Welcome to the July update from Healthy Together Wodonga

We hope you're keeping warm as we hit mid-winter and the temperatures outside drop to c-c-cold.

There's nothing better than a warming soup on these freezing days. Why not try creamy vegie soup or a bowl of hearty sweet potato and lentil.

You can find more great recipes at the Live Lighter site and take a peek at the new section, Live Lighter for Families with tips on how to develop healthy eating habits for the whole family.

Are you struggling to stay motivated during the cold weather? VicHealth chief executive officer Jerril Rechter talks about the importance of being active in living a healthy lifestyle. Ms Rechter says it's easy to build exercise into your daily routine and shares five tips for staying motivated. Read her opinion piece here

Stay warm but don't forget to be more active, more often!

Congratulations Aware Industries

Congratulations to Aware Industries​ on their win in the health and well-being category at the Chamber Business Awards​ on Friday night.

It was a big night for Aware taking home several awards at the end of the night. Well done guys and you're a great role model for workplaces in our community.

Wodonga Council, Gateway Health to continue HTW work

Wodonga Council and Gateway Health have demonstrated their commitment to the health and well-being of residents by continuing the work of preventive health initiative Healthy Together Wodonga despite the program not receiving ongoing funding.

The program works with the community to reduce chronic disease by encouraging healthy living and was due to end on June 30 following a lack of Victorian and Australian government funding.

But a strong partnership between the council and health service will ensure the service continues, albeit in a reduced capacity.

The partnership has prioritised the programs it delivered and is working together to ensure initiatives such as the Achievement Program for schools and workplaces, food networks and Workplaces in Open Spaces can continue.

Read more

New research reveals the Shape of Victoria

LiveLighter’s Shape of Victoria Survey paints a vivid picture of the typical Victorian’s lifestyle, with many confessing to regularly eating fast food, skipping breakfast, and not doing enough exercise.

Half of those surveyed believed their diet was ‘healthy’, yet the majority practiced unhealthy behaviours such as:

  • Only one in 14 ate the recommended amount of vegetables;
  • Almost half regularly snacked on biscuits and chocolate;
  • One in four ate takeaway at least every second day;
  • One in three skip breakfast – a routine associated with overeating later in the day; and,
  • One third are exercising only once a week at most.

The survey also found that many Victorians seem to be falling into the habit of ‘mindless eating’, with up to 45 per cent admitting to overeating when they’re stressed or upset, and  almost 50 per cent saying  they didn’t realise how much they ate in a day.

But on a positive note, more than half of us are grabbing fruit for a snack and many are changing their diets in a bid to improve their health and wellbeing.

The findings show that there are plenty of areas where Victorians can shape up their diet and activity levels.

For top tips on small steps you can make to achieve a healthy weight, visit Live Lighter.

Get involved in National Tree Day

Research released by Planet Ark shows that Australians are willing to give up an average of $3674 pay to be able to work in a more natural workplace, but 28 per cent of workers can’t see any natural features from their workspace.

It also shows that having plants around the office helps workers recover from tiredness more quickly, reduces the presence of airborne bacteria and increases productivity.

National Tree Day on Sunday, July 26 is a great opportunity for workplaces to bring a bit more nature into the workplace or to encourage staff to get outside.

Activities could include:
• Planting trees in the garden;
• Hosting a green morning or afternoon tea; or,
• Giving staff plants for their desks or to take home.

For more ideas on ways for your workplace to take part in National Tree Day, download the Tree Day Workplace Guide (3.41MB pdf ).

Once you decide on what to do make sure you register your activity so your achievements are added to the national totals.

5 simple steps to maximise your brain health

Your Brain Matters

Your brain is your most valuable asset!

Dementia touches the lives of many Australians and projections suggest that increasing numbers will be affected over the next 20 years.

Alzheimer’s Australia’s Your Brain Matters program has information about the five simple steps we can all take to help reduce our risk of developing dementia in the future. It’s never too late, nor too early, to start!

