ACTIVE APRIL

To complement the Active April initiative we have created this page with information on how you can join our Active April team, as well as information relating to health and wellbeing, including diet and fitness tips and yummy easy to make healthy recipes. It also includes information about events and activities all over Australia. For more updates and posts follow us on Facebook.

Active April has begun! Have you registered yet? Join our Active April team, hypersomnolence-australia. Patients, family, friends and health professionals welcome! 


Premier’s Active April encourages everyone to do 30 minutes of physical activity a day during April. It’s free, it’s fun and it’s part of the Victorian Government’s commitment to get more people active and healthy.

Active April now features an all-new app for iOS and Android. You can log daily activity and track your progress throughout the month. You can also compare your progress with your team members, and if you live in Victoria you can discover events near you and win awesome prizes!

Just by registering every participant gets*:

- 10 free passes to a participating YMCA or local government recreation facility
- 15% off at Sportsmart in store and online
- One hour free tennis court hire at Melbourne Park or Albert Reserve
- One free Get into Cardio Tennis session
- 20% off any annual membership with Cycling Victoria
- A 2 for 1 ticket offer to SEA LIFE Melbourne Aquarium
- A chance to win some great prizes including entry into the draw to win tickets to the 2018 Australian Open Tennis Finals*, a $1,500 bike voucher or a GoPro Camera

*This programme is being ran by the Victorian government so in order to be eligible for incentives and prizes, individuals must be Victorian residents however anyone can join our team and participate so if you don't live in Victoria that's no excuse not to get active this April! 

Register today and join our team at https://www.activeapril.vic.gov.au/
*Terms and conditions for all prizes and offers apply.
Visit activeapril.vic.gov.au for details.

INSTRUCTIONS ON HOW TO JOIN OUR TEAM:
Once you have registered, from your Dashboard click on "create team". 
On the "Teams" page enter hypersomnolence-australia in the "Team ID" then click "JOIN TEAM" It's that easy!

#changetheprognosis

Stay on track this April with events happening all over Victoria.

Get involved and find local events near you by simply entering your suburb or postcode. https://www.activeapril.vic.gov.au/events/

Live Life Get Active – FREE fitness camps and health and nutritional education

NSW, ACT, Vic, Qld, SA and WA

Live Life Get Active – FREE health, fitness and nutritional education both online and in the parks, suburbs and cities of Australia.

This is from their website:

Live Life Get Active is a private social Initiative that looks to build a fitter, happier and healthier Australia. We intend to do this by delivering FREE health, fitness and nutritional education both online and in the parks, suburbs and cities of Australia.

With the help, facilitation and funding of local Government and Business we provide Free Activity Camps and Free Tailored Nutritional Planning to those that want to make positive changes to their lives.

Where are Live Life Get Active Camps held?
We have Active Camps at a number of cities and regional areas around Australia – see our locations page for more details.**

More camps are opened each month, so follow us on Facebook to keep up to date.

This video from sponsor Frasers Property featuring Live Life Get Active co-founder and former Olympian Jane Flemming gives you a snapshot of what it is all about and what to expect from an Active Camp.

Let's get active!

You need to register with Live Life Get Active and you must also book in for every session you want to attend.

*some of the activities offered at their locations include, Active X Training, Active Yoga and Active Boxing.

**44 locations in NSW including Albury, the Hunter Valley, the Central Coast, Wollongong area and various locations in inner Sydney and the south and north western suburbs.
14 location in and around Melbourne
12 locations in and around Perth
11 locations in Queensland including one as far north as Rockhampton
as well as a location the ACT and Elizabeth Park Adelaide

Live in Brisbane? Don't wait until April to get active!

The Medibank Feel Good Program is back! It runs from 27 February to 6 MAY and includes a weekly program of FREE low-impact and high-energy fitness classes where you can dance, stretch, shake and swim your way to looking good and feeling great!

On Monday to Thursday, classes take place on the Little Stanley Street Lawns and on Saturdays, the Aqua Zumba class takes place at the Boat Pool. All classes are guided by fully qualified instructors.

There are seven classes to choose from ranging from low impact to high energy so you’re sure to find the right class for you.

All classes are FREE and bookings are not required – just bring yourself, your towel and a water bottle and join in the fun! All weekday classes take place at the southern end of the Little Stanley Street Lawns and the Aqua Zumba class on Saturday takes place at the Boat Pool (next to Streets Beach)

There are also heaps of rewards on offer so what are you waiting for? Get fit and have fun this summer with the Medibank Feel Good Program. 

