Indoor activites

Indoor Activities for Infants

Traveling with energetic little people can be a test of character and creativity. I recently took a rare break with Sam and Zander to unplug and get some quality (no tech interruptions) time together. To our dismay, it proceeded to rain every day until the last two days of the trip – when the sun finally broke through, like an epic parting of the heavens. On the bright but rainy side, it meant we did get the close ‘together’ time we had needed so much, after a very busy beginning to the year.

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Healthy Skin

Healthy Habits for Great Skin

There’s something about growing up in the subtropical Queensland climate, next to some of Australia’s most golden beaches. It’s certainly hot and humid, but the sea air permeates the stickiness, while the sunshine purifies. Even though we had to lather on the Sun Protection Factor, my skin always had this effortless lustrous clarity to it. I never even had to think about it.

When I moved to Melbourne in 2002, cold weather, intense training, chlorine and the general stresses of living in a big city all made it difficult to keep that beach glow going. What had been a natural part of my lifestyle became something I actually had to think about and make a conscious effort to maintain. Heaven forbid, I know. Ignorance was bliss.

Upon reflection there were certain elements of my lifestyle that worked for me and the more I talk to other glowing faces about it, the more I am convinced of this recipe for perfect skin.

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Secret to health and Happiness

The Secret to Health and Happiness

One of the most important lessons I learned from elite sports is that being healthy is both very complex and deceptively simple.

Complex because being healthy is so much more than just exercising as often as possible, watching what you eat, and getting enough rest and water. It certainly involves a bit of all that, but you can do all this (all the ‘right’ things) and still be profoundly unhealthy. I would argue that you’re not truly healthy until you feel good and think happy.

Being healthy is also deceptively simple. When you’re happy, leading a balanced life, full of reasons for active enjoyment, being healthy is so much easier. Then, all of a sudden, doing what’s good for you is no longer a struggle and exercise is not your enemy, but an opportunity!

You stop fighting yourself every moment to do the so-called right things, and start making choices and life decisions that make ‘healthy’ a more natural outcome of what you do, the people you keep in your life, and the activities you pursue.

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Exercise for the time poor

Exercise Ideas for the Time Poor

I may have been an elite athlete in a previous life, but I am the last person to recommend some kind of gruelling, militant-style training regime. Those days are well and truly behind me, belonging squarely to a time when, let’s face it, there were fewer demands on my time and attention. As life got busier, I’ve had to make a more conscious effort to squeeze snippets of physical activity into my day, or switching something up, turning it into an opportunity for exercise.

Whether it’s a short 2-minute squat session while you brush your teeth, or 15 minutes of bouncing bubs while he giggles his little heart out, it’s all good! All physical activity counts for long-term health and happiness. So don’t stress if you’re not going out and hitting the pavement for a two hours every day. Or if you haven’t yet mastered the art of pulling a jumbo jet up a mountain with a rope. The reality is, you probably have much better things to do with your precious time.

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Why Adopt a Pet Dog

Why Adopt A Pet?

There’s no doubt about it, we are nation of pet owners. On recent counts there are some 33 million birds, cats, dogs, fish and other pets calling our homes, home. While I like to stay positive, there is a serious and very sad side to this story, with thousands of pets being abandoned to pet shelters every year. You may have also seen some disturbing videos lately that highlight the plight of animals bred in pet or puppy factories.

But it’s not all bad news. Over the last decade or so, several organisations have been dedicating significant resources to rehabilitating pets, educating people about responsible pet ownership, and raising awareness about these terrible practices.

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Why Should You Care?

Why Should You CareOn the surface of the pool water (if that’s as far down as you’re looking) the fact that I retired from swimming at twenty-three makes me a rather strange advocate for superannuation. Though you might think it’s a dry (tumbleweed-passing) conversation topic, and not something you’d bring up at a dinner party, I am a passionate advocate for improving people’s end of career outcomes – especially those of women. I want women to care about their retirement savings, so that they don’t face a lower standard of living in what should be some of the most enjoyable years of their lives.

We have a big problem in Australia. There is a significant gender gap when it comes to retirement savings, with women’s average super balances being 43 per cent lower than men’s. We are disadvantaged for two key reasons:

  • Women continue to earn less than men (17.1% less on average!)
  • Women’s patterns of work and care are different to men’s and this can be problematic from a financial point of view

Specifically (and statistically), we’re more likely to choose passion over pay when it comes to work, take career breaks and flexible part-time roles so we have time to chase little’uns around, and do a million loads of laundry.

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