myStory

Tips to help you get more out of life by putting more into your health

HEALTH

My experience on the keto diet

Low-carb, adequate-protein, high-fat: the ketogenic diet doesn’t exactly resemble the food pyramid we learn about in school. But is it just a fad diet or can it be a sustainable lifestyle choice? Melbourne advertising executive JASON THOMPSON spent three months on the keto diet, and learnt a few things along the way.

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HEALTH

Daily journaling /gratitude

You might find a lot to complain about in your day, and in your defense, it’s not really your fault. Our brains are naturally hardwired to concentrate on the negatives. Melbourne writer ED PITTS discovered how a simple daily exercise can rewire your brain, resulting in short and long term mental health benefits. 

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HEALTH

3 things I learnt when I quit smoking

As far as unhealthy habits go, smoking is near to – if not the – top of the list. But like many other vices, smoking is addictive, which can make kicking the habit a real challenge. Melbourne-based graphic designer RACHEL OWEN had been smoking daily for a decade when she decided she needed to make a change. Here’s how she kicked the habit for good, and what she learnt along the way. 

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HEALTH

What it was like to lose my appendix

When he felt a pain near his bellybutton, NATHAN BAILES wasn’t too worried. But when it intensified and spread to the right-hand side of his abdomen, and he experienced nausea, a fever and vomiting, he knew straight away that something was very wrong. Here’s how losing his appendix gave him a different perspective on his health.

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HEALTH

How meditation got me a promotion

In many ways, meditation is a lot like physical exercise. It can be uncomfortable at first, but once you break through the initial ‘barrier’, the benefits on offer speak for themselves. Just look at Melbourne writer, JAMIE WILLIAMS. After a year of regular mindfulness practice, he not only started to experience a greater feeling of calm and serenity, his career took an upward turn in an unexpected direction.

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FITNESS

The ways fatherhood changed my approach to fitness

It’s no secret that having a baby requires a total shift in lifestyle, from the food you eat to how much exercise you can feasibly squeeze into your day. But does that mean you have to give up on self-care altogether? According to father-of-two, MATT WILLCOX, the answer is an emphatic no. You just need to get creative and seize the right opportunities.

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HEALTH

How I stay healthy while travelling

We think of travel as a break from our actual lives, where we can do, eat, and drink what we want. But for people whose jobs or lifestyles mean they’re on the road a lot, ignoring their health quickly becomes unsustainable. Just ask touring musician MIKE THOMPSON, who knows better than most the importance of looking after yourself when you’re away from home.

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HEALTH

What regular physio visits have done for my health

One of the biggest misconceptions in our society is that you have to wait until something is wrong before going to see a health specialist. For Melbourne writer, TARYN STENVEI, this belief was knocked on its head after an issue with her knee forced her to question everything she thought she knew about staying well.

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FITNESS

How I prepared for my first marathon

The early morning alarms. The aching legs. The incessant hunger. Adding ‘marathon runner’ to your identity comes with a whole host of consequences that seem less than ideal on paper. But, as RYAN CZWARNO discovered while preparing to run precisely 42.195 km, the sacrifices are worth it.

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HEALTH

The steps I took to improve my sleep

Only a quarter of Australians are getting a full eight hours of sleep every night, with about a third of us suffering from poor rest. Spooning with technology isn’t helping, but it’s not the only culprit keeping us up at night. Melbourne writer ED PITTS discovered a few decent formulas to master the science of sleep.

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HEALTH

The injury that changed my life

“I went from climbing a mountain to unable to make a cup of tea in a moment.” A bucket list trip to Japan ended in buckets of tears for ELLA MUMBY, when she broke her collarbone while riding a bike. Here’s how it affected her health – both mental and physical – and how she’s tried to turn the experience into a positive.

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FITNESS

What I learnt at a fitness test with a personal trainer

How healthy do you think you are? And how heathy are you, actually? The divide between these two things can be bigger than you think, as writer JENNY ATKINS discovered when she went for a health and fitness audit at Anytime Fitness.

