Ararat women urged to get active and inspire change

ARARAT - This week is week four in the Ararat Active City program which is focusing on Women's Health with International Women's Day to be celebrated on March 8.

Inspiring Change is the theme this year. This theme encourages advocacy for women's advancement everywhere in every way. It calls for challenging the status quo for women's equality and vigilance inspiring positive change. For information go to http://www.internationalwomensday.com/theme

Did you know that heart disease is the number one killer of Australian women?

90 per cent of Australian women have at least one risk factor for heart disease?

Women are four times more likely to die of it than breast cancer.

These are alarming figures but they don't need to be. The Go Red for Women campaign is designed to raise awareness about women and heart disease, encourage women to understand the risks and make healthier choices to reduce their risk.

Heart disease is largely preventable. Start by learning what you need to know:

The heart disease risk factors, including being overweight, being physically inactive, smoking and having a family history of heart disease.

The clinical heart disease risk factors, including high blood pressure and high cholesterol. Almost 30 per cent of Australian women have one or more of these yet many don't know they are risk factors that must be managed. These risk factors don't usually have obvious symptoms. Find out more about them today at http://www.heartfoundation.org.au/your-heart/women-heart-disease/Pages/default.aspx

Regular physical activity is vital for good physical and mental health.

It helps improve overall health and fitness, maintain a healthy weight, reduce risk for many chronic diseases and promote good mental health. The National Physical Activity Guidelines for Australians recommend that at least 30 minutes of moderate-intensity physical activity on most, preferably all, days is required for good health. However, only 54 per cent of Australian women meet these guidelines. Some of the common barriers identified by women for not being active are lack of time, motivation, parenting demands, energy, and cost. Some ideas for overcoming these:

Lack of time - Exercise whenever you have the chance - three 10-minute bouts of physical activity over the day has the same benefit as 30 continuous minutes.

Lack of motivation - find a training partner; you could ask family or friends.

Parenting demands - try to share child rearing and household chores with your partner or friends. Perhaps your family can help, or maybe childcare is an option.

Lack of energy - regular exercise gives you the energy to better cope with the demands of daily life.

Health problems - talk to your doctor about appropriate forms of exercise. In most cases, physical limitations don't rule out all activities.

Cost - One of the most beneficial forms of exercise is also free - brisk walking.

For more information about women's health and wellbeing ask your GP or visit some of the websites below for more information:

www.betterhealth.vic.gov.au www.shapeup.gov.au

www.butterflyeffect.org.au/event/plateup-the-positives-day

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