Class details:

ENERGY
A seriously high-energy, calorie-consuming athletic workout that will burn fat and give you results fast.

BALLETFIT
A class designed to improve health and fitness through the principles and techniques of ballet and Pilates.

BUBACISE
A class to strengthen and tone new mums as well as introduce movement and motor development in bubs.

YOGA
A class that practises fluidity and heat to help with strengthening and flexibility of the body.

ZUMBA®
A dance party-style class featuring simple but seriously hot choreographed dance moves.

AQUA ZUMBA®
A water-based, low impact class to improve flexibility and muscle strength.

Class timetable

10 minute Morning and Nighttime Yoga Routines

People with Idiopathic Hypersomnia and other chronic illness tend to have sedentary lifestyles so it is important that you stretch and flex your muscles regularly, particularly before exercising. These two mini yoga workouts are a great way to start and end your day. Not only can they each be done in about 10 minutes, these workouts will either help you get moving in the morning (or anytime you need a little pick-me-up) or help you wind down from a stressful day. Bookend your day with these practices and your body and mind will thank you!

Your Guide to AM vs. PM Yoga

If you have a hard time getting out of bed in the morning, an energizing combination of yoga and Pilates may be just the thing to jumpstart your internal alarm clock. This workout will get you going even before you get out of bed. Or, if a harder surface is desired, use the space at the side of your bed—you don’t even have to change out of your pajamas! These five moves will lengthen you, stretch you and help “align” your day.

At the end of the day, it can be difficult to transition out of work mode. These five yoga-based exercises (plus a relaxation pose) will help reduce tension and improve flexibility. Try it first thing after work or right before you go to bed, whichever works best for you. The workout begins with a few strengthening poses and ends with several stretches and a relaxation pose for stress relief. Focus on your breath and create a relaxed and serene environment—light some candles and turn on some soothing music. This workout is guaranteed to make you will feel stronger, more relaxed and ready for a good night’s sleep.

From the Get Healthy U website 

Click on the link to see photos of Chris Freytag, the founder of Get Healthy U doing the workouts and more detailed information on how to do each stretch properly.

http://gethealthyu.com/energize-decompress-two-mini-workouts-help-wake-wind/

 

Heart Foundation Walking

Heart Foundation Walking makes regular physical activity enjoyable and easy. Walking groups are many sizes and walk at various times, distances, days and levels of difficulty. If you do not live near a group or prefer to walk on your own, you can join as a ‘Virtual Walker’ and track your progress online. 

FIND A WALKING GROUP NEAR YOU

The benefits of walking

Being active on a regular basis is an important part of a healthy lifestyle, and walking is a great way to look after your heart health. Regular physical activity helps:

  • reduce your risk of heart disease and stroke
  • manage weight, blood pressure and cholesterol
  • prevent and control diabetes
  • reduce your risk of developing some cancers
  • maintain your bone density, reducing your risk of osteoporosis and fractures
  • improve balance and coordination, reducing your risk of falls and other injuries.

It also helps you feel stronger, more energetic and happier and improves your overall quality and enjoyment of life.

If you wish to discuss your health issues or have any health questions, please call the Health Foundation free Health Information Service on 1300 36 27 87 and speak with one of their qualified health professionals. 

Research shows that certain foods can enhance your cognitive function and improve your mental alertness and concentration

Key foods and their components have been found to enhance cognitive function, improve mental alertness and enable sustained concentration

Protein and brain power

Protein consumed from food sources provide the body with amino acids, or the building blocks, to produce key chemicals, such as neurotransmitters for the brain. Neurotransmitters are vital for brain cell-to-cell communication. Key neurotransmitters in terms of improved cognitive function and brain health include serotonin, norepinephrine and dopamine.

Serotonin, produced from the amino acid tryptophan, is found in brown rice, cottage cheese, salmon, red meat, carrots, peanuts and sesame seeds. It helps in the regulation of memory, learning and mood.

The amino acid tyrosine is involved in the production of the neurotransmitters norepinephrine, key to the transfer of memories to long-term storage, and dopamine, which is involved with improving motivation and activity. Tyrosine-rich foods include avocados, turkey, chicken, red meat, dairy, lentils, lima beans and sesame seeds.

The consumption of foods low in these amino acids, such as many “junk” foods, will result in low levels of serotonin, dopamine and epinephrine. This leaves you with lowered mood, concentration levels and a reduced ability to transfer learning to long-term memory. Similarly, consuming alcohol, caffeine and foods high in refined sugar will lower neurotransmitter levels such as dopamine, resulting in decreased motivation, mental dullness and an inability to focus.

