Wednesday, 6 May 2015

Heart Week 2015: ‘Move More, Sit Less!’

This week is Heart Week! Each year the Heart Foundation uses Heart Week as an opportunity to shine a spotlight on the problem of heart disease and to help improve the heart health of all Australians. Each year, almost 10,000 Australians die of a heart attack. And more than 1 million Australians aged 30 - 65 are at high risk of having a heart attack or stroke - but they may not even know they are at risk.

This year, the focus is on physical inactivity and the importance of active travel. Keep reading to learn about free walking groups in your area, why sitting less can be more important than the activity you do, and tips to increase physical activity into your and your family’s day!

Interested in joining a free walking group?
Walking for at least 30 minutes a day provides a range of heart health benefits including maintaining a healthy weight, increased fitness and strength, improved self-esteem and mental health.

You can take the first steps to increasing your physical activity by joining Australia’s largest FREE community-based walking network – Heart Foundation Walking. Heart Foundation Walking aims to make regular physical activity enjoyable and easy, especially for people who are not used to being active. Walking groups can be any size and walk at various times, distances, days and levels of difficulty.

Enter your postcode on the Heart Foundation walking website to find a walking group near you!

But sitting less is important no matter how active you are
Did you know that sitting too much can increase your risk of developing heart disease by as much as 50% even if you are getting the recommended amount of exercise elsewhere in your day? Take a moment and think how many hours a day you and your family spend sitting down. A typical day could include sitting to eat breakfast, at your work desk, in the classroom, in the car, and in front of the TV in the evenings - it soon adds up.

The good news is that by regularly interrupting your sitting time, you can combat the increased risk to your family’s heart health. And fitting in these little interruptions is easier than you might think! The Heart Foundation offer the following tips:

  • At work and/or home take and receive phone calls on your feet. At work, go over to your colleague’s desk instead of sending an email.
  • Try a standing desk to reduce the amount of time you spending sitting in the office.
  • Drink more water at work: it’s the best way to keep hydrated, and going to the water cooler and toilet will break up sitting time.
  •  Limit the use of lifts or elevators whenever possible: resolve to take the stairs instead.
  • Don’t want to miss your favourite TV program? Stand up to watch it and get the ironing finished at the same time.
  • Head to the park with the kids after school for a walk or play: it will keep them away from the TV and you can keep on your feet by joining in! (Don’t forget some healthy snacks for hungry tummies!)
  • Offer up your seat on the bus or train, especially on shorter journeys.
What others can you think of?

Find out more easy ways to be more active, without (really) trying!
And check out 10 easy ways to be active as a family.

What about heart healthy foods?
Of course exercise is only part of the equation when it comes to heart health. If you have a family history of heart disease and want to make sure you are eating the right foods to help reduce your risk, come in and see one of our expert dietitians! Phone reception on (02) 9517 9932 to make a booking.

No lights No Lycra Sydney

Dance like no-one is watching....
Dancing is a great form of exercise; a great way to get your heart rate going and move your muscles. But many people feel embarrassed to dance, awkward because they feel they don't know the 'right' moves, or uncomfortable that they are not wearing the 'right' clothes or have the 'right' look; for some people it's been so long since they've moved they have forgotten how to!
Remember the fun you used to have as a kid, jumping around your bedroom to your favourite song? It's time to have that fun again!

No Lights No Lycra is a casual free-form dance class held in the dark for the pure joy of dancing. There is no light, no lycra, no teacher, no steps to learn, no technique, just free movement. It is a space where you can completely let go, shake out the stresses of the week, and lose yourself in the music and the physicality of your body.

It’s a place for people to come and dance freely in a friendly, non-threatening, drug and alcohol free atmosphere. The dimly lit room allows people to dance without worrying about what they look like. It’s not about technique and being a ‘good’ dancer, it’s about the experience of dancing with no one watching and the joy that this brings. It’s a place for anyone of any age to exercise at their own pace while having fun, promoting a healthy mind and a healthy body.

Where: Main Hall Newtown, 189 Church st, Newtown
When: Thursdays 7:30 – 8:30pm.
How: There is no need to book a place, just show up when you’re in the mood for a dance!
Cost: $5 at the door.
Bring: water bottle and comfortable clothes to dance in.
For more information visit the NLNLwebsite and follow on Facebook

Could Chiropractic help you to achieve your health goals?

Guest blogger: Vanessa Barry from Central to Health

The major premise of chiropractic is that: 
1. The body is self-healing and self-regulating. An example of self healing that you would have experienced are witnessing a cut or a graze heal itself. Sure you may put a band-aid on to protect the open wound, but your body needs no instruction on how to direct the immune system and tissue healing responses to occur.  An example of self-regulating is witnessing how your heart rate will increase to meet your demands, ie if you take your heart rate while you are are sitting down and relaxing, then it should be sitting within the normal resting range.  If you then suddenly jumped up and ran up and down the stairs, your heart rate would have naturally increased, without any instruction to how to do so.

2. The major controlling system of your body is the nervous system.  Comprising the brain, spinal cord, nerves and nerve cells, the nervous system controls and co-ordinates that action of every single cell, tissue, muscle and organ in your body.

3. If there is any interference to your nervous system, then your body cannot be 100% self-healing and self-regulating.  This results in your body not functioning as it should.
What causes interference to the nervous system?  Most often it is a combination of physical, chemical and emotional stresses, which have accumulated to a level that exceeds your body’s ability to adapt.  Some common examples of these stresses include: the birthing process, childhood falls, poor posture, accidents; inadequate nutrition, exposure to artificial colours/flavours, preservatives; unachievable and competing deadlines, worry over finances, relationship stress…

So how do you know if you have any interference to your nervous system?  If you are experiencing any health issues, or have an awareness that your body isn’t functioning at its full potential, then it is possible that you may have some nerve interference.  A visit to a Chiropractor for a comprehensive examination will be able to confirm if you do have nerve interference, as well as letting you what can be done to remove the interference, whilst giving you an understanding of how to avoid recreating the same or similar problems in the future.

Vibrant and long-lasting health requires a holistic approach, including, (but not limited to) - fabulous nutrition, adequate hydration, avoidance of toxins, regular and appropriate exercise, refreshing sleep, great emotional and social networks, purpose in life, and a healthy functioning nervous system…  Could a healthy functioning nervous system be the vital piece of the puzzle that you are missing in your quest for health? 

Mention Newtown Nutrition for a no-obligation, half price initial consultation with Chiropractor Dr Vanessa Barry at Central to Health.  Central to Health is located at 2/1B Coulson Street, Erskineville, and can be contacted on 0402 249 648 or at

Fresh persimmon salsa

Have you tried a persimmon before? They are currently in season and delicious! Find them in your local supermarket or green grocer today.

Being a fruit, persimmons are high in many vitamins, particularly vitamin C, which means including them in a meal is a smart way to help increase your absorption of iron. Add this yummy salsa to any protein such as beef, lamb, chicken, pork, fish, legumes or tofu. Don’t forget the veggies too!

Ingredients: serves 3-4
2 Tbls thinly sliced spring onions
1 Tbls chopped fresh mint
1 Tbls chopped fresh coriander
¼ tsp sambal oelek (chilli paste), optional
2 ripe Fuyu persimmons, peeled and coarsely chopped
1½ - 2 Tblsfresh lime juice
1 tsp grated peeled fresh ginger
¼ tsp salt
¼ tsp freshly ground black pepper

1. Combine all ingredients in a bowl and toss to coat.
2. Let salsa sit for 30 minutes (optional) to enhance flavours before serving.