Ed’s note

Women's Health Australia - - CONTENT - Jac­qui Mooney Ed­i­tor @Jac­quimooney jacq­mooney

Ex­er­cise. It’s some­thing that makes us phys­i­cally fit­ter. It low­ers blood pres­sure, pro­tects our ticker and boosts sleep qual­ity, among a laun­dry list of count­less other ma­jor well­be­ing ben­e­fits. But for me, it’s the men­tal health pay­off of a good sweat ses­sion that wins hands down. The proof? A re­cent in­ter­na­tional study (of more than 266,000 peo­ple over seven years) led by the Univer­sity of NSW and the Black Dog In­sti­tute con­firmed that ex­er­cise can help slash stress and re­duce the risk of de­pres­sion, re­gard­less of age or ge­o­graph­i­cal lo­ca­tion. And that’s only just the start of the health gains this pow­er­ful pre­scrip­tion can help un­lock. Back in the day, I used to ex­er­cise be­cause, like, so many other women, I thought I “should”. But, to be hon­est, it wasn’t at the top of my list of fun things to do. Now, it’s some­thing I do (and gen­uinely, pas­sion­ately love) five times a week to feel calmer, hap­pier, more fo­cused and en­er­gised, no mat­ter how crazy life gets. Whether it’s a 5km run, 30 min­utes of yoga or a 6am weights class be­fore work, the re­sults are the same. I al­ways walk away feel­ing more pos­i­tive, and like I could take on the world. My new mantra? Calm mind. Fit body. Def­i­nite words to live by.

Look­ing for more fast, easy ways to feel hap­pier and health­ier? You’ll find them in­side this is­sue.

Eat well all month long with 16 pages of de­li­ciously clean meals, think Fodmap-friendly recipes di­rect from food blog­ger Ge­or­gia Mcder­mott (sesame tahini brown­ies any­one?) to four health-boost­ing burg­ers prac­ti­cally drip­ping with good­ness (p121). Get clued up on the new breed of su­per carbs that ac­tu­ally help you lose weight (p94). Fire up your fit­ness and dou­ble your work­out re­sults with our four-week power plan (p100). And don’t miss our must-read health re­port on the avalanche of sci­ence that con­tin­ues to highlight how cru­cially im­por­tant the mind-gut con­nec­tion re­ally is (p112). And if you’re look­ing for a se­ri­ous dose of feel-good fac­tor, turn di­rectly to p88 for our ex­clu­sive in­ter­view with this is­sue’s cover star, Tessa James. Five years ago, at the age of just 23, Tessa’s world was turned up­side down when she was di­ag­nosed with Hodgkin’s lym­phoma. Now, three years in re­mis­sion from can­cer and liv­ing in LA with her hus­band Nate (a re­tired NRL player) and a brand new baby (Saynt, born in Fe­bru­ary) what she has to say about life, love, grat­i­tude and not tak­ing a sin­gle sec­ond for granted is truly in­spir­ing. Read it and I guar­an­tee you’ll have a richer ap­pre­ci­a­tion of what re­ally mat­ters in life after­wards. Un­til next month, hope you en­joy this bumper is­sue!

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