Carbohydrates for sustained energy

Carbohydrates can provide sustained energy for mental alertness and concentration good for lengthy meetings at work or those long study periods and for three-hour-plus exams. Glucose, the energy storage form of carbohydrates in the body, is the primary source of energy used by the brain. To ensure energy is sustained, you need to be careful which type of carbohydrates they are consuming. Switching from white bread to multigrain is an easy way to sustain energy.

There are two primary forms of carbohydrates, complex carbohydrates and simple carbohydrates. Complex carbohydrates are found in wholegrain cereals, breads, pastas, fruits and vegetables. Simple carbohydrates, as their name suggests, comprise single carbohydrate units such as glucose or fructose and are found in lollies, muesli bars, energy bars and drinks, and soft drink.

In the body, complex carbohydrates are absorbed a lot more slowly. The slower absorption rate means that energy is slowly released and available for a longer time. This allows you to be more alert, able to concentrate and commit information to memory for longer and more effectively.

Sugar burn-out

Sugar burn-out refers to the impending “high” and subsequent “crash” after consuming foods containing high levels of simple or refined carbohydrates.

As the sugar from these foods is quickly absorbed by the body there is a rush of glucose into the bloodstream, creating a short burst of energy, a “high”. The body (and brain) quickly use up this energy and the high is just as quickly followed by a burn-out or “crash”, leaving the person feeling lethargic, irritable and sleepy. Learning is not committed to memory therefore information cannot be effectively recalled.
From HSC exam guide: what to eat to help your brain, published in The Conversation 7th October 2014

More on how regular exercise can protect the brain and help ward off mental illness…

“Food is like a pharmaceutical compound that affects the brain,” said Fernando Gómez-Pinilla, a UCLA professor of neurosurgery and physiological science who has spent years studying the effects of food, exercise and sleep on the brain. “Diet, exercise and sleep have the potential to alter our brain health and mental function. This raises the exciting possibility that changes in diet are a viable strategy for enhancing cognitive abilities, protecting the brain from damage and counteracting the effects of aging…

Omega-3 fatty acids — found in salmon, walnuts and kiwi fruit — provide many benefits, including improving learning and memory and helping to fight against such mental disorders as depression and mood disorders, schizophrenia, and dementia…” read more

Check out the quick, easy and healthy recipes below.

Healthy, Quick and Easy Recipes

The following 6 recipes are from the 4 Ingredients cookbooks. They are all quick and easy for people that don’t like spending a lot of time in the kitchen or simply don’t have the time. They each include just 4 ingredients so they have also been chosen with limited budgets in mind. The best bit is they are super versatile - you can substitute some of the ingredients and add other yummy ones to suit your taste or what you have on hand.

EASY SALMON RISSOLES/PATTIES - Makes approx 8 rissoles

* 400g/14oz can pink salmon (or Tuna)

* 1 cup (300g) mashed potato (tip: Sweet potato is lower GI than regular potatoes)

* 1/2 cup (130g) whole egg mayonnaise (you can use any kind of mayo including low fat)

* 1 cup (130g) crushed Ritz or Jatz crackers

Preheat the oven to 120c/240f. Mix all ingredients together and season to your taste with pepper. Shape into cakes and bake for 20 minutes or until golden.

Watch Kim McCosker of 4 Ingredients make them here

Tip: Uncooked fish rissoles can be frozen for later use. Simply thaw and cook them as needed.


COTTAGE PIE - Serves 8

* 500g/1 pound lean beef mince (ground beef in the U.S)

* 300g/10oz fruit chutney (any kind you like the taste of)

* 800g/6 medium potatoes, peeled, boiled and mashed

* 3⁄4 cup (75g/3oz) grated cheddar cheese

Preheat oven 180C/360F.
In a nonstick frying pan over moderate heat, brown the mince, season and stir through chutney. Reduce heat and simmer for 8 minutes. Pour into a casserole dish, top evenly with mashed potato and sprinkle with grated cheese (a combination of cheddar and Parmesan is also nice).
Bake for 20 to 30 minutes or until cheese is nice and bubbly.

Healthy Tips:
- Slice a tomato or two over the mince before topping with potato or finely chop in any number of veggies to the mix.

- You can reduce the carbs and use steamed cauliflower instead of potatoes OR you could try a lean turkey mince

Great for reheating for lunch the next day!


Looking for something for Vegetarians?

SOUR CREAM and …… QUICHE - Add whatever you like, you are only limited by your taste, budget and what's in the cupboard/fridge.