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HEALTH

What is a Deep Recovery Massage? I had one to find out

Even if you get regular massages, a ‘Deep Recovery Massage’ can sound a little daunting – so imagine how it feels for a first-timer. We sent writer MIKE DOMAN to endota spa for his first ever massage to see if it could start to undo the effects of years of office work and a few weekends at the snow.

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HEALTH

What having an injury taught me about vulnerability

Reliance on others is often associated with getting older. For most fortunate people, dependency is only an issue to be considered sometime in the future. For an otherwise healthy writer living in Melbourne, it came as a potent side-effect of an unexpected accident. BETSAN JONES shares her story.

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FITNESS

Why I love cycling

From the outside looking in, cycling can almost seem like a faith. But it’s not all lycra and wrap-around sunglasses. Whether it’s longer weekend rides or just making better use of your commute to work, cycling can help to solve common problems, like cutting down on petrol costs, being able to find a park, and improving your health without even really trying. PAUL O’BRIEN from Melbourne explains why he and cycling just click.

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HEALTH

How my health changed after 30

Hey, remember cassettes? What about the first-ever Gameboy? Did you see the original Jurassic Park at the cinema when you were a kid? If you answered yes to one or more of the above, you’re probably in your thirties. And like writer and editor, JAMIE WILLIAMS, you might be noticing a few important changes to your overall health and fitness. Here, he shares his experience of getting older and what he’s come to realise since hitting the big 3-0.

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HEALTH

What a month off drinking did for my health

Many Australians enjoy a social drink or two, but taking a break from the booze can help refresh your body. And as inner-city resident OLLE WATSON explains, the mental benefits of a month away from alcohol can be just as significant.

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HEALTH

I had skin cancer at 25

An estimated two in three Australians will be diagnosed with skin cancer by the age of 70. After New Zealand, Australia has the highest incidence of melanoma – the most dangerous type of skin cancer – in the world. Writer TARYN STENVEI shares her experience of finding out she had a melanoma at the age of 25, and what it taught her about caring for her health.

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FITNESS

How team sports improved my mental health

There are plenty of health benefits to playing team sports. Chasing a ball around a court or field for over half an hour adds a respectable amount of physical activity to your day, but research suggests that the benefits of sports extend to mental health as well.

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FITNESS

Why I love boxing

Over the years, boxing has earned itself a pretty damning reputation as one of the world’s most brutal and dangerous sports. But according to MIKE BATTAGLIA, Personal Training Manager at Dee Why Fitness First, boxing has helped him live a life that’s healthier, happier and more community-minded than he could ever have imagined.

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FITNESS

I went from couch potato to triathlete, and you can too

The couch potato is not the healthiest of vegetables, but even they have the capacity to turn into a triathlete. It’s no easy feat, but as ex-couch potato STEVE BAXTER explains, with some commitment and hard work, it’s entirely possible.

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FITNESS

What I learnt from wearing a Fitbit for a week

Fitness trackers have become a part of the modern health landscape. These wearable pieces of technology can improve our overall health, help us move more, and keep track of our sleeping patterns to ensure we’re better rested. But for someone who hasn’t ever used a fitness tracker, what can they learn from strapping one on for a week? Melbourne writer TOM BRIGHT wore a Fitbit for a week to find out.

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HEALTH

What happened when I quit sugar

Do you have a sweet tooth? You’re not alone. A study released last year by the Australian Bureau of Statistics showed that a significant 52% of Australians exceed the World Health Organisation’s recommended intake of free sugars – the added sugars from processed food and drinks – per day. On the other end of the scale, there has been a trend for health-conscious people to remove added sugars from their diet entirely. While many people claim they could never do it, is quitting sugar really so extreme? Melburnian PETER STEWART quit sugar, and shares his story below.

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HEALTH

How I make the most of my health insurance

When you have private health insurance, there are some obvious benefits – like protection from big ambulance bills to accessing private hospitals so you can skip public hospital waiting lists – but there are some other perks that come along with the territory, depending on your level of cover. From physio visits to teeth-cleaning, TARYN STENVEI shares the unexpected ways that her health insurance has come in handy.

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FITNESS

My experience with hot yoga

Yoga is an incredibly popular form of exercise, with more than two million Australians regularly taking the time to work on their downward facing dog. If you’ve never taken a class, you may be curious about the mental and physical benefits that many of its devotees claim to enjoy. Melbourne-based writer SEAN IRVING attended a hot Vinyasa class to find out what yoga has to offer.

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HEALTH

My experience with laser eye surgery

MADELEINE MITTAS a PR Consultant from Melbourne, recently visited an optometrist for her worsening sight. A quick check in with the specialist detected something amiss, and laser eye surgery was suggested to correct her problem. She recounts her experience with the surgery, from the consultation stage right through to post-operative care.

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HEALTH

How I deal with seasonal affective disorder

As the temperature is starting to plunge, seasonal affective disorder (SAD) comes into play for sufferers around the country, especially those in colder climates. This mood disorder has a seasonal pattern and can result in poorer mental, physical and nutritional health during winter. Account Manager and SAD sufferer LAUREN McNEIL shares how she’s changed her behaviours and learnt to make the most of the cold.

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HEALTH

I woke up at 5am every day for a month

It’s tough getting out of bed early. Seeing how many times you can hit the snooze button in the morning is a game most of us like to play. But there are benefits to be had by adopting the role of the early bird – both physically and mentally. Here’s what Sydney-sider CAROLINE ATKINS learnt after committing to wake up at 5am every day for a month.

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FITNESS

Tearing and repairing my ACL

A torn ACL is one of the most common knee injuries for sports players, whether they’re professionals or just playing in social leagues. Two years ago, Sports Administrator and basketball enthusiast SAM MACINTOSH knew something was amiss when he crumpled on the court in pain after a rebound gone bad. Here, he shares his long road to recovery.

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HEALTH

Intermittent fasting changed my approach to food

After years of fad diets, JOEL SERRA introduced intermittent fasting into his lifestyle six months ago. Over time, he has noticed the benefits this controlled approach is having on his health and wellbeing, and the improvement in his ability to make smarter food choices to adequately fuel his body.

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HEALTH

How I’m dealing with my pregnancy anxiety

Falling pregnant comes with a lot excitement for first-time parents, but there’s an understandable amount of nerves that come into play too. This is the case for GIULIA CALPARI, who is currently pregnant with her firstborn. Here’s how she’s dealing with her anxieties.

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HEALTH

Giving up coffee gave me more energy

Being an avid coffee drinker can feel like there’s a constant fire you need to fuel – a fire that Melbourne writer SEAN IRVING knows all too well. Constantly grabbing another cup of coffee throughout the day turned into a well-worn habit. He explains why he gave up coffee for six months and what changes he noticed during the process.

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HEALTH

“Healthier but harder”: I quit meat for a month

Growing up on her family’s dairy farm in New Zealand, Melbourne-based Account Director SARAH RAINE had always centred her diet around meat. But for an entire month, Sarah successfully fought temptation and trialled a vegetarian lifestyle.

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HEALTH

I grew up sugar-free

The sugar-free diet has gained popularity in recent years, but it was a bit of an anomaly for CHRISTINE DORE who grew up on this diet more than 20-years-ago. Essentially sugar-free well into her teenage years, she shares the challenges and lessons she faced along the way.

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HEALTH

The wisdom I gained from losing my wisdom teeth

Getting your wisdom teeth extracted involves a visit to the dentist – and sometimes even the hospital, which was the case for Melburnian LAURA JOHNSON. After experiencing serious pain, she discovered she needed emergency surgery. Unfortunately, she wasn’t sufficiently covered for the procedure.

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HEALTH

I’m allergic to alcohol

When Melbourne writer JAMIE WILLIAMS discovered he was allergic to alcohol, he thought his social life was over. How could he possibly have fun without a glass of wine or pint of beer in his hand? But ten years later, he’s feeling better than ever.

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