We all have 24 hours a day. I have clients who wake at 4am so that they can fit their exercise in before they get the kids ready and off to school, and before they start work for the day. These same people also prepare their meals for the next day while they prepare the evening meal for the family, so that they have healthy meals ready to go.

So is it really a lack of time you’re suffering from? No, I would call it a lack of prioritising your health rather than a lack of time.

Try these tips to help you get more out of your day:

  • Plan and prepare your meals ahead of time. This will be easier when you’re home and not working on site. Cook for the week on a Sunday and freeze some of the meals, or do a cook up on a Wednesday and a Sunday.
  • A good rule of thumb is to eat a protein source, with a complex carbohydrate source like tuna and rice, or a protein with a fat like chicken and avocado salad, every three hours. 
  • Stock up on quality containers to keep your pre-prepared meals fresh and tasty.
  • Take your meals with you so you’re not tempted to go for unhealthy take-aways when you’re out and about.
  • Exercise with a friend. If you’ve got time to catch-up for coffee or a beer, you’ve got time to exercise together!
  • Incorporate high-intensity interval training into your day and get the benefits of an hour of slower exercise in only 20 minutes.
  • Keep a gym bag in your car so that if you find yourself with a spare half-hour during the day, you can spend it exercising.
  • If you exercise first-thing, go to sleep in your workout clothes.

Is it apathy that’s stopping you? When you really think about it, why wouldn’t you want to prioritise your health and fitness? Here are some pretty convincing reasons to get up and get to it:

  • Exercise works as an antidepressant. Some studies have shown aerobic exercise to be as effective as some anti-depressant medication.
  • It strengthens the heart and reduces the risk of heart disease and other related conditions.
  • Exercise helps you resist temptation by acting on the same neural pathways as addictive substances like nicotine, alcohol, and sugar.
  • Those who exercise regularly have fewer incidences of insomnia and better quality sleep.
  • Exercising for 150 minutes each week adds years to your life, up to seven years one study has shown.
  • It saves money. One Fortune 500 company estimates that for each dollar spent on preventative health including exercise, it saves $2.71 in future health costs.

People, this is your LIFE. Consider the time and energy you put into your health and fitness as an investment in your future that will pay dividends by way of a longer life, and a better quality of life. Do it for yourself, do it for your family. JUST DO IT!

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Mareike Bout is a qualified and registered personal trainer who specialises in holistic fitness and lifestyle coaching. She is a recognised leader in the industry, receiving the peer-voted South Australia Personal Trainer of the Year award in 2008. She is also a regular guest on Adelaide’s top-rating radio station FIVEaa. Mareike runs her personal training business, One Life Live Well, both online and from a private studio in Adelaide. Services include one-on-one training, outdoor group fitness, lifestyle coaching and weight-loss programs. Individually tailored programs encompass aspects of exercise, nutrition, relaxation, positive thinking, life balance, and goal setting. Her approach is to guide, support and educate her clients so that they posses the tools required to live a life of health, strength and vitality!