Serves 4 – 6

* 1 sheet puffed pastry
* 3 eggs
* 300ml / 10 oz. sour cream
* Filling of your choice

Filling ideas; choose from feta, tinned corn, asparagus, baby spinach, semi-dried tomatoes, onion, tuna, chicken......... The one in the pic has baby spinach.

Healthy Tip:
Try Greek style yoghurt instead of sour cream for a healthier option.

Can be eaten cold the next day – great for breakfast or lunch!

from 4 Ingredients One Pot One Bowl


Winter is coming so we have 3 low in calorie, high in flavour, brilliant on a budget soup recipes from 4 Ingredients Healthy Diet.

Soup no: 1

Thai Sweetcorn and Zucchini Soup

* 2 medium zucchini (250g each), diced

* 1 x 200g corn cob, kernels removed

* 1 tablespoon (20g) green curry paste

* 3 cups (750ml) organic chicken stock

Place all the ingredients in a medium saucepan. Bring to a gentle boil, reduce the heat and simmer for 20 minutes. Add season and serve.

Soup no: 2

Thai Chicken and Veggie Soup

* 500g/1 pound mixed veggies (whatever you have available) diced

* 200g/7oz cooked chicken (cubed)

* 1 tablespoon (20g) green curry paste

* 3 cups (750ml) organic chicken stock

Place all the ingredients in a medium saucepan. Bring to a gentle boil, reduce the heat and simmer for 20 minutes. Add season and serve. 

Optional:

Serve sprinkled with 10 fresh basil leaves for just 1 lonely, little calorie, and one fresh red chilli, deseeded and finely sliced, for just 5 calories.

Soup no: 3

Cauliflower and Bacon Soup

* 150g/qtr a pound short cut bacon, roughly chopped
* 400g/14oz cauliflower, cut into florets
* 2 tablespoons (40ml) lemon juice
* 1 cup (250ml) organic chicken stock

In a large non-stick saucepan, sauté the bacon until just golden. Add the cauliflower and toss together, 2 minutes. Season with cracked pepper. Add the lemon juice and stock. Simmer until the cauliflower is tender, 15 minutes.

Remove from heat and allow to cool. Puree until smooth.

Serve with chopped parsley, for a natural dose of Vitamin C 


 

Physical activity can help you manage anxiety and stress

Stress and anxiety are a normal part of life, however at present 40% of disability worldwide is due to depression and anxiety. Anxiety alone affects 2 million Australian adults (and a whooping 40 million adults in the US). The physical benefits of exercise — improving physical condition and fighting disease — have long been established, but did you know exercise is also considered vital for maintaining mental fitness, and it can also reduce stress. Studies show that it is very effective at reducing fatigue, improving alertness and concentration, and at enhancing overall cognitive function. This can be especially helpful when stress has depleted your energy or ability to concentrate.

Scientists have found that regular participation in exercise has been shown to decrease overall levels of tension, elevate and stabilize mood, improve sleep, and improve self-esteem. In fact about five minutes of aerobic exercise can begin to stimulate anti-anxiety effects.

From the Anxiety and Depression Association of America:

“Psychologists studying how exercise relieves anxiety and depression suggest that a 10-minute walk may be just as good as a 45-minute workout. Some studies show that exercise can work quickly to elevate depressed mood in many people. Although the effects may be temporary, they demonstrate that a brisk walk or other simple activity can deliver several hours of relief.

Science has also provided some evidence that physically active people have lower rates of anxiety and depression than sedentary people. Exercise may improve mental health by helping the brain cope better with stress. In one study, researchers found that those who got regular vigorous exercise were 25 percent less likely to develop depression or an anxiety disorder over the next five years.

According to some studies, regular exercise works as well as medication for some people to reduce symptoms of anxiety and depression, and the effects can be long lasting. One vigorous exercise session can help alleviate symptoms for hours, and a regular schedule may significantly reduce them over time.

Regular physical activity also helps you feel stronger, more energetic and happier and improves your overall quality and enjoyment of life.

Read more; How Stress Is Making You Lose Your Mind and how "exercise can help build a stress-resistant brain in addition to increasing cognitive function and brain size."
 
References:

Australian Heart Foundation
Anxiety and Depression Association of America
Anxiety UK
Mental health Council of Australia
Exercise for Mood and Anxiety, Proven Strategies for Overcoming Depression and Enhancing Well-Being, by Michael W. Otto, PhD, and Jasper A.J. Smits, PhD (Oxford University Press, 2011)