Technology Enhances Nikki's Healthy Lifestyle

Friday, 13 February 2015
Nikki Edwards is proud to be a champion for Portland District Health’s (PDH) fitness campaign but says that anyone can achieve their goals with a bit of moral support, some motivation and the use of technology.

Ms Edwards is spearheading PDH and Active Health Portland’s Healthy Weight Week 2015 campaign which is part of its involvement in the Portland SEA Change (Sustainable Eating and Activity Change) program.

Over recent months Ms Edwards has made significant lifestyle changes that have resulted in her feeling much fitter and healthier, weight loss has been a benefit

There's no magic cure but if you adopt a healthy lifestyle, eat healthily and exercise more you can turn things around, she said.

Ms Edwards is also a staunch advocate of the benefits of fitness technology and has used a FitBit Flex, Runkeeper and My Fitness Pal programs to track her success and link her fitness campaign with other like-minded people at PDH.

Ms Edwards, a podiatrist with Portland District Health, was chosen as a `champion' for PDH's campaign to support Healthy Weight Week.

PDH is supporting the Portland SEA Change program that aims to bring together the community to find the best way to change the eating and exercise habits of local people. The campaign particularly targets young people.

With 49 per cent of women and 71 per cent of men in the Glenelg Shire overweight or obese, PDH is hoping to set a good example to help people to turn around their lifestyle habits.

PDH staff are joining the health campaign with their own walking and fitness groups and new healthy eating programs. A colour coded walking map has been developed to give options to staff.

During Healthy Weight Week PDH is holding a competition among its 435 staff with a prize for the staff member who walks the longest distance during the week.

Ms Edwards said that she had been on a health kick for 18 months and had made steady progress.

I've built it up over time. I started out by doing walks  in my lunch break; now I've just walked the 3 Bays Half Marathon.

Ms Edwards has also inspired her family and friends to become involved and adopt healthier lifestyles.

We walk as a family. I see it as good role modelling that I can inspire my family to walk a seven kilometre round trip into to town, most weekends.

She also walks with fellow PDH workmates and has been tracking her progress through the use of fitness technology Apps.

I'm a competitive person and like to be able to see what I did last week or last year. It helps me to stay motivated. Everything is recorded and I can follow my progress and improvement, Ms Edwards said.

I think the I.T. approach can really help people. You can link with a group of friends and challenge and support each other,she said.

While Ms Edwards uses, FitBit, there are many other options on the market. There are also various exercise apps and GPS tracking devices.

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