• See your GP for a heart check-up
• Get help to give up smoking

• Join a local sporting team
• Visit our leisure centre and try out a new exercise class
• Go for a bike ride along one of our cycling tracks

• Learn something new at one of our neighbourhood houses
• Research an interest at your local library

• Check out the farmers market to get some fresh fruit and vegetables
• Come to our community gardens to learn how to grow fruit and vegetables in your own backyard

• Volunteer – it’s a great way to meet new people
• Join a book group, scrabble club or social table tennis program

For more information visit yourbrainmatters.org.au

From your garden to the community table

Adopt a plot

Birallee Park Neighbourhood House is involved in the development of a community-driven garden on the grounds of the Emmanuel Anglican and Uniting Church at 39 Emerald Ave, Wodonga.

The neighbourhood house already conducts a very successful emergency food relief project called Our Table to Yours, which cooks and distributes more than 400 meals weekly to those in need in our community. It was decided to link the new garden plots through food and gardening workshops delivered by the neighbourhood house, to this program to inform the community about growing fresh food, and its preparation into nutritious simple meals.

Once they have worked in the garden beds, new gardeners are encouraged to grow their own food at home, and are supported in cooking simple meals for themselves, as they learn from the experienced cooks who volunteer at the neighbourhood house in its relief program.

Read more

Discover the wonderful diversity of local fresh food

NE Local Produce Guide

The North East Local Produce Guide is designed to connect local consumers, farmers and retailers to help create more sustainable, self-supporting food systems where profits stay in the local economy.

Consumers also benefit from the freshest food possible and community connections are nurtured.

The second edition of this guide is under way for a Christmas, 2015 release. If you would like to be a part of it, or know of a local producer who is not yet included in the guide, please visit nelocalproduce.com.au to register.

Healthy eating and living for young people

Young people can learn about healthy cooking and other independent living skills through a new five-week program starting in Wodonga on Wednesday, August 12.

The Healthy Eating and Living (HEAL) program will be offered for free to people aged 15 to 25 years.

It includes presentations from NESAY (North East Support and Action for Youth) staff and many other local service providers assisting young people with information around budgeting skills, mental health support, drug and alcohol support, positive relationships and local community supports available.

Sessions will run each Wednesday from 10.30am to 1.30pm at Albury Wodonga Community College.

At the end of the program, participants will receive a Certificate of Attainment and a gift hamper of mixed kitchen items.

For further information contact NESAY HEAL facilitator Sue Watts on (03) 5720 2201 or 0417 871 937.

Sports and leisure centre gets healthy

Congratulations to the Wodonga Sports and Leisure Centre on becoming the latest business to achieve recognition as a healthy workplace.

The centre has been presented with Recognition Point 1 in the Healthy Together Wodonga Workplace Achievement Program.

To achieve this status, the centre benchmarked its current employee health and wellbeing activity, established a health and wellbeing committee and developed a health charter.

It was also required to select a health priority, which became healthy eating.

Five more local businesses also joined the Workplace Achievement Program last month.
They were:

  •  Mars Petcare;
  •  Taghleef;
  •  Woolworths Distribution Centre;
  •  Wodonga Rendering; and,
  •  Vitasoy.

There are now 24 Wodonga and two Wangaratta businesses registered with the program, which takes in a combined workforce of more than 6000 employees.

Find out more about the program here

Workplaces to learn the truth about sugar

That Sugar Film

A special screening of That Sugar Film will be held for workplaces in Wodonga on Tuesday, July 28.

Two sell-out screenings of the documentary created quite a buzz in Wodonga earlier this year, causing many people to change the way they saw food which is commonly perceived as healthy.

The film follows actor and producer Damon Gameau as he embarks on a unique experiment to document the effects of a high sugar diet on a healthy body.

The invitation-only screening will be hosted by Healthy Together Wodonga, Regional SHE Group and Norske Skog at Gateway Health.