Entire region can benefit from from focus on health

Last week you may have heard that an exciting program is starting up in the region, aimed at encouraging people, like me, to lose weight and that I was taking part.

It is true that I have signed up to be a participant in Downsizing Dubbo, an eight-week campaign designed to get people exercising and eating healthy to create a lifestyle change.

This program is the brainchild of the team from Super Fast Diet, and they contacted me to see if I would participate. They chose the Dubbo region because unfortunately it is one of the worst for the amount of people who are overweight or obese.

The statistics are quite frightening. It is now close to 80 per cent, or four out of five people, who are outside the healthy weight range. Unfortunately, our busy lifestyles seem to be taking a toll on our health. I find that to be absolutely scary and recognise that we have to do something about it, so I want to lead by example.

I would like to emphasise that this program is open to Wellington residents and everyone in the Dubbo region. I confirmed with the organisers that they would include people from the entire Dubbo Region in their program.

There needs to be a catalyst for change and when the Downsizing Dubbo program was proposed, I thought it could be just the thing.

Running over eight weeks from September 1, those who sign up will get eight weeks of free gym membership from Anytime Fitness and a meal plan and online program from the organisers.

I have heard some criticism from people who say that an eight-week program won't fix the weight problem, or be enough to get people healthy.

It is true that taking part in the program and returning to old habits is unlikely to make a real difference in the long-term. But I see Downsizing Dubbo as giving people the tools to understand what they need to do for their health, starting with improved diet and more exercise.

You might remember the program WellingTONNE, which ran 15 years ago and was a huge success. It was a very early example of a town working together to lose weight and paved the way for projects such as Downsizing Dubbo.

I hope this new initiative is as successful as WellingTONNE was because it is clear there needs to be some change. At the moment the health and wellbeing of many of our residents are at risk. I acknowledge that I can benefit from a lifestyle change and that is why I have signed on. I would like to lead by example in this campaign.

However there are plenty of ways in our region for people to get healthy and make a change. We have a fantastic sporting culture and there are opportunities for everyone to get involved. There are also plenty of recreational activities, parks and open spaces that can get people out and about.

For anyone who would like to join me in participating, there is still plenty of time. Visit downsizingdubbo.com.au for more information or to sign up.

Last Edited: 22 Aug 2019

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