I’ve just returned from my annual family holiday to Australia. It was such a great break and I found that it was one of the few holidays where I could recharge my batteries and completely switch off. I think this is due to the 10 hour time difference to the UK and the fact that I was travelling to the other side of the world!!
A few health benefits really came to light on this trip back home. I realised that Australians just seem to get healthy living. Below are three areas of health and fitness Aussies do better than Brits!
1. Work Life Balance
This is a big one for us Londoners. We just seem to not be able to find a balance between our health and our career. It was obvious to me to see how much of a priority the typical Australian will make to finish work at an appropriate time and then commit to being active in the evenings (as opposed to going to the pub) and or spending quality family time. I think the weather can also contribute to a willingness to commit to a healthy lifestyle. It’s a common occurrence to see a lot of team sport going on in the evening such as volleyball, softball, or indoor football, along with the many runners you pass on the streets, beaches and in the parks. It’s noticeable as well to see families going for walks together or sitting outside cafes having a coffee etc.
2. Fresh/Organic Food
This is where the five second rule applies. If you struggle to name the origin of what you are eating in less than five seconds you probably shouldn’t eat it! Australians do fresh food really well. Fish, salads, meats, fruit and veg! Forget processed foods. Australia is going through its organic phase right now. Definitely more of a push for organic food than the UK. Yes, using fresh food can be more expensive but you should look at it as an investment in your overall wellness. Think long game! And don’t get me started on the coffee. For sure the best coffee you will find anywhere in the world!
I know London is a city that is constantly on the go (which can be great) but it can also come with some negative side effects. The major factor being we don’t give our bodies enough time to rest and recover. It was obvious that people in Australia look at the working week as a time to work, exercise and spend time around the dinner table but not to party. There is a culture especially in sunny Brisbane where people rise very early (average wake up is 6am). The result of this is people are winding down by 8.30pm. None of this midnight business! This then leads to the average Australian getting nearly 9hrs of sleep a night compared to the average Londoner getting just over 7 hrs. The end result for a Londoner? You get to Friday night completely finished.
This trip home has really opened my eyes to a life I used to lead and to a life I would like to implement again. The focus for me over the next few months is to get more of a work life balance and discover a decent sleep pattern (I’m lucky to get 6hrs a night). I know the weather can have a major impact on wellness and mood, so why not try and improve on all three points above during the summer months this year and see if you too can adopt the Aussie approach!!