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Healthy lifestyles

Looking after you is the most important thing, but at times is the last priority in a busy life with work, family, study and whatever else. Everywhere we look we are often presented with images of peak fitness that, rather than encouraging us, reminds us of how far away we feel from achieving such levels.

The good news is, good health is much more achievable than you think.

To start with, contact your Aboriginal Health Service or talk to your GP.

Eating healthy

Eating healthy doesn’t mean extreme diets, boring salads or weight loss soups. Just by increasing vegetables daily and eating the recommended 2 serves of fruit can do wonders by introducing dietary fibre into your life and making you feel full and healthy.

Other ideas include:

  • grain (cereal) foods, mostly wholegrain and/or high cereal fibre varieties, such as breads, cereals, rice, pasta, noodles, polenta, couscous, oats, quinoa and barley
  • lean meats and poultry, fish, eggs, tofu, nuts and seeds, and legumes/beans
  • milk, yoghurt, cheese and/or their alternatives, mostly reduced fat (reduced fat milks are not suitable for children under the age of 2 years)
  • drinking plenty of water.

Being active

Just like eating healthy, you don’t have to be a fitness guru to maintain good health. Adults should be active most days, preferably every day.

The Physical Activity guidelines state each week, adults should do either:

  • 2.5 to 5 hours of moderate intensity physical activity – such as a brisk walk, golf, mowing the lawn or swimming
  • 1.25 to 2.5 hours of vigorous intensity physical activity – such as jogging, aerobics, fast cycling, soccer or netball
  • an equivalent combination of moderate and vigorous activities.

Include muscle-strengthening activities as part of your daily physical activity on at least 2 days each week. This can be:

  • push-ups
  • pull-ups
  • squats or lunges
  • lifting weights
  • household tasks that involve lifting, carrying or digging.

Start with 10 minutes

Doing any physical activity is better than doing none. If you do no physical activity right now, start by doing some, then slowly build up to the recommended amount.

Even a short walk can make a big difference to your day. Start with a 10 minute walk. Or try taking your dog for a walk or taking your baby for a walk in the pram.

Contact your local gym or Aboriginal Health Service to find ways to be more active.

Quit smoking

Since no amount of smoke is good for you, quitting smoking has immediate positive effects on your body. One of the hardest things about quitting is managing life without something you’ve become very used to.

Staying focused on the reasons why you're quitting (e.g. family, health, money) is a great way to stay motivated through the hard times and withdrawals.

Call Quitline on 13 7848 for support or visit your local Tackling Tobacco team.

Reduce your risk from alcohol

Alcohol is normalised in Australia, but with it comes many unhealthy impacts, physically and socially. Reducing the amount you drink per session and in your lifetime can help create a healthier you.

To reduce the risk of harm from alcohol-related disease or injury, healthy men and women should drink no more than 10 standard drinks a week and no more than four standard drinks on any one day.

The less you drink, the lower your risk of harm from alcohol.

Seek support from your local Aboriginal Health service or call the Drug Info & Advice Line: 1300 85 85 84

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