My healthy eating radar is just buzzing with excitement over the Australian Heart Foundation’s latest healthy living campaign, Swap It, Don’t Stop it.
A follow up on the Heart Foundation’s previous campaign, Measure Up, which encourages people to measure their waistlines and determine how the measurement affects their risk of some cancers, type 2 diabetes and heart disease, Swap It, Don’t Stop It gives people a way to reduce those measurements by providing easy swaps to make to live a healthier lifestyle.
The beauty behind this campaign is that it provides people with a way to slowly ease into the idea of healthy living by suggesting small swaps of unhealthy habits for healthy habits, instead of giving everything up all at once. Realistically, gradually trading out bad habits for good habits results in better long term health overall. While results won’t be instantaneous, it is much more likely that the lifestyle change will become permanent, increasing the chances of a longer, healthier life.
Here are some of my favorite swaps from the campaign:
1. Swap sitting down while on the phone for walking around the house or garden: It won’t get you into the best shape of your life certainly, but here’s the thing, it’s a step in the right direction towards a more active lifestyle. We spend so much of our time completely in sedentary situations, so every little bit helps.
2. Swap writing a message and sending it via email for walking and delivering it: I’m going to be honest, my reason for including this is two-fold. 1. It drives me absolutely crazy when the person across the room sends an email about a task rather than just coming over to talk about it. Seriously??? I mean talking is just more efficient then waiting to have questions clarified via email, and plus, you’re staring at a computer screen ALL DAY. Shouldn’t you be jumping at the chance for more human interaction? 2. Getting up and moving throughout the day gets your blood flowing and will actually make you more productive than if you spend the day sitting around like a bump on a log.
3. Swap fried food for fresh food: Just this simple swap will make a huge difference. Your body enjoys fresh foods a lot more than fried, and though your taste buds may initially disagree, give it some time. They might just change their mind.
4. Swap a family moving for bowling: Not only will bowling probably be cheaper than a movie, it’s more fun and gets the whole family moving. Plus you don’t leave disappointed that you just wasted $10 as you might if the movie is bad.
5. Swap shoveling food off your plate as fast as possible for eating slowly: Making this swap allows your stomach time to signal it’s full. Not only will your waistline thank you, but you may actually start enjoying your food a little more. Let’s face it, it’s awfully hard to taste what you’re eating when you’ve already got another forkful waiting and ready to go before you’ve even chewed the last bite.
So to Australia I say, A+ for the campaign. To everyone else I say, get swapping!