Combat a chocolate-filled Easter with plenty of fresh fruit and vegetables and physical activity

ENTRAPMENT: One of the platters of Easter eggs kindly provided at our workplace last week. I did my fair share to appease the company by showing my gratitude through consumption.
ENTRAPMENT: One of the platters of Easter eggs kindly provided at our workplace last week. I did my fair share to appease the company by showing my gratitude through consumption.

I don’t want to alarm anyone but, according to Exercise & Sports Science Australia, “a 100g Easter egg takes roughly a two‐hour walk for women, and a one-and-a-half‐hour walk for men, to burn off”.

I read this over the weekend, before Easter Sunday had even arrived and I’d already consumed my fair share of eggs for this year. 

It started when the youngest won a prize in the daycare Easter raffle. I’m pretty good with abstaining from chocolate … if it’s not in the house.

Then my boss cracked open not one but two bags of solid eggs and left them unattended on her desk, next to mine!

Then on Thursday, an email hit my inbox which said “the Easter bunny has left a few snacks in the kitchen”.

I couldn’t help but join the swarm of co-workers flocking to the kitchen. In fact it was more like being sucked into a torrent of water that was flooding through the office and into the kitchen.

Now, the picture on this page does not do it justice, but that was one of the platters laid before us.

It felt like everywhere I turned there were more chocolate eggs.

It was a lovely gesture of the company, so I don’t want to seem ungrateful, and, along with most of my co-workers, begrudgingly took my share. 

Except one of my colleagues, who has given up sugar and showed great restraint. She ordered herself a vegan, sugar-free egg for Easter and I’m a little bit envious of her willpower.  I have shown none this past week.

So when I read the article by Exercise & Sports Science Australia telling me how long it was going to burn off said eggs, it literally pushed me out the door to get moving.

It made me very mindful of exercising more vigilantly in this period. I made sure the kids and myself were down at the park and going for long walks at every opportunity.

I think balance is key. In saying that, I don’t recommend consuming the amount of chocolate on a regular basis that normally gets consumed over Easter.

It’s also other changes to your normal diet over the holidays. You probably eat richer foods, more takeaway and possibly consume more alcohol.

Easter Monday, I believe, is the perfect time to reassess the health and fitness goals you set yourself at the start of 2017. 

Exercise & Sports Science Australia also reported that: “Statistics show that nearly 70 per cent of Australian adults are either sedentary or have low levels of physical activity, and two‐thirds of children aren’t undertaking the recommended 60 minutes of physical activity every day.”

GET MOVING: There are plenty of places in our area to work off the excess food you may have consumed over Easter. Anzac Memorial Bridge is just one of them.

GET MOVING: There are plenty of places in our area to work off the excess food you may have consumed over Easter. Anzac Memorial Bridge is just one of them.

So get back into the fresh fruit and vegetables and get the family active this week.

Some ideas include taking them for a walk at Blackbutt Reserve, Anzac Memorial Bridge or the Newcastle or Lake Macquarie foreshore. Hit the local park for a game of soccer, football, frisbee or get the bikes out and head for Fernleigh Track.

You’ll be burning those eggs off in no time.

How do I stay motivated?

I am devoting this space for the next few months to helping members of our community hopefully achieve a health goal. I have entered the Gold Coast half marathon (July 2) and the Winery Running Festival half (July 16) with the goal of being fit as I head towards 40 this year.

Staying motivated can be a big problem. I know, because with three kids and a full-time job, it’s a delicate balance. At the start of each week, set yourself times to exercise. And find someone to work out with so you can motivate each other.

Stay tuned, from next week some local running experts will bring you their tips.

Upcoming fitness events

World Tai Chi & Qigong Day, April 29, Market Street Lawn: A free Tai Chi session for the community at 10am. thetaichicentre.com.au.

Run With a Story, May 7, Fernleigh Track: RWAS is a registered non-profit charity event and aims to raise money for community members in need of assistance. You can do 5km, 10km, 15km, 30km, 45km or 60km. Find out more about this year’s event at planetfitness.com.au/run-with-a-story/

Memory Walk & Jog, May 21, Tulkaba Park in Teralba: Raising funds and awareness for dementia and offering a 6.5km or 3km options. www.memorywalk.com.au/.

Renee Valentine is a writer, qualified personal trainer, mother and self-confessed chocoholic at Easter. r.valentine@fairfaxmedia.com.au.