Health mistake of 9m Aussies
Fitness guru Michelle Bridges is on board to get the nation up and moving
ARE you one of more than nine million Australians not doing any physical activity? And of those millions of inactive Australians, research conducted by Medibank also shows 51% of those people have not exercised in the past three months.
In response, the health fund has committed to making free social activity accessible to 1.5 million Australians by 2022.
Health guru Michelle Bridges, who has signed on as ambassador for the Free and Active project, said she was saddened by the research findings.
“In a way I am shocked,” the 46-year-old said.
“It makes me sad.
“I see the other side of it. I see people get a bit of activity in their life and suddenly their view of life changes.
“I watch it all the time, men and women are changing their life through exercise.”
Bridges began her career in fitness training as an 18-year-old and has created a health empire in fitness clothing, training programs, books and regular media appearances.
‘‘ I see the other side of it. I see people get a bit of activity in their life and suddenly their view of life changes. I watch it all the time, men and women are changing their life through exercise.
She also juggles a hectic home life with Steve “The Commando” Willis.
The couple met on the set of television show The Biggest Loser, where they were both trainers.
Bridges’ and Willis’ son, Axel, is one year old and Willis also has three children from a previous marriage.
The fitness trainer said she understood how busy mums were and forward planning was the key to starting and continuing an exercise regimen.
“You’re actually looking after yourself (by exercising),” she said.
“Everyone is getting the best version of you.
“You’re looking after yourself, the benefits are incredible and the mental benefits of it are amazing.”
She said the first part of the Medibank health project will roll out 40 more parkruns across the country, starting in Victoria.
The first Queensland parkrun of the project will start in Redcliffe, north of Brisbane.
Parkruns are free, family-friendly 5km timed courses done at the same time weekly. Participants can run, walk or push a pram around the courses.
The health fund’s research also found that two in every three Australians experience social isolation and Bridges said the regularity of the parkruns meant it was easier to make connections and friendships in the community.
“Same bat time, same bat channel is another important aspect,” she said. “It encourages people into a habit or groove.
“You can meet like-minded people, it encourages you in a positive way ... it really reaches out to our communities.”
The project will also offer a number of mental health programs, along with exercise. To register interest for a Free and Active event in your local community visit www.medibank.com.au/freeandactive.
◗ Top, from left, ‘Commando’ Steve Willis, Michelle Bridges and Shannan Ponton on the set of The Biggest Loser; and bottom left, Bridges is the ambassador for the Free and Active